Judge Jacob Hardy, for whom Hardy Street in Lihu‘e is named, came to Hawai‘i on the advice of his doctor, who suggested the warmer climate might help his poor health.
Apparently, it did.
After a stint as a sugar farmer on Maui, and some time in Honolulu, he came to Kaua‘i, and was appointed a circuit-court judge.
In Hank Soboleski’s book, “History Makers of Kauai, Volume Two,” subtitled “Twenty Biographical Stories,” the story is told of how Hardy and his first wife, Elizabeth Andrews Hardy, made their home in a thatched-roof house he’d purchased from Judge E.P. Bond, whom he succeeded on the bench.
The home at Malumalu, an area now known as Puhi, became the focal point for a colony of “kindred spirits,” along with Mr. and Mrs. William Reynolds, Mr. and Mrs. Bond and Mr. and Mrs. James Marshall.
Hardy became known also for his poetry, and was considered the unofficial poet laureate of the island.
Ethel Damon in her book “Koamalu” described the area: “This little colony of kindred spirits was composed, not of poets and transcendentalists who wished to shut themselves from the world and all its wiles, but of human beings awake to other emotions than even the noble one of patriotism.”
This was in the days before the U.S. Civil War. Hardy left the island, but returned in 1877 to resume his place on the bench, a position he would hold for 35 years.
Hardy often wrote poems marking public occasions, as he did when he wrote the dedication hymn at the opening ceremonies of the Lihue Union Church (now Lihue United Church) in 1901.
When Lihue Hospital (the predecessor of G.N. Wilcox Memorial Hospital, later named Wilcox Memorial Hospital) was opened in 1899, Hardy penned “Lihue Hospital.”
Hardy died on Aug. 8, 1915.