Frederick Krauss, and the family connection to Hawaii

Painting of Krauss home built around 1910, by local artist Donna.

My existence in Hawaii comes in pulses.  People in Utah know we visit Hawaii with regularity... conversations often start with "Have you been to Hawaii recently?"  Our friends in Hawaii exclaim, "You're back!"


Manoa Valley, 1900. Note the extensive taro and rice fields.
The Hawaii connection is from Caroline's side of the family.  Her great-grandfather, Frederick Krauss, moved to the Territory of Hawaii in 1901 to teach agriculture to Hawaiians at Kamehameha Schools.  He was then hired as one of the first ag professors in the land-grant university that became the University of Hawaii-Manoa.  Krauss bought property near the new university from a British ivory dealer, and named the property "Ruralnook."  Krauss built the home in the painting above using plans purchased from Ladies Home Journal magazine (the plans were for a "California bungalow"), and it was completely restored by Caroline's parents in the 1970s or 80s. 

The Manoa home is seen in the upper left corner of this 1954 photo, now on display in the Manoa Library.

Caroline never rests.  She is in the process of repainting the Manoa house.
So our family's presence in Hawaii (the Krauss line) began in 1901, and since Frederick Krauss later brought his father to Honolulu, that makes our kids, Katelin and Wesley, the 6th generation here to walk barefoot in the grass.

In 1936, Professor Krauss retired as director of the University of Hawaii Agriculture Extension Service.  I came across a newspaper article written at his retirement, stating that he planned to write a book on the topic "life begins at 66."  "I should like to see the time when everyone retires at 55," he said.  "There is so much to fill the years after retirement.  I feel that every hour of every day hereafter will be important, for there are just an allotted number left, and I want to make the most of them."  Alas, I don't believe he completed this project.  Maybe Caroline and I will finish this project for him!

I did find an article, dated 1960, when he was 90 years old, where he shared some tidbits of a good life.  "Growing old gracefully is a difficult art, especially for a farmer who wants to be close to mother earth."  He had suffered a stroke the previous year.  The article continued, "Go into a field that you love.  Your success depends on your love for your work.  Farming has never been a drudgery for me, but a pleasure."  He also delighted in telling people about his super food - a bowl of oatmeal every morning.

He was always the champion of Hawaiians, receiving the Order of Ke Ali'i Pauahi honor from Kamehameha Schools in 1959.  He died in 1962, at the age of 92, hailed as the "father of diversified agriculture in Hawaii."  His death rated an editorial in the Star-Bulletin newspaper, titled "He loved the soil."

Caroline's great-grandmother, "Mrs. Frederick (maiden name inserted here) Krauss," died the year before Frederick.  As a sign of the times, her obituary focused on her husband and her children, but it did mention a great-granddaughter named Caroline!

If you are familiar with the UH Manoa campus, you may have been in Krauss Hall.  It's named after Frederick Krauss, Caroline's great-grandfather.

"Student Support Services is located in Krauss Hall room 114. Krauss Hall is located along Dole Street, across the UHM law library. Krauss Hall originally housed the Pineapple Research Institute, which conducted much of the scientific study of the domestication of the pineapple for commercial production. (The building is on the Historic Hawai‘i Register of Historic Sites)."


Caroline "raking THE leaf" in Manoa... a royal palm frond.
This pulsation of presence in Hawaii leads to a strange familiarity with people and places.  The Starbucks barista, the librarian at the Manoa Library, the head lifeguard at the pool, the manager at Safeway... they are all familiar to me, and probably me to them, but as seen through blurry lenses... you can recognize them, with no details.  When I showed up in Starbucks this morning to get my paper and a coffee, there was the same manager that I've seen for a number of years.  He doesn't think, "I wonder where you've been."  It's more like, "Here's that guy that comes in irregularly."  A smile and 2 bucks will get you a cup of Pike Place (their flagship coffee roast)!

Front yard view.


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