THE STORY OF JOSEPH KAWAI OPUNUI AND HIS DESCENDANTS
Joseph Kawai Opunui was born on June 16, 1853 of Hapuku Opunui (m) and Kauhailama Waiwaiole (f) at Kalapana, Puna, Hawaii; and when he grew older, he would go around Kapoho, Puna; and when he was 15, came to Honolulu. Here he entered the English school at Kawaiahao in 1868, on the 3rd day of the month of May; David Malo was the teacher there. He stopped attending that school on July 20, 1870, and entered the Royal School of Kehehuna [Kula Alii o Kahehuna] in 1871. He left that school on April 6, 1872 and went to work for C. P. Ward [Ka Pepee] at Old Plantation as a grass cutter, as a pond worker at the pond of Koula, and as a coconut tree planter of the coconut grove growing there to the present.
He took a wife on October 6, 1873, and had his first child on September 29, 1874. My wife gave birth in Honolulu.
I took care of the jitney cart [kaa kika-ne] for my boss, Mr. Ward, for wages of four dollars a week. That was a lot of money in those days. After that, I went to work for Henry May & Co., food purveyors, weighing coffee, rice, sugar, potatoes, and so forth. They pay was ten dollars per week. I stayed with that employer until they merged with J. T. Waterhouse and McIntyer under the company name of Henry May & Co. It is still in operation today.
From there, I went to work for the government on roads for $1.25 a day, for 15 years. This was under the territory, and then 12 years under the county. I am retired now, but am receiving a pension.
This past 16th of June, I made 76 years old.
We have 1 son and 3 daughters from our loins;
Philamina, Joseph, Christina and Kealohapauole.
Philamina had 17 children. She was married twice. Her first husband was Herman Kaouli, and the second was William Keiki. With him she had six children, and with H. K. Ha’o she had eleven children.
The second child of Joseph Jr. died at the age of three.
One child is living in China. Kealohapauole is childless.
Between Philamina and Herman Kaouli, 2 children are living; with H. K. Ha’o, 2 children are living.
The first child is Margaret; the second child is Victoria. Margaret married J. Kaakua, and they had two children: Mary Laniwahine (deceased) and the second child, Hiram K. Kaakua.
Victoria married Isaac K. Kaawa and they had three children: Thomas K., Margaret Kahalelaulani, and Victoria.
The one living child of William K. Keiki is Clara, and she has five children: Philamina Nohokula, Manuel Kawai, Clara Hiilani, William Weheikekapu, and Frank.
Andrade is the name of Clara’s husband, and he is the father of those children.
I have three generations. With aloha.
Joseph Kawai Opunui
1805 Kalani St., Honolulu.
[I came across this interesting autobiography the other day. Usually, this type of information is submitted by someone else when a person dies, but here, Joseph Kawai Opunui is telling his own story.]
(Alakai o Hawaii, 6/27/1929, p. 4)
Ke Alakai o Hawaii, Buke 1, Helu 9, Aoao 4. Iune 27, 1929.