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Name: O'SHEA, Thomas Joseph

Nee: brother of Richard Leo O'Shea

Birth Date: 2.2.1888 Dublin, Ireland

Death Date: 18.6.1958 Nairobi

Nationality: Irish

First Date: 1909

Last Date: 1958

Profession: Employed by Nairobi firm where he gained much experience as a Land Agent & Valuer. Founded own business in Eldoret in 1920, for many years President Eldoret Chamber of Commerce. Elected to LegCo 1924

Area: Nairobi then Eldoret, Athi River - Mua Hills

Married: Eileen O'Toole b.10.3.1888 Dublin 2. ?Elizabeth Mary buried in same grave as T. J., d. 17 Aug 1966

Children: Brendan (1912-22 July 1955 Eldoret); Colin Patrick; Dermod Bernard (5 Aug 1901 Rathfarnham, Dublin); Desmond Patrick (1918-1986); Piers

Book Reference: North, Gillett, Leys, Midday Sun, KFA, Permanent Way, Eldoret, Irish, White Man, KAD, Red 25, Red 31, Hut, EA & Rhodesia, Red 22, Barnes, Gazette, Barnes, Nicholls, Leader14, Macmillan, Red 19

War Service: Petrol Controller and Secretary of the Compensation Board in WW2

School: Christian Brothers' School, Dublin

General Information:

Represented Plateau South for about 10 years until he withdrew from political life to devote himself to his business. Chairman of Kakamega Mining Co. On retirement he farmed near Athi river on the Mua Hills
Midday Sun - 'The 11 members elected to Legco by the Europeans had a 'Left Wing', also called 'Progressives', consisting of a Capt. Cotter and a fiery Irishman from Eldoret named Tommy O'Shea. Their aims would not be labelled left wing or progressive today.'
KFA - In 1922 the problem of zebras on the Plateau and the damage they did to crops that a deputation headed by T.J. O'Shea laid before the Governor of the day, Sir Robert Coryndon, a scheme for exterminating these handsome animals that had become an economic plague. ...... The scheme was adopted and the Government issued 10 rounds of ammunition free; after that, each zebra tail earned two further rounds. ...... Tens of thousands were slaughtered ..... The Uasin Gishu was stripped of what had been its greatest glory; but fences stood and wheat grew. ............ Chairman of the Eldoret Mining Syndicate to exploit L.A. Johnson's find of gold at Kakamega.
Eldoret - Joined forces with J.J. Hughes as traders in Fords, hides and skins in Eldoret ...... during the wet months used to take the mail from Eldoret to Kisumu and put it on the train.
Irish - His son Desmond is Hon. Auditor of the Kenya Irish Society and has been a stalwart member of both the EA Irish Society and of the Kenya Irish Society. [?his son Dermot]
Irish - represented Plateau South in Legco for about 10 years until he withdrew from political life to devote himself to business. On retirement he farmed near Athi River on the Mua Hills and died in 1958. He was survived by a large family of whom Desmond was the second son.
White Man - elected member for the Uasin Gishu plateau (one of the most astute of Kenya's politicians with an Irish gift of oratory)                                                                                          
KAD 1922 - Committee, Eldoret Chamber of Commerce
Red 25 - Vice-Pres. Eldoret Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture
EA & Rhodesia - 17/7/58 - Mr T.J. O'Shea, who had lived in Kenya since 1909, and who was for 10 years an elected member of the Legislative Council, has died suddenly from a heart attack.
EA & Rhodesia - 24/7/58 - Mr Thomas Joseph O'Shea - "Tay Jay" to Kenya oldtimers - who has died at the age of 70 in the Colony in which he had lived for almost half a century, was a sturdy individualist, a political philosopher, a bonny fighter, a rebel from his youth upwards. Born in Dublin, the son of a man who was to become a member of the Parliament of Eire, he was a Sinn Feiner as a youth, and often went out of his way to tell people in East Africa, especially those whom he considered stuffy, that he had served in the Irish Resistance. He retained what he called a strong streak of "Celtic tribalism". He hated all kinds of pretence, and since he seldom kept his opinions to himself, he was usually engaged in some controversy, public or private.
Though one of the most outspoken men which the public life in Kenya has known, he made few enemies, except among the pompous, but he had many friends, who, if they often rejected his opinions (frequently unwisely) recognized his sincerity, his good intentions, his humour, and his broad humanity. He went to Kenya in 1909 as a clerk, and in the next decade gained experience in the offices of merchants, land agents and valuers. Then in 1920, he founded O'Shea & Sons Ltd., Eldoret, and was for many years president of the local chamber of commerce. ……….. [lots more]
Red 22 - T. J. O'Shea, Box 32, Eldoret - General Merchant, Land & Estate Agent
Barnes - The history of Eldoret rugby has been compiled from information kindly provided by Messrs C.F. Schermbrucker and "Stompie" Jones. Rugby on the Plateau had been going on for some years before Mr Schermbrucker arrived in Eldoret in 1926. The Club's first president was the 'blue' Tommy O'Shea and in these days Turbo were running a side of their own and Eldoret had difficulty in raising a full XV.
Gazette - 7/4/15 - Liable for Jury service, Nairobi District - F.J.O. Shea [sic], Newland Tarlton and Co.
Nairobi Forest Road Cemetery - Thomas Joseph O'Shea, British, age 70, died 18/6/58 and Elizabeth Mary O'Shea, British, age 78, died 17/8/66 {same grave}
Dominion - 1930 - European Elected member of Legco
Nicholls - Tommy O'Shea, owner of the Ford garage in Eldoret …… Sinn Feiner and autodidact economist
Gazette - 12/11/1919 - Register of Voters - Nairobi, South Area - Thomas Joseph O'Shea - Land Agent - Groganville Macmillan 1930 - Thos J O'Shea and Co. Ltd. - The founder of it, the Hon T.J. O'Shea, Member of the Legislative Council, a native of Dublin, was for several years with a Nairobi firm now defunct, and launched out in business for himself at Eldoret in 1921, with such excellent results that his undertaking is now the largest concern there.
Red Book 1919 - East African Debating Society, Nairobi - Hon. Secretary - Thos. J. O'Shea
Gazette  6 Dec 1938 Uasin Gishu Voters Roll expunged
Gazette 3 Feb 1959 probate

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