Death of Mary Ann Kaaumokulani Kinoole Pitman Ailau, 1905.


AILAU—In Hilo, Hawaii. February 11, 1905. Mrs. Mary Ann Kaaumokulani Kinoole Pitman Ailau, daughter of the High Chiefess Kinoole and the late Benjamin Pitman, and widow of John Keakaokalani Ailau, aged 67 years.

Mrs. Ailau was known from one end of the group to the other, and in Boston and many of the Atlantic watering places.

She was born at Hilo 67 years ago, and with the exception of a number of years spent in Boston and New England completing her education, she always resided in the islands. She was a daughter of Benjamin Pitman a capitalist, who resided both in Hilo and Honolulu. The Pitman home was at the corner of Alakea and Beretania streets, on the site now occupied by the C. Q. Yee Hop building.

The Pitmans came here from Boston, where they were well connected. Mrs. Ailau’s father-in-law also resided here for a number of years. Her father married the High Chiefess Kinoole, daughter of the High Chief Hoolulu.

Hoolulu achieved fame as one of the two men who concealed the bones of Kamehameha the Great in a cave, which has never been disclosed to this day, the secret dying with both men. The body of Kamehameha the Great was originally buried at Kamakahonu, Kailua, Hawaii, the grave itself being known as Ahuena. When the bones were removed from there, they lay in state, with chiefs waving kahilis over them. When many had fallen asleep, Hoolulu and his half-brother, Prince Hoopili, crept forward, took away the bones, which were wrapped in an ahuula, and carried them away in a canoe. It is generally believed that the two men went to the North Kona coast, and that Hoolulu dived to a submarine cave, the location being known only to himself and Hoopili, and place the royal bones therein. There have been a common belief also that the bones were hid in a cave in the face of the Pali Kapuokeoua, the picturesque bluff which overhangs Kealakekua Bay, where Captain Cook was killed.

Hoolulu was also a chief, who had control of the whole of Hilo district from the mountains to the sea, and his two daughters, Kinoole and Kahinu were called the Princesses of Hilo. When Benjamin Pitman married Kinoole, the Kamehameha of that time gave the husband the control of the Hilo district.

Hoolulu’s father was Kameeiamoku, one of the tabu twin princes, whose effigies are seen in the Hawaiian coat-of-arms.

Mrs. Ailau was educated both in Hilo and Honolulu under private teachers, and completed her education in Boston, where her father took his family after the death of Kinoole.

She leaves one brother, Benjamin Pitman, a prominent business man of Boston, and a member of the firm of L. P. Hollander & Co., having married the daughter of Mr. Hollander. Another brother, Henry, became a captain of cavalry during the War of the Rebellion in the United States. He was taken prisoner by the rebels and confined in Libby Prison, where his health broke down. Upon his release he failed rapidly and died.

Mrs. Ailau was one of the bridesmaids of Queen Emma at the time of her marriage to Kamehameha IV, on June 19, 1856.

Admiral George Beckley was the first cousin of the deceased, and Hon. F. W. Beckley, Speaker of the House in the last Legislature, was her second cousin.

The delegates to the General Convention held in Boston last October, met a number of people from Boston and other New England places who remembered Mrs. Ailau and made inquiries regarding her. When she lived in Boston she used frequently to visit the watering places of the New England coast, and whenever she went she attracted much attention by her swimming in which she excelled.

After he father’s death she returned to Hawaii and married J. K. Ailau, a compositor and a singer. He died in San Francisco during the Midwinter Fair in 1904. She leaves one adopted daughter.

(Hawaiian Star, 2/14/1905, p. 7)


The Hawaiian Star, Volume XII, Number 4025, Page 7. February 14, 1905.

2 thoughts on “Death of Mary Ann Kaaumokulani Kinoole Pitman Ailau, 1905.

  1. Hi!
    I think “Jack” Ailau died in 1894 and not 1904 as The Hawaiian Star reports? Is this correct?- I found a mention of his death here: Hawaii_Holomau (Progress)_1894_1_27, Vol. II., No.23
    Thanks so much!

  2. There is much intrigue about that Midwinter Fair of 1894 . Need to learn more of Mr. J.K. Ailau and their daughter.

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