William C. Achi Jr. (1889-1947) was appointed Judge of the Fifth Circuit Court on Kaua‘i in 1919 following his approval by Hawai‘i’s delegate to Congress, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana‘ole, and by his confirmation in the United States Senate.
Achi thus became the third circuit magistrate for Kaua‘i since Kaua‘i had inaugurated the county government system in 1905, with Judge Jacob Hardy and Judge Lyle Dickey preceding him.
When Achi became judge, court was held in the County Building in Lihu‘e, which, in 1914, had replaced the old courthouse once located on the site of Kaua‘i High School.
Judge Achi resided in Niumalu in the former home of Paul Puhiula Kanoa, governor of Kaua‘i from 1882 to 1886. Today, it is still the Achi residence, quiet and serene, and shaded by a giant banyan tree planted by the governor himself.
But during Kanoa’s day, the home was the site of many a lively, late night party with dancers, singers, musicians, ship captains, dignitaries and Hawaiian royalty, including the “Merrie Monarch” King David Kalakaua, in attendance.
A talented musician and composer, Achi composed “Sons of Stanford Red” at Stanford; later, at Yale, he wrote “Sons of Eli,” and at Michigan, he created “Fight, Men of Michigan.” He graduated from Michigan with a BA degree and obtained his law degree at Michigan in 1917.
In 1938, he retired from the Fifth Circuit Court to practice law on Kaua‘i, Hilo and in Honolulu.
Judge Achi was also an enthusiastic supporter of canoe paddling and other sports.
He and his wife, Mrs. Rebecca Achi, had four sons and two daughters. One of his sons, Stanford Hokulani Achi (1925-1995), also lived in Governor Kanoa’s house.
Like his father, Stanford was active in canoe paddling, having coached the Kauai Canoe Club for 22 years.