Pau Hana for Hawaii’s Sugar King

This week in history  — December 26, 1908 — Hawaii’s “sugar king,” Claus Spreckels, died after a brief illness. As one of the ten richest Americans, Spreckels dominated the sugar industries on the U.S. West Coast and in Hawaii from mid-1800s until his death. In Hawaii, he owned a plantation town, Spreckelsville, Maui; and incorporated Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company (HC&S).

Today, the name “Matson” is synonymous with Hawaii’s shipping industry–a lifeline for the world’s most isolated population center. In its early years, Spreckels financed William Matson’s ships for his new shipping company.

Spreckels gave loans and bribes to King Kalakaua and cabinet members. In return, Spreckels got land and water rights. The water rights for the Northeast Maui streams included complete ownership and control over the water. He irrigated the water to Spreckelsville plantation.

Read more about the “sugar king” in “Hardy Pioneer and Benefactor of State Died.”

“Hardy Pioneer and Benefactor of State Died”
The San Francisco call, Dec. 27, 1908, Page 18
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1908-12-27/ed-1/seq-18/

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