Island History

Manuel S. Henriques

Born in 1888 at Madeira, Portugal, and educated at the College of Notre Dame of Good Hope, Manuel Souza Henriques emigrated from Madeira to Hawai‘i in 1907 on the British ship “Kumeric” with his sister, Ezilda Rocha, and her family.

In Honolulu they were assigned to Waialua Sugar Co., where Henriques rose quickly from water boy to store manager, while teaching himself English by reading bilingual newspapers.  He’d already mastered Portuguese, Spanish, French and Latin in Portugal.

In 1911 he moved to Kaua‘i to become a homesteader and sugar planter on nine acres in Kapa‘a. Until his first crop was harvested, he also worked as a clerk at the Fernandes Store in Kapaia, now the site of the Kapaia Stitchery store.

Henriques became a United States citizen in 1917 and a year later completed law correspondence courses that prepared him to obtain a license to practice law as a District Court Practitioner on all Hawaiian islands.

“Manuela Boy,” as he was nicknamed by his friends, entered politics in the mid-1940s and served as Kaua‘i representative to the Territorial and later State House of Representatives from 1945 through 1947, 1951, and 1954 through 1968.

A vibrant and colorful speaker in the Legislature, he was recognized as the father of Lihu‘e Airport for sponsoring a bill in 1949 that cleared the way for airport development in Lihu‘e.

Former Kaua‘i Mayor Tony Kunimura remarked that “Manuel Henriques could have been a very rich man if he chose,” which is to say he could have profited by his influence in the Legislature and his knowledge of the law, but for honesty’s sake, he did not.

Manuel Henriques and his first wife, Lucretia, had six children.  His second wife, Mary, and he had four children.

He passed away in 1974.

2 Comments
  1. Linda Stefanosky March 28, 2020 3:18 am Reply

    Thank you for what was written about my Great Grandfather . My Grandmother Florence Henriques Kirk did a family history book which included many memories of her life in Hawaii. My Grandmother said he had a beautiful garden in Kaui. I have few memories when he visited us in Japan and Colorado. Unfortunately when I lived in Oahu he passed away before he could meet his great great Grandson born in Honolulu.


  2. Mary L. Henriques April 5, 2020 11:35 am Reply

    Aloha, glad to see someone (Thanks Hank! RIP) remembered that if it were not for my Grandfather getting Lihue Plantation to gift the land to the County/State there would have been a LOT of money spent by taxpayers to buy the land. Too bad he wasn’t credited for that in his lifetime. Even when the “new” airport was built no one gave him his due. RIP Voovoo…you are still missed by your family who remember well what a wonderful person you were.


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