You never know who you will find… 1923.



To you, Mr. Editor of the Hoku o Hawaii.

Much aloha between us:

Please be so kind as to insert this bundle of sadness shown above in an open space of our newspaper, Ka Hoku o Hawaii, and it will be you who flashes all over the land so that the family and friends of my beloved husband who has left me will see.

That being on the 23rd of Oct., this past month, while I was relaxing at our home, a car arrived from Waiohinu revealing to me this:

“The two of us have come; the train of Punalulu [Punaluu] has gone off the tracks.” That is my husband was on the train, as he works as the stoker. At that moment, I thought that it might be my husband, and I left immediately to the ocean-side of the mill to ask the people of the mill who got injured, but  I first got to where Mrs. Kawaha was doing the wash, and I asked her if she heard the news, and she said she did not.

I told her that I heard the train toppled, and at that moment I saw the sheriff, Moses Kawaha and the doctor.

I called to the sheriff, asking who from the train got injured, but he didn’t respond, then I asked the doctor who was hurt, and his answer to me was Willie, the man from house number 2. Right then my hopes were gone; I returned to our home and everyone else had heard and the house was full of friends. His body was returned here, and I thought maybe he was still breathing, but it was not so, his body was cold and he had gone earlier; he had many injuries.

The reason for the accident is not known; how horrifying to think about.

Puna of the fragrant bowers of pandanus [Puna paia aala i ka hala] is where he was born. He is a true grandchild of Maunakea and Lilia; he grandmother is Puna.

I was joined with my loving husband, William K. Kumukahi in the pure covenant of marriage in the month of March 16, 922 in Kona, Kealia, by reverend John Keala. I think about the places were were together, alas; my husband who has gone afar. We were brought here by the parents [?], Ben Kamoku, to come and be the assistant blacksmith for the mill, and he ended up doing various work. He was kind to me and to all others; my children were important to him.

Alas, I am without my provider [makua], beloved are all the places we were together; he just left this morning to go to work but he has gone forever. His own mother came from Opihikaa [Opihikao?], Puna, but she did not see how he looked; his Kuku [grandparent] and Cousins and Aunty, they saw what he looked like. And his funeral procession went on to the cemetery at Kauahao [Kauahaao?], Waiohinu.

It is there that he lies alone. With the friends and family go my great thanks, those who stayed up with me that night till day, and also the lei, the bouquets of flowers from the friends, and to the family is my endless appreciation.

All of us in sadness:

Mrs. Mary Kumukahi

Miss Alice Kumukahi

Samuel Kumukahi

Mrs. Kawaa Lohiau

Mr. L. K. Lohiau

[I found this article by chance. Genealogy and family stories abound in the Hawaiian-Language Newspapers. Hopefully the names and important information will be inputted faithfully so that if you look up your kupuna, you will find them every time they appear!]

(Hoku o Hawaii, 11/15/1923, p. 3)


Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Buke XVII, Helu 25, Aoao 3. Novemaba 15, 1923.