In May 1883, German immigrants Mr. William Kruse (1856-1936) and Mrs. Louisa Kruse (1857-1925), with their three children, debarked from the steamer Ehrenfel at Koloa Landing with a number of other German immigrant families following a five-month voyage from Germany.
At the landing they were met by bullock carts that transported them to camp houses within Koloa Sugar Co., where the men among them would soon begin work as contract sugar laborers.
The Kruses went to Kaluahonu Valley, about two miles north of the Koloa mill, to embark upon a new life far from the suffering they had endured when the Wiser River had flooded in Germany — the catastrophe that had prompted them to leave for Hawaii.
After working four years at Koloa Sugar Co., Mr. Kruse moved to Grove Farm with his family to operate that company’s Fowler self-moving steam plow, manufactured by John Fowler &Co. of Leeds, England, and first introduced into Hawaii in 1881.
Prior to that year, the plowing of sugar cane fields in Hawaii had been accomplished by men driving teams of oxen, mules or horses pulling plows across cane fields.
Then in 1890, Kruse joined August Dreier’s Eleele Plantation, a predecessor company of McBryde Sugar Co., also as a steam plow operator.
Afterwards, at McBryde, he supervised all of its steam plows until his retirement many years later.
Kruse reminisced that while he worked at Koloa Sugar Co. he observed that all travel was done on horse or mule-back and there was not a single buggy to be seen until Ernest Cropp of Koloa Sugar Co. bought the first buggy pulled by a couple of fast horses.
He also recalled that the Hawaiian language was commonly spoken, which he learned along with English, and he was proud to say that he’d been a citizen of four nations: Germany, Hawaii under Kalakaua and Liliuokalani, the Republic of Hawaii and the United States.
Mr. and Mrs. Kruse had nine children: August, William, Henry, Louis, George, John, Mrs. Dora Mckeckney, Mrs. George Gardner and Mrs. Herman Busch.