On the death of Beniamina Kaiminaauao Poepoe, and so much more, 1909.


In the afternoon of this Monday, July 11, the life of Beniamina Kaiminaauao Poepoe returned once more to He who first gave him to us in the year 1898. He was forty-one years old when he passed. He was born in Waipio, Hamakua, Hawaii, and that is his Aina where he was raised until he was older. He was fetched by their older brother [Joseph Mokuohai Poepoe], that being the current editor of this newspaper, to go live with him in North Kohala, Hawaii; and Beniamina lived with him while being instructed in the English Language. Later he came to Oahu nei. He lived in Laie and married a woman there. They had children, but only two of their daughters are still living. His wife passed to the other side first, and he was left with their daughters, and his older sibling, and his younger brother, Gulstan Kiliona Poepoe, one of the Owners of the News magazine, “Ka Lanakila,” which is now in publication. He was an Elder [Lunakahiko] of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints [ka Ekalesia o Iesu Karisto o na Poe Hoano o na La Hope nei]. He was a candidate in the Labor Party [Aoao Limahana] for representative of the Fifth District, in the past year. His field of expertise is engineering.

And while he was working in that position on one of the water pumps of the Kahuku plantation, an accident befell him when he fell off from the pump house which he climbed on, and he broke the bones of his left leg.

He was taken to the Queen’s Hospital by the orders of the sugar plantation. His injured leg was operated upon by the doctors of the hospital with hopes that he would be saved. His leg was operated on twice. It was a critical situation and sad to consider. While he was in the hospital, watching over him often were his family by the side of their older brother and younger sibling, and the doctors of the hospital trying to save him, but God’s plans and pronouncements were different.

One day he was given a glass of milk mixed with some alcohol (perhaps Whiskey), to invigorate him. He said, “There is alcohol in this glass. I will not drink it. It goes against my religious beliefs.”

On the morning of Tuesday, his body was  returned below of Laie, and he was accompanied by some of his family members from here in Honolulu to Koolau.

Aloha Hiilawe,
Wai o ka i’a mili opu i ka lima,
Aohe a kaua pokii,
Ua hala, haalele mai ia kaua,
E na puu haele lua o Kohala,
O kuu pokii, aole ae nei ia,
Ua kau i ka he kuwa o Niolopua;
E ka uhiwai o Laie,
Ka aina i ka eheu o na manu,
Ua haalele mai oia ia kaua,
Aka, o ke aloha o ka mua i ka muli,
O ka’u no ia e hii ae nei,
Kuu pokii hoi—

His birth father was G. W. Poepoe, who was sometimes called Kahiolo. He was assistant principal during the time when Abraham Fornander was principal. His birth mother was Malia Kualaau Ala. On his father’s side, he was an elder sibling and younger as well. On his mother’s side, he was an older brother to Gulstan K. Poepoe, Moses Keaulana Kahele, and Bruno Kahele, who is living outside of Hawaii.

[There is much historical and genealogical information found in this obituary, but what immediately caught my attention was the line that said G. W. Poepoe was also known as Kahiolo. Up until now, quite a mystery was G. W. Kahiolo, the writer of the Kamapuaa story which appeared in Hae Hawaii from June 26  to September 25, 1861.

(Kuokoa Home Rula, 7/16/1909, p. 3)


Kuokoa Home Rula, Buke VII, Helu 29, Aoao 3. Iulai 16, 1909.

7 thoughts on “On the death of Beniamina Kaiminaauao Poepoe, and so much more, 1909.

  1. Pingback: G. W. Kahiolo is G. W. Poepoe, the father of Joseph Mokuohai Poepoe, 1861. | nupepa

  2. mahalo nui! this confirms what I suspected, that J. M. Poepoe was Mormon, as he edited (amongst other newspapers) the Mormon paper.


    • Aloha kaua, i am not sure that this should be used to confirm that Joseph Mokuohai Poepoe was a Mormon. All we really can see from this article is that J. M. P. is the older brother of Beniamina Kaiminaauao Poepoe. I don’t believe that if one brother is a Mormon that necessarily means all of his other siblings are as well. That being said, i do recall there being other clearer reference(s) in the Hawaiian-Language Newspapers to J. M. P. being a Mormon.


  3. First, thank you SO much for posting this obituary. I wouldn’t have know that Poepoe’s father was the great Kahiolo otherwise.

    I can confirm that Joseph Mokuohai Poepoe was one of the first members of the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints here in Hawaiʻi. This church is now called Community of Christ Church, and the branch he was associated with still stands in Makiki today. Aaron Mahi is affiliated with this church today. Those interested in Poepoe’s Mormonism might want to check out some of his articles in Ka Naʻi Aupuni newspaper. Some articles there defend polygamy (although this church broke off from the main church because they didnʻt support polygamy). Poepoe translated the Book of Mormon for this Church because apparently they didn’t want to use the other one. He also translated a book of Abraham and the Pearl of Great Price.
    (I happen to be researching this wonderful man right now!)


  4. Noenoe, mahalo for all your research. Our ohana is so appreciative of your work. This article was such a revelation too. You know, when you start working on your mo’okuauhau, get plenty pukas.
    Aloha, Kaleionamokuokalani


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