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William Owen SMITH

American William Owen SMITH

Lawyer from a family of American missionaries

Source :  Tim DOWLING

Born: on August 04, 1848 in Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii
Died: on April 13, 1929 in Honolulu, Hawaii


Smith was born in Koloa on the island of Kaua'i. His mother was Millicent Knapp (1816–1891). His father was physician James William Smith (1810–1887). His parents were in the tenth set of missionaries to Hawaii from the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions who arrived in 1842. His sister Charlotte Elizabeth "Lottie" Smith (1845–1896) married Alfred Stedman Hartwell (1836–1912), who was a former general in the American Civil War, on January 10, 1872. His brother Jared Knapp Smith (1849–1897) became a physician and carried on his father's medical practice. His sister Melicent Lena Smith (1854–1943) married William Waterhouse (1852–1942). Waterhouse served as mayor of Pasadena, California 1904–1906.

He attended Daniel Dole's missionary school at Koloa, Punahou School from 1863 to 1866, and then Massachusetts Agricultural College (now the University of Massachusetts Amherst). On his return he worked as a clerk in his brother-in-law Hartwell's law office. He served as sheriff on Kaua?i in 1870 and then Maui in 1872 through 1874. While working at the Lahaina Courthouse, on April 24, 1873 he planted a banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the arrival of Christian missionaries on the island.

On March 23, 1876, he married Mary Abbey Hobron. They had five children: Clarence Hobron Smith, Ethel Frances Smith born November 17, 1879, Pauline Melicent Smith, Anna Katherine Smith, and Lorrin Knapp Smith. He founded the law firm of Smith, Thurston & Kinney with Lorrin A. Thurston and William Ansel Kinney in Honolulu in 1887.

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See Also :

- Category Lawyer, Magistrate