“(T)he executive power of the government of the Territory of Hawaii shall be vested in a governor, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, and shall hold office for four years and until his successor shall be appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed by the President.”
“He shall be not less than thirty-five years of age; shall be a citizen of the Territory of Hawaii; shall be commander in chief of the militia thereof; may grant pardons or reprieves for offenses against the laws of the said Territory and reprieves for offenses against the laws of the United States until the decision of the President is made known thereon.” (The Government of Hawaii, April 30, 1900)
The Territory of Hawaiʻi was organized on June 14, 1900, remaining a territory for 59 years. Twelve people served as territorial governor, each appointed by the President of the US.
1. Sanford Ballard Dole (1900-1903)
Sanford Ballard Dole (April 23, 1844 – June 9, 1926) was born in Honolulu to Protestant Christian missionaries from Maine. His father was Daniel Dole principal at Punahou School and mother was Emily Hoyt Ballard (his mother died from complications within a few days of his birth.)
The monarchy ended on January 17, 1893; Dole was named president of the Provisional Government of Hawaiʻi. The Provisional Government held a constitutional convention and on July 4, 1894, established the Republic of Hawaii. Dole would serve as the first and only president from 1894 to 1898.
President William McKinley appointed Dole to become the first territorial governor after US annexation of Hawaiʻi, and the Hawaiian Organic Act organized its government. Dole assumed the office on June 14, 1900 but resigned November 23, 1903 to accept an appointment by Theodore Roosevelt as judge for the US District Court
2. George Robert Carter (1903-1907)
George Robert Carter (December 28, 1866 – February 11, 1933) was born in Honolulu. His mother was Sybil Augusta Judd, daughter of Gerrit P Judd, and his father was businessman Henry Alpheus Peirce Carter.
Carter was educated at Fort Street School in Honolulu (now McKinley High School,) Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts and Yale University. He married Helen Strong, daughter of Eastman Kodak president Henry A Strong April 19, 1892; they had four children.
In 1895 Carter returned to Hawaiʻi to become the cashier of C. Brewer & Co., where his father had been a senior partner from 1862 to 1874. From 1898 to 1902, he helped organize and manage the Hawaiian Trust Company, and was managing director of the Hawaiian Fertilizer Company. In addition, he served as a director for Bank of Hawaii, C. Brewer and Alexander & Baldwin
President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him Secretary of the Territory in 1902, and then Territorial Governor in 1903. In 1905, during Carter’s administration, the current system of county governments was created; Counties Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Hawaii and Kalawao took effect on January 1, 1906. Oahu County later became the City and County of Honolulu in 1909.
3. Walter Francis Frear (1907-1913)
Walter Francis Frear (October 29, 1863 – January 2, 1948) was born in Grass Valley, California. His father, Reverend Walter Frear, came to the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi as a missionary, and then lived in California. His mother was Frances Elmira Foster.
The family returned to Honolulu in 1870, where his father was pastor of the Fort Street Church until 1881. He graduated from Punahou School in 1881, Yale with a B.A. in 1885, and Yale law school in 1890. On August 1, 1893 he married Mary Emma Dillingham, the daughter of Benjamin Dillingham; they had two daughters.
Frear was appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt on August 15, 1907. Frear Hall, a dormitory building built in the 1950s on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus, was named after Governor Frear’s wife Mary Dillingham Frear, a member of the University’s Board of Regents from 1920–1943 (the structure was demolished in 2006 and replaced in 2008 by new dorm facility also called Frear Hall.
4. Lucius Eugene Pinkham (1913-1918)
Lucius Eugene Pinkham (September 19, 1850 – November 2, 1922) was born in Chicopee, Massachusetts. He attended public schools in Boston and Hartford, Connecticut. Although he intended to attend Yale, a horse-riding accident prevented him from walking for several years and he never attended college.
Pinkham arrived in Hawaii in 1892 to build a coal handling plant for Oahu Railway and Land Company, and then went to California in 1894. From 1898 to 1903 he was manager of Pacific Hardware, another family business of Benjamin Dillingham.
On April 13, 1904, Pinkham was appointed President of the territorial Board of Health. While President of the Board of Health, he developed the idea of dredging the marshlands of Waikīkī via a two-mile long drainage canal. Pinkham was appointed governor by President Woodrow Wilson on November 29, 1913. The construction of what would become the Ala Wai Canal and the drainage of the Waikiki are considered to be his most enduring legacies.
5. Charles James McCarthy (1918-1921)
Charles James McCarthy (August 4, 1861 – November 26, 1929) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Charles McCarthy and Joana (McCarthy) McCarthy. McCarthy moved with his parents to San Francisco, California in 1866.
He was a member of the House of Nobles in 1890, supporter of Liliuokalani and ironically a captain in the pro-annexation Honolulu Rifles. He also was a territorial senator 1907-12 and treasurer 1912-14.
He was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to serve as Governor. He was the first governor to advocate statehood for Hawaiʻi.
He was later given a job as Washington representative of the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce, and later general manager of Hawaiian Dredging Co during which he worked on the Waikiki Reclamation project which resulted in the construction of the Ala Wai Canal.
6. Wallace Rider Farrington (1921-1929)
Wallace Rider Farrington (May 3, 1871 – October 6, 1933) was born in Orono, Penobscot County, Maine. An avid traveler, he came to the Islands and was persuaded to stay to become the editor of the Honolulu Advertiser; he left the Advertiser and became editor of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Interested in local politics, he was elected Mayor of Honolulu.
President Warren Harding appointed Farrington as Governor. Wallace Rider Farrington High School in Kalihi is named for him; they adopted ‘The Governors’ as its nickname and mascot.
7. Lawrence McCully Judd (1929-1934)
Lawrence McCully Judd (March 20, 1887 – October 4, 1968) was born in Honolulu, grandson of Gerrit P Judd (an early American Missionary and cabinet minister to King Kamehameha III.)
Herbert Hoover appointed Judd. Judd was devoted to the Hansen’s Disease-afflicted residents of Kalaupapa on the island of Molokai and as Governor; he overhauled the system of governance there. He later became Kalaupapa’s resident superintendent.
A source of controversy during his tenure, Judd commuted the sentence of Grace Hubbard Fortescue, convicted in the territorial courts of manslaughter in the death of a local man, Joseph Kahahawai in the ‘Massie Affair.’
8. Joseph Boyd Poindexter (1934-1942)
Joseph Boyd Poindexter (April 14, 1869 – December 3, 1951) was born in Canyon City, Oregon to Thomas W and Margaret Pipkin Poindexter.
He was admitted to the Montana Bar in 1892, and served as County Attorney of Beaverhead County, Montana from 1897 to 1903. He later served as a district judge in Montana from 1909 to 1915, and as Attorney General of Montana from 1915 to 1917.
President Woodrow Wilson appointed Poindexter as Judge on the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii; President Franklin D Roosevelt appointed Poindexter governor of Hawaii.
In the immediate aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Poindexter placed the territory under martial law and allowed the US military to form a military government. The military government would continue until 1943.
9. Ingram Macklin Stainback (1942-1951)
Ingram Macklin Stainback (May 12, 1883 – April 12, 1961) was born in Somerville, Tennessee, he received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago.
He came to Hawaii shortly after graduation and was appointed by Governor Pinkham as Territorial Attorney General. He resigned in 1917 to join the Army and rose to the rank of major. When WWI ended he returned to private practice in Hawaii.
He was appointed to the office by President Franklin D Roosevelt. Stainback was essentially powerless for the first two years of his term since martial law was in effect.
On September 26, 1951, he was appointed by President Harry S Truman as an associate judge to the Hawaii Supreme Court. Stainback argued for Commonwealth status similar to Puerto Rico instead of statehood, arguing that Hawaii would benefit from the federal tax exemption.
10. Oren Ethelbirt Long (1951-1953)
Oren Ethelbirt Long (March 4, 1889 – May 6, 1965) was born in Altoona, Kansas and attended Johnson Bible College in Knoxville, Tennessee, the University of Michigan, and Columbia University in New York City.
He first came to Hawaii in 1917 as a social worker in Hilo. He then held various educational positions in the public school system, eventually serving as a superintendent from 1933 to 1946.
He was appointed Governor of the Territory of Hawaii by President Harry Truman. Long later served in the Hawaii Territorial Senate from 1956-1959. On July 28, 1959 he was elected to one of the two Senate seats from the newly formed State of Hawaii, and took office on August 21, 1959. The other Senator elected was Hiram Fong.
11. Samuel Wilder King (1953-1957)
Samuel Wilder King (December 17, 1886 – March 24, 1959) was born in Honolulu to father James A King, a ship’s master for Samuel Gardner Wilder, and later politician in the Republic of Hawaii. His mother was Charlotte Holmes Davis.
A devout Roman Catholic, King attended Saint Louis School. Upon graduating, King went on to study at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He entered the US Navy as a commissioned officer where he served from 1910 to 1924.
King served in the United States House of Representatives as a delegate from the Territory of Hawaii. President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed King to the governorship, the first of native Hawaiian descent to rise to the highest office in the territory.
12. William Francis Quinn (1957-1959)
William Francis Quinn (July 13, 1919 – August 28, 2006) was born in Rochester, New York. His family moved to St. Louis, Missouri during his youth, where he attended prep school at St. Louis University High School and college at St. Louis University, graduating in 1940.
Quinn entered Harvard Law School, but only finished after his stint in the military. He graduated cum laude in 1947. He served in Hawaii in naval intelligence during World War II. Upon his discharge from service, he settled permanently in Honolulu.
Originally appointed to the office by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in 1959, he defeated challenger John A Burns to win the new state’s first gubernatorial election.