Kauai Governor Paul Puhiula Kanoa

Paul Puhiula Kanoa (1832-1895), Kauai’s governor from 1881 to 1886 during the reign of King David Kalakaua, was an alii — his parents being Kaaikaulehelehe and Kapau, and his hanai father, with whom he is sometimes mistaken for, was Paulo Kanoa, the governor of Kauai from 1846 to 1877.

After his marriage to Kaleipua in 1856, his good friend, Victoria Kamamalu (1838-1866), the crown princess and kuhina nui of Hawaii, sent him to Kauai to manage her more than 51,000-acre estate, over which he was given exclusive control in her name.

There, he improved Kamamalu’s lands and was consequently allowed a share of its proceeds, with which he purchased part of the Niumalu ahupuaa.

And, in recognition of his influence on Kauai, and of the spirit of kindness he’d shown every person, Kalakaua appointed Kanoa the royal governor of Kauai in 1881.

In Gov. Kanoa’s day, his Niumalu property, on which Nuimalu Beach Park is now situated, was the site of many a lively, late-night party, with dancers, singers, musicians, ship captains, dignitaries and Hawaiian royalty, including the “Merrie Monarch,” King David Kalakaua, in attendance.

With Kanoa there was no class distinction, for in his Niumalu home he entertained the high alii and the poor Hawaiian, the well-known haole and the laboring man.

His house, which still stands, would later become the residence for many years of Judge William C. Achi Jr. and his family, and later, the home of Judge Achi’s son, Stanford Hokulani Achi.

During the reign of Kalakaua —1874-1891 — Kanoa was also appointed tax-collector for the government, land appraiser for the island of Kauai, a member of the House of Nobles in the Legislature of the Hawaiian kingdom, the minister of finance, and a member of the Privy Council.

When he died, his wife, Kaleipua, inherited his Niumalu estate, and when she passed away in 1897, her heirs were: Kanehiwa, Hoomalu, Kaleipualiilii, Eva Kapualanilehua and Lukela.
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. Hank Soboleski March 31, 2019 12:17 am Reply

    The title is incorrect. Paul P. Kanoa was not the second Kauai governor. Correct title should be: Kauai Governor Paul Puhiula Kanoa.

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