Asa G Thurston, son of missionary Asa Thurston, married Sarah Andrews, daughter of missionary Lorrin Andrews and Mary Wilson Andrews, in October 1853.
“Mr Thurston soon met with severe financial reverses. In his strenuous efforts to recover himself he contracted aneurism, of which he died in the early sixties, leaving his widow and three orphan children in poverty.” (Hawaiian Star, January 16, 1899)
Sarah Andrews Thurston, became a teacher for nine years in the Royal School in Nu‘uanu Valley to support her young family after her husband’s death.
In 1868 she was offered the job of matron of a new industrial school for boys in Makawao, Maui, known as the Haleakala School, nine miles from the summit of that mountain. Her brother, Robert Andrews, had been appointed principal, and Sarah moved her family – Lorrin, his older brother, Robert, and sister, Helen – to Maui. (Twigg-Smith)
“The location is a remarkably healthy one, in Makawao, on the slope of Haleakala, the great mountain of Maui, at an elevation of some 6,000 feet above the level of the sea, in the range of the trade winds, and consequently enjoys a temperature of perpetual spring, never either uncomfortably hot or cold.”
“It is also admirably secluded, ‘far from the busy haunts of men,’ and there are no temptations for the boys to roam. The property is a valuable one for grazing and tree-culture, comprising something over 1,000 acres leased from the government by the Board of Education.”
“Belonging to the establishment is a fine herd of cattle, which under the care of Mr. Harvey Rogers, supplies a large quantity of milk, part of which is used by the scholars, and much fine butter made of the rest.”
“The school numbers at present thirty-three boarders and five day scholars, and applications are now pending from others wishing to place their boys where they can be educated.”
“The studies embrace a good common school course, with religious exercises, singing, and military drill. The discipline of the school is strictly military.”
“Flogging is abolished, and the effort is being made to bring the boys to be useful men, as well in the practical work of life as in scholarship.”
“The boys are organized as a company of Infantry, and have their officers appointed from their racks on of good behavior, study and discipline.”
“The buildings are convenient, but need enlarging if many more scholars are to be admitted. There ought to be room for seventy or eighty.”
“The scholars are expected and required to assist in the work of the dairy, in agriculture, tree-planting, and in fact, in everything that is required to be done on the place.”
“They are about being uniformed, i.e., the dress suit for Sundays and holidays made of blue flannel, and as a particular pattern must be followed, arrangements have been made so that the suits can all be made at the school. Economy and uniformity is particularly required.”
“A large vegetable garden is being enclosed, and the boys are given plots of ground to cultivate. The articles thus of raised are fairly valued, and each boy is credited on his school account with what he has thus furnished.”
“The food is abundant and good in quality; kalo, as pai-ai, poi, beef, fresh and salt potatoes, rice, milk in abundance, syrup, and hard-bread are the staples.”
“The school is flourishing, and is a credit to the Principal, Mr. F. L. Clarke, to the Matron, Mrs. Thurston, and to all concerned. (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, June 3, 1873)
“The annual examination of this school for boys, was held on Thursday, June 8, and was largely attended by an interested audience of natives and foreigners, who, by their frequent expressions of applause, shewed that they were much pleased with the exercises.”
“The school-room was crowded at an early hour, and from the beginning to the end of the examination there was exhibited on the part of the teachers an earnest endeavor to draw out the capabilities of to the scholars; and this was satisfactorily responded to by the latter in their answers to the various questions propounded.”
“We were struck with the range of topics. ‘Arithmetic’ embraced questions of practical importance not found in the books, but of first value to the resident of these Islands; ‘Geography,’ (in which super-excellence was shown) embraced a wider range than is usually seen in its study …”
“… and the questions in Orthography evinced careful study, and a sensible idea of what is demanded of the young Hawaiian. Ease of delivery, correctness of gesture, and distinctness in elocution, made the duty of listening to the selections a pleasure.”
“One thing struck us as peculiarly happy – the majority of the pieces spoken gave prominence to our duties and obligations to God; and as all the pieces spoken were the selections of the scholars themselves, we are lead to the inference that ‘out of the
abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.’” (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, June 17, 1876)
As noted, son of the school Matron, Lorrin Thurston, was a student at the school, as were other notables, including his classmates Robert Wilcox and Eben Low.
The school facilities were later used by Maunaolu Seminary (following a fire at their facilities in 1898).