On December 2, 1897, Carl Smith and Nelle Wood married in Atlantic, Iowa; later that month they left aboard the ‘Martha Davis’ from San Francisco and arrived in the Islands on December 27, 1897; Carl was 27 and his new bride was 26.
Carl was born September 4, 1870 in Cambridge, Vermont, son of Edward Charles and Marilla (Derby) Smith, and studied at the public schools of San Jose, California.
He attended the University of California and Stanford University and gained a law degree from Northwestern University in 1896.
He arrived in Honolulu in 1897, where he was associated with the law firm of Kinney & Ballou until June, 1898, when he moved to Hilo.
In Hilo he was associated in the practice of law with various partners, including D. H. Hitchcock and Charles F . Parsons. He had been in the private practice of law for many years, his two sons Wendell and Merrill joining him in 1920, and his grandson, Donn, joined the staff in 1953.
Along the way, Hawaii law allowed and defined a process for people to change their name.
Section 2350 of the Revised Laws of Hawaii was amended to read: “It shall not be lawful to change any name adopted or conferred under this Chapter, except upon a decree of the Governor …”
“… which decree shall be founded upon the petition of the person desirous of changing his or her name and shall be published for at least four consecutive weeks in some newspaper of general circulation in the Territory of Hawaii in such decree mentioned.” (Approved April 17, 1907, Governor GR Carter)
Carl sought to change his.
Notices for “the Matter of the Petition of Carl Schurz Smith for Change of Name” were published in the newspaper Dec. 12, 19, 26 (1911), Jan. 2, 12 (1912).
Those notices stated that Governor Walter F Frear “ordered and decreed that the name of Carl Schurz Smith hereby is changed to Carl Schurz Carlsmith”. (Hawaiian Star, December 19, 1911)
Implementation of the name change had its challenges …
“When Governor Frear left behind him the palmless shores of Makapuu point and proceeded towards the Golden Gate it was in full possession of the fact that when a man changes his name all public documents of which he might be a signer must have attached to them a certified copy of the change.”
“But it was with an equally profound ignorance of the fact that this important change had been effected in the landscape of Hilo that Secretary Mott-Smith assumed the duties of the acting Governor.”
“Upon taking his seat in the executive chamber and calling for the memo book he was first accosted by his gentlemanly and unobtrusive secretary who, pushing a broad sheet of parchment before him, designated a certain spot upon it and remarked.”
Name changing has consequences … “‘Sign here,’ please, The First National Bank of Squedunkport, in which Mr. Carl S. Carlsmith of Hilo has a small deposit, requires a certified copy of the change in his name. Thank you.’”
And gazing upon the extra fanciful chirographic specimen which designated Mr. Mott-Smith’s first official act, he passed out. But, alas, about this time the first national banks, and the second national banks and the other banks throughout the country as well as other Institutions who do business with Mr. Carlsmith began to clamor for official explanations.”
“Within a week Mr. Mott-Smith’s hair was standing straighter up and his signature was slanting further over and his profanity gradually rose from plain mush to the expressive buckwheats of yesterday.”
“This was occasioned by no less a fact that following the acting-Governor jubilation Monday over the completion of the deal for the land for the Hilo wharf in which Mr. Carlsmith was the other party …”
“… the private secretary yesterday presented to him a parchment which was to assure all future generations that the name which Mr. Carlsmith appended to the wharf agreement was a true and certified copy of the proclamation on file in the Governor’s office.” (Hawaiian Gazette, May 31, 1912)
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