Born at Lahaina, Maui, in 1853, the son of Kanohoua and Kaleo, Kauai legislator and attorney Samuel Kanohoua Kaeo was educated at Iolani School, Oahu, and worked at the printer’s trade until 1888, the year he was admitted to the Hawaii Bar.
In 1889, he moved to Kauai to engage in the practice of law at Lihue, was elected to the special legislature of the Republic of Hawaii in 1895, and the general session of the legislature of the Republic of Hawaii in 1896 and 1898, and was also elected County Attorney of Kauai in 1907.
During Kaeo’s tenure as a legislator, Honolulu’s “The Hawaiian Star” newspaper published an article in its Feb. 15, 1898, edition citing his legislative requests.
In the article he was quoted as saying “We won’t ask for much, for we have considered it best to petition for only these things that we absolutely need at this time.”
Representative Kaeo also stated that one of the most important matters to the people of Kauai was a better mail service, for the system on Kauai at the time was very unsatisfactory and should be at least as good as was being furnished to Maui residents.
He continued by saying that “Kauai needs money to extend and improve her roads. I don’t think that we have received an equal appropriation in this direction. It is also necessary that some water system be put in. We need a hospital at Waimea. I don’t think it possible for another two years to go by without such an institution at Waimea. It would certainly work a great hardship on our people. Then there are schools to be looked after. The number of school children has increased very materially within the past year and the present facilities are very inadequate. It is almost imperative that a suitable appropriation be made to build schools for those children who are deprived of educational advantages.”