It was in the spring of 1882 on April 13, that Richard Thomas and Annie Elizabeth Toone Berrett welcomed their 3rd child, Thomas Francis Berrett, to the family. The family lived in Salt Lake City at the time of Tom’s birth, and he joined sister Emily Louisa who was about 3 years old. His brother, Albert Edward, had died the previous October (1881) just weeks before his 1st birthday, so perhaps Tom’s birth brought a renewed outlook to the grieving family. Richard’s first wife, Mary Ann Nuns had died in childbirth in 1872, so the family also included 8 more children ranging in age from 16 – 6 years old from Richard’s first marriage.
Probably the most significant event of his childhood occurred when Tom was nine years old. As most residents of North Ogden, Tom’s family had land which they farmed and grew many fruit trees. He was a good helper around the farm, and learned at an early age how to help his dad and take responsibility for a number of chores. On one occasion Tom accidentally fell over a sharp grubbing hoe which caused a seriously deep gash along his shin bone. At the time of the accident, the wound became badly infected and did not heal properly. He suffered tremendously, and the spread of this infection throughout his system may have had something to do with the headaches he endured much of his adult life. 41 years after this childhood accident, in 1933, Tom had part of the bone removed from his leg.
Tom started school in the old adobe school house and continued in the new brick school house. His school attendance was interrupted by the accident with the grubbing hoe, but he took his education seriously and was willing and anxious to learn.
As he entered his teen years, Tom’s health improved, and he was a strong young man who was very popular with his peers. Just as his future wife Hattie did, he enjoyed sleigh riding, house parties, dances, and church parties. Through their association at these events, he became very attracted to Harriet Brown who was two years younger than he. Her sweet disposition and pretty face drew his attention and they spent more and more time together as the months passed. Tom was sociable, good looking, and had an inviting chuckle – all of which captured Hattie’s interest. Tom and Hattie were married on 7 May 1902 and settled on a portion of his father’s farm.