menu-ksbe > The First Years > The First Trustees > Smith
The First Years, 1887 - 1900

The First Trustees

smithWilliam Owen Smith (1848-1929)

William O. Smith was borh on August 4, 1848 at Koloa, Hawai'i He was the son of Dr. James William Smith and Millicent Knapp, members of the Tenth Company of missionaries sailing from Boston. Dr. Smith was the only physician on the island of Kaua'i where he spent his whole life. Mrs. Smith was founder and teacher of the Koloa Boarding School. William was one of 9 children. As a youth, he worked for several years on a sugar plantation. He was educated at Reverend Daniel Dole's school at Koloa, at Punahou School and the Massachusetts Agricultural College at Amherst.

Returning to Hawai'i, he worked at the law offices of Judge Alfred S. Hartwell and served as sheriff of Kaua'i in 1870 and sheriff of Maui in 1872. In 1875, he was admitted to the Hawai'i bar and became deputy attorney general. In March 23, 1876, he married Mary Abbey Hobron of Honolulu. He retained his interest in the sugar industry and for many years was secretary and treasurer of the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association.

Smith served in the Hawaiian legislature from 1878-1899. In 1893, he was a member of the Committee of Safety that seized governing powers from Queen Lili'uokalani and ended the Hawaiian monarchy. A member of the executive council of the provisional government, he was appointed attorney general and president of the board of health by Provisional President Sanford B. Dole.

Despite his role in the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, he was a trusted friend of Queen Lili'uokalani and one of the administrators of her estate upon her death. He was a trustee of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Estate from 1884-1886 and 1897-1929. He was a trustee of the Lunalilo Estate, the Alexander Young Estate and the children's hospital. He was on the board of the Guardian Trust Company, Bishop Trust Company, Inter-Island Steam Navigation company and Alexander and Baldwin.

He died at his Nu'uanu home on April 13, 1929 after catching a cold that developed into bronchial pneumonia.

His funeral was held at Kawaiaha'o Church. Kamehameha Schools students were invited to attend. The Reverend Akaiko Akana officiated.

"Mr. Smith," he said, "was a kind and loving man who held a great number of responsible positions." Besides this, the speaker stated that Mr. Smith was given the task of taking charge of all financial affairs of the Bishop Trust--a task he performed nobly. The Rev. Akana then urged that Mr. Smith be known as a doer of things for the benefit of mankind and that he be remembered as a great example of man. After the speaker's eulogy, "Only Remembered," was sung by the Kamehameha Schools. -- C. Kealoha. (The Cadet, April 26, 1929)

© Kamehameha Schools. Statements of copyright, privacy and disclaimer.