Throughout the summer of 1913, the Hon. Fred H. Hayselden (1851-1924) — who had once enjoyed the company of Hawaiian royalty and other distinguished personages during the reigns of King David Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani — could be found working as a clerk at Hawaiian Sugar Co.’s general store at Makaweli, Kauai, where he would readily share reminiscences of the highs and lows of his life in old Hawaii with any patron interested in hearing him out.
Born in England, Hayselden had emigrated to Hawaii in 1868 to embark upon a remarkably varied career, in which he was employed at one time or another during the reign of Kalakaua as Secretary of the Board of Health, the Sheriff of Maui, and the Manager of the Pacific Commercial Advertiser newspaper, and he was later appointed Sheriff of Lanai by Liliuokalani.
In 1878, when his father-in-law, Walter Murray Gibson — who would become Kalakaua’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister — left his residence on Lanai for Honolulu, Gibson turned over management of his 26,000-acre Lanai Ranch to his daughter, Hayselden’s wife, Talula, and Hayselden.
Nine years later, on July 1 of the Rebellion of 1887, Hayselden unfortunately happened to be with Gibson when Gibson was kidnapped by rebels for having supported Kalakaua’s exorbitant spending habits and Kalakaua’s involvement in a bribery scandal related to granting opium licenses, and for backing Kalakaua in his failed attempt to build a Pacific Empire — and Hayselden was nearly hanged along with his father-in-law.
Luckily, their hangings were aborted by the timely intervention of cooler heads, and they were jailed instead on charges of embezzlement.
Although no evidence of embezzlement was ever found at trial, Gibson was nonetheless exiled to San Francisco, while Hayselden was granted his freedom.
The Hayseldens inherited Gibson’s Lanai properties when Gibson died in 1888, and Hayselden went on to establish Maunalei Sugar Co. on these ranch lands 1898, an enterprise that failed in 1901 for lack of operating capital.