|Birth: ||Mar. 3, 1861|
South Carolina, USA
|Death: ||Aug. 22, 1919|
Frederick Meyer was born to Henry Meyer, an immigrant from Germany. His mother's name is unknown. At the age of 13, Frederick's father had sent him aboard a ship that was to take him to a boarding school in California. When the ship made a stop-over in Kealakekua Bay of the Big Island of Hawaii, Frederick jumped ship.
He took employment at the Waiakea plantation in Hilo. He gained experience, and moved on to Sprecklesville, and later to Paiu and Kailua, Maui. It was on Maui that Frederick met a pure Hawaiian woman named Mary Kukila Kapu. They wed and had their first child.
Frederick soon moved his family to Oahu, where he secured a position at the Waianae Sugar Plantation. He quickly rose to be head (luna) under the manager, David Center. In 1899 he succeeded Center as manager and held that position for 20 years.
Frederick was known as a tough but fair despot to his plantation workers. Compared to the other plantations, the workers at the Waianae Sugar Plantation lived a rather "cushy" lifestyle. They lived in camp homes that were fully furnished, and included running water and electricity (a luxury in those days). All of this was provided free of charge, as part of their employment on the plantation.
He provided both a Christian and a Catholic Church, and even provided a Buddhist temple for his Japanese workers. The children of the plantation workers were sent to school on the plantation. Extra-curricular activities were encouraged and provided by Frederick; the plantation had it's own baseball team that would compete against other plantation teams in the state. There was a music band for special occasions and concerts.
Food was aplenty on the plantation. Frederick provided seeds and tools for the workers to grow their own fruits and vegetables. Since the plantation sat right near the shores of Waianae, fish was abundant. Livestock were kept on the ranch, and everyone had recieved their fair share of meat (according to their family size) each week. Mr. Meyer also provided a suckling pig for birthday parties and wedding celebrations.
Frederick did not allow the state police unto his plantation. Rather, he took care of any insubordinates by "sending his huge, strapping sons out to knock a few heads together". No one ever spent a night in jail, and everyone was given a second chance.
Perhaps the best indication that his workers were content to work for this iron-willed yet kind-hearted man was the fact that during the Great Plantation Strike of 1909, all of Meyer's workers refused to participate.
Mary Kukila Kai Kanaloa Kapu Meyer (1871 - 1925)
John Joseph Meyer (1887 - 1953)*
Created by: ReysBB
Record added: Aug 24, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 15491613