Leonard E Thayer was born in New Hampshire on November 24, 1842. He served as a First Lieutenant in the Civil War and then took a business course in college, after which he went west, settling in Michigan.
Thayer spent the next thirty-five years of his life in the piano business. In 1905, he went to Honolulu, where he organized the Thayer Piano Co. (Music Trade Review, 1917)
Wade Warren Thayer was born at Jackson, Jackson County, Michigan, September 15, 1873, the son of Leonard E and Fannie (Fletcher) Thayer.
He received his early education in the public schools of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and at Howe School, Indiana, entering Hobart College in 1891. Later he attended the University of Michigan, receiving an AB degree in 1895 and a law degree in 1896.
Before going to the Pacific Coast Thayer was engaged in newspaper work at Salt Lake City, Utah. “He came to Honolulu (from San Francisco) for the Advertiser in June, 1900, resigning in October of that year to enter upon the practice of law.” He had an office in the Stangenwald building.
He was a business organizer, “East meets West on the financial map of the world when daily business is transacted at the International Trust Co., Ltd, Honolulu. Establishment of this institution, in which capital of American and Japanese stockholders is equally invested, was made possible by Wade Warren Thayer”.
Thayer has been identified with other business enterprises. He was secretary and treasurer of the Consolidated Soda Works from 1905 to 1916, had been secretary of the Thayer Piano Co since 1910 and was a director of the Sumitomo Bank of Hawaii, Ltd. (Nellist)
In 1909, he was appointed second district magistrate for the district of Honolulu. (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, October 8, 1909)
He was appointed and served as attorney general, starting on January 1, 1913, then, in 1914, Secretary of the Territory of Hawai‘i. The Act providing a government “for the Territory of Hawai‘i” noted, “The executive power is lodged in a Governor, a Secretary, both to be appointed by the President and hold office four years”.
The Act further noted that the secretary, “shall (among other things) record and preserve all the laws and proceedings of the legislature and all acts and proceedings of the governor, and promulgate proclamations of the governor.” When the Governor was away, the Secretary served as acting Governor.
“(Thayer’s) conduct of the office (of attorney general) is regarded as having been sound and progressive and though he is a Democrat, he has been given strong Republican support for the secretaryship.” (Honolulu Star-Bulletin, January 27, 1914) He was made secretary of the Territory, holding this position from 1914 to 1917.
“Nearly four years of work on the part of Secretary of the Territory Wade Warren Thayer came to a close today with the issuance from the press of the Paradise of the Pacific of a digest of the reports of the local supreme court for the last 70 years.”
“Secretary Thayer began work on the digest four years ago and labored off and on during the first three years, but during the last year he devoted practically all of his time to the big task.”
“The decisions and reports are contained in 22 volumes and they date as far back as June 6, 1847, when Kamehameha IV was king and when William Lee was Justice of what was then known as the superior court, later the supreme court. … The table of cases, including all citations, is the work of Mrs Thayer.” (Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 23, 1916)
Thayer liked golf, “The White Rock cup trophy of the Honolulu Golf Club was played for yesterday both morning and afternoon on the Country Club links, and was won by Wade Warren Thayer, by a net score of 80 points.” (Hawaiian Star, June 10, 1907)
He helped form gold clubs, “The Manoa Golf Club ceased to be last night, being formally disbanded at a meeting in the Young Hotel. In his final report, the secretary, WW Thayer, recited the history of the club since its inception in May, 1904, when the number of golfers in the Territory was probably not more than fifty.”
“’Now,’ said Mr. Thayer, ‘their numbers are well up in the hundreds. We have all known that the life of the club would be necessarily brief, and now that its days are numbered we have the satisfaction of knowing that a worthy successor will take up its work – the Oahu Country Club.’”
“’It should be further a source of gratification to us that had it not been for the Interest in golf that the Manoa Golf Club has stirred up the Country Club would not be so near a reality as it is at the present time, perhaps might never have been a reality at all.’”
“Practically all the members of the Manoa club are among the charter members of the Country Club, the latter being, in fact, almost a continuation of the pioneer golf association.” (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, June 30, 1906)
Thayer was part of the organizing group, forming the O‘ahu Country Club. The September 1, 1904 Evening Bulletin noted the lease transaction between “Mary Rooke (widow) et al (CB Rooke heirs) to Wade W Thayer; pc land, Waolani, Honolulu; 20 yrs at $900 per an. B 283 p 441. Dated Oct 2, 1905”.
Then a subsequent transaction (assignment of lease) was made from Thayer to the O‘ahu Country Club, “Wade W Thayer to Oahu Country Club; AL; lands, Waolani, Honolulu; $1. B 283, p 444, Dated Sept 10, 1906”.
Thayer married Rhoda Green in Honolulu, June 30, 1908. He died June 4, 1959, in Honolulu.
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