William Hyde Rice

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The Honorable
William Hyde Rice
William Hyde Rice in uniform.jpg
William Hyde Rice in his uniform as Governor of Kauai
Governor of Kauai
In office
Monarch Queen Liliʻuokalani
Preceded by Lanihau
Personal details
Born (1846-07-23)July 23, 1846
Honolulu, Oahu, Kingdom of Hawaii
Died June 15, 1924(1924-06-15) (aged 77)
Territory of Hawaii, United States
Nationality Kingdom of Hawaii
Republic of Hawaii
United States
Spouse(s) Mary Waterhouse
Children 8
Occupation Businessman, Politician
Religion Congregationalism
Mary Waterhouse Rice

William Hyde Rice (1846–1924) was a businessman and politician during the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. He collected and published legends of Hawaiian mythology.


William Hyde Rice was born at Honolulu, Hawaii on July 23, 1846. His father was William Harrison Rice (1813–1863), and mother was Mary Sophia Hyde, Protestant missionary teachers at the Punahou School. At an early age Rice began to amass knowledge of Hawaiian culture, myths and legends – along with his fortune. Like his father, he was a student of Hawaiian legends, especially the myth of Pele.

In 1854 the family moved to Līhuʻe on the island of Kauaʻi. His father became manager of a sugarcane plantation, and in 1856, his father completed the first irrigation system for sugar for the Lihue Plantation in East Kauaʻi.[1] He attended a boarding school at Kōloa, run by Reverend Daniel Dole.[2] He then attended Punahou School, and Braton's College in Oakland, California. In Honolulu, on October 17, 1872 he married Mary Waterhouse (1847–1933), and had 8 children:

  1. Son William Henry Rice was born June 24, 1874, married Mary Agnes Girvin on June 8, 1897, managed Līhuʻe ranch, and then became deputy Sheriff in 1900 and Sheriff of Kauaʻi county in 1905.[3] He died in 1945.
  2. Son Charles Atwood Rice was born September 12, 1876 and married Grace Ethel King (1880–1940) on June 20, 1899. He served in the legislature of the Territory of Hawaii as representative from 1905 to 1911, and then in the Territorial Senate from 1913 through 1937.[4] He died in 1964, and his daughter Juliet Rice Wichman (1901–1987) was co-founder of the Kauaʻi Museum.[5]
  3. Son Arthur Hyde Rice was born July 25, 1878.
  4. Daughter Mary Eleanor Rice was born November 25, 1880, married W. H. Scott, and died January 22, 1923.
  5. Daughter Anna Charlotte Rice (called "Daisy") was born August 5, 1882, and married Ralph Lyman Wilcox (who inherited part of Grove Farm from uncle George Norton Wilcox and grandson of missionary David Belden Lyman).
  6. Son Harold Waterhouse Rice was born November 10, 1883, attended Princeton for one year, and married Charlotte Baldwin (1884–1938) on December 7, 1907. She was daughter of Alexander & Baldwin founder Henry Perrine Baldwin. He was elected to the Territorial Senate for Maui from 1919 through 1947,[6] and died June 5, 1962.[7]
  7. Son Philip LaVergne Rice was born July 22, 1886, became a judge,[8] and died in 1974.[5]
  8. Emily Dorothea Rice was born September 30, 1889 married L. L. Sexton,[3] and died in 1975.[9]

In 1872, 26-year-old Rice formed Kipu Plantation and Lihue Ranch, purchasing the Kipu parcel from Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani for $3,000 to breed cattle and fine horses. His family became one of the top ten private landowers on the island.[10]

Rice loved politics, serving in the Hawaiian House of Representatives from 1870–1890 and participating in the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893. He was appointed the last of the Governors of Kauai in 1891 by Queen Liliʻuokalani, whom he later helped to overthrow and place under house arrest. Rice adapted easily, serving his childhood friend Sanford B. Dole (son of his school-master), who was named President of the new Republic of Hawaii, in the senate from 1895–1898.[11] Rice helped to draw up the 1887 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii (known as the "Bayonet Constitution").

Rice spoke the Hawaiian language as his first language and published a valuable collection of Hawaiian Legends, a reprint of which is available online from the Bernice P. Bishop Museum's Special Publications section.[12]

William Hyde Rice died June 15, 1924. Charles Atwood Rice took over the business at that time. Charles would serve in the legislature of the Territory of Hawaii from 1905–1937.[13] Still in the Rice family, Kipu Ranch offers ranch tours to visitors.

Family tree[edit]

Rice-Cooke family tree (partial)
William Harrison Rice
Mary Sophia Hyde
Amos Starr Cooke
Juliette Montague
Paul Isenberg
Maria Rice
William Hyde Rice
Anna Rice
C. M. Cooke
D. Paul R. Isenberg
Charles A. Rice
Harold Rice
C. M. Cooke Jr.
Clarence Hyde Cooke
George Paul Cooke
Dora Jane Cole
Juliet Rice Wichman
Harold Thomas Kay
Anna Frances Cooke
Francis Judd Cooke
Alan Cooke Kay
(born 1932)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lihue Plantation Company History (Kauai)". Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association Plantation Archives. University of Hawaii at Mānoa Library. 2004. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  2. ^ George F. Nellist, ed. (1925). "Rice, William Hyde". The Story of Hawaii and Its Builders. Honolulu Star Bulletin. 
  3. ^ a b John William Siddall (1917). Men of Hawaii: being a biographical reference library, complete and authentic, of the men of note and substantial achievement in the Hawaiian Islands. Honolulu Star-Bulletin. p. 223. 
  4. ^ "Rice, Charles A. office record". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved September 21, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Marylou Bradley, ed. (2002). "Rice Family Papers 1838–1964". Kauaʻi Historical Society. Retrieved September 25, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Rice, Harold W. office record". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved September 21, 2010. 
  7. ^ S. Viehweg (October 2004). "Makawao Cemetery, Makawao, Maui County, Hawaii". USGenWeb archives. Retrieved September 27, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Rice, Judge Philip L. office record". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved September 21, 2010. 
  9. ^ Henry Soszynski (April 7, 2010). "Kauai (Kingdom)". web page on University of Queensland personal site. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  10. ^ "How Kauai's Owned". Honolulu Record 4 (1). August 2, 1951. pp. 12–13. Retrieved September 28, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Rice, William Hyde office record". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  12. ^ William Hyde Rice, preface by Edith J. K. Rice (1923). "Hawaiian Legends". Bulletin 3. Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu,. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  13. ^ "Rice, Charles A. office record". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Royal Governor of Kauaʻi
Succeeded by