Kauai school principal, postmaster and agriculturalist Hugh H. Brodie

Originally from New York, Hugh H. Brodie (1855-1940) had graduated from Cornell University and had taught school and served as a principal on the mainland before arriving on Kauai in 1897 to become a teacher and the principal of Hanapepe School.

He was promoted to supervising principal of all Kauai schools in 1911, and in 1916 he became the principal of Eleele School, from which he retired in 1929.

Brodie was also the Hanapepe postmaster from 1897 to 1913.

During those years, off-island mail sacks would be tossed on the Eleele Landing from any boat that happened to bring them to Kauai and would remain there until someone brought them to the Hanapepe post office.

Postmaster Brodie would then open the sacks and place those letters addressed in the Chinese language, which was unintelligible to himself, into a large box.

Then Chinese residents of Eleele and Hanapepe expecting a letter would come to the post office, look over the letters and take what belonged to them, and no complaint was ever made of mail stolen or not being delivered.

In 1902, before the government supplied water for any Kauai community, except possibly Waimea, Brodie established the Hanapepe Water Company to supply water for the residents of Hanapepe, and he continued to own and manage this company until 1925, when the territorial legislature voted $50,000 for a government waterworks in Hanapepe.

Brodie also started cultivating pineapple in Hanapepe in 1906, and from 1912 to 1915 he was the largest grower of pineapple on Kauai, even outproducing Hawaiian Canneries of Kapaa and Kauai Pineapple Company of Lawai.

On top of that, he grew bananas on his farm on Hanapepe Road and shipped them to the mainland from Port Allen, raised sugarcane on 50 acres of leased land, and was a member of the Territorial House of Representatives in 1935.

Surviving him was his wife, Carrie, and their children Edith and Hugh W. Brodie.

Hugh H. Brodie and famous Kauai-born Honolulu tire dealer Lex Brodie (1914-2013) were not related.

Hank Soboleski has been a resident of Kauai since the 1960s. Hank’s love of the island and its history has inspired him, in conjunction with The Garden Island Newspaper, to share the island’s history weekly. The collection of these articles can be found here: https://bit.ly/2IfbxL9 and here https://bit.ly/2STw9gi Hank can be reached at hssgms@gmail.com.

  1. I saw a Vampire once February 18, 2019 1:44 pm Reply

    Nothing is the school in 1897. I’m sure he had no students. Hawaiians? How’d he communicate? Language barrier.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.