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Preparatory and Girl’s Schools 1888 to 1900

October 29, 1888
At the request of the Trustees, the Preparatory Department is founded and endowed by Charles Reed Bishop.

19 boys under the age of 12 attend. Miss Carrie Reamer is principal. Tuition is $63.00 annually.

The department continued to operate for more than 40 years until it was closed at the end of the 1931-32 school year. Trustees felt at the time that the public school system prepared younger boys to meet the entrance exam requirements for the Boy’s School. In 1943, Kamehameha inaugurated the preparatory department on September 6th. Mrs. Lela Brewer, former principal of Manoa school, is appointed principal of the new K-7th grade Preparatory department with boy and girl day students. Tuition was $60.00.

December 19, 1888
THE FIRST FOUNDER’S DAY – from the Daily Bulletin Weekly Summary December 22, 1888 Honolulu, HI

Charles Reed Bishop gives the principal address in which he further clarifies his wife’s last wishes for her people, partially printed in the Daily Bulletin, below, and in Kamehameha’s Handicraft volume 1.

November 26, 1889
Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum is dedicated and opened to the public.

December 19, 1889
is the founding date. The museum is built in memory of Bernice Pauahi and it holds the possessions of the Bishops, Ruth Ke’elikolani, Queen Emma and other royalty. Charles Reed Bishop endows it with personal funds.

January 20, 1891
King Kalakaua dies of Bright’s disease in San Francisco. Lili’uokalani, Pauahi’s hanai sister, becomes Queen.

June 23, 1891
Kamehameha School for Boys graduates its first class of boys. There are 14 graduates. Standing: 1. William M. Keolanui 2. Fred Beckley 3. Solomon Hanohano 4. William Rathburn 5. Sam Kauhane 6. Moses Kauwe 7. Charles E. King 8. W.E. Brown Sitting: 9. John Waiamau 10. Sam Keliinoi 11. William O. Crowell 12. Robert Pahau 13. Charles Blake 14. Thomas n. Hase

December 19, 1891
Bishop Hall is formally dedicated. It is the main hall of the Boys School. Until Bishop Hall was built, academic classes were held in one wing of the dining hall and in the gymnasium. William Smith of San Francisco designed Bishop Hall. During construction, one of the few serious accidents that have happened at Kamehameha took place when a worker fell and was killed. (L.C.Hudson)

January 17, 1893
The Revolution of 1893. Queen Lili’uokalani is overthrown and abdicates her throne to a group of American businessmen supported by the U.S. military. Lorin Hudson writes in his history of Kamehameha that there was considerable anxiety among the faculty about what the boys might do, and principal Oleson was all for taking action if it was necessary. However, once principal Oleson was replaced by Theodore Richards, who was very opposed to action, the staff and the students were kept on campus and engaged in sports or games. In September of 1893, enrollment dropped to 43, but gradually rose to 90 by years’ end.

December 19, 1894
Kamehameha School for Girls is dedicated. The site was selected November 17, 1893, makai of King street opposite the campus of the school for boys. Today, it is the site of section 8 housing across from Farrington High School. The plans for the buildings were submitted by Ripley and Reynolds. It was one of the most beautiful buildings in Honolulu. Mr. Bishop allowed it to be furnished with items from Keoua Hale.

IDA MAE POPE is selected as the principal of the Girlʻs Schools; she was previously from the Kawaiahaʻo Seminary school. Ms. Pope is devoted to the girls, and knows each one personally; she visits them at their homes during school breaks, and advocates for them once they leave Kamehameha. Some of our most detailed writings about the school come from Ms. Pope via her annual reports to the Trustees of the Bishop Estate, including what students study by subject matter and grade. Ms. Pope helped to found the Kaʻiulani Home for Girls and Lanakila Home for Working Girls. After her death in 1914, the Ida M. Pope Memorial Scholarship Fund was created to assist in educating girls.

1894 The school hospital is built and ULDRICK THOMPSON is the first superintendent of the hospital. Mr. Thompson was originally hired in 1889 and holds various positions throughout his career at Kamehameha Schools; first, as an instructor at the boyʻs school, then vice-principal in 1893, and principal in 1898. Mr. Thompson resigns his principalship September 1, 1900. Uldrick Thompson leaves Kamehameha after more than 30 years with several legacies; One is the incredible Dolphin Clock that he carved, and to this day can be seen on campus at Bishop Hall, another is a portrait of him done by the famous Theodore Wores, whose painting The Lei Seller hangs in the Honolulu Museum of Art, and lastly, and perhaps best, his Reminiscences of the Kamehameha Schools, that entertains and informs us on his experiences here at the school during its infancy.

May 23, 1894
Normal Department was authorized for teaching Kamehameha boys to become teachers. The first normal class was comprised of William Meheula, David Ai, and Henry Blake. As the government’s normal school training program continued to grow, the Trustees deemed it unnecessary to continue Kamehameha’s program and discontinued it in February of 1899.

June 1897
Kamehameha School for Girls graduates its first class. The commencement exercises were held in Kaumakapili Church.

(L to R Top to Bottom) Kalei Ewaliko, Aoe Wong Kong, Elizabeth Kamau, Hattie Kekolohe, Lydia Aholo, Elizabeth Keli’inoi, Keluia Liu, Jessie Mahoahoa, Julia Lovell, Helen Kalola, Miriam Hale, Lewa Iokia, Elizabeth Kahanu, Julia Akana, Malie Kapali.

December 19, 1897
BISHOP MEMORIAL CHAPEL is dedicated in memory of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, and was a gift from Charles Reed Bishop. When the schools moved up to the Kapalama campus, the chapel remained between Farrington high school buildings for many years until it was finally torn down. Bricks from the original chapel are part of the wall facing the new Bishop Memorial Chapel on the Kapalama campus.

January 3, 1898
Charles Reed Bishop resigns as Trustee.

August 12, 1898
Hawai’i becomes a territory of the United States of America.

Princess Ka’iulani dies. She is 23 years old

Lorin Hudson writes of these first years of the schools…

Mr. Bishop’s repeated advice in his letters was not to increase the enrollment by letting in every youth who applied but to pick and choose…to train a select group that will benefit most from the training and in return give the most through service in the community in later years…Busy years those first years and brave years of trial and error and success. Of course, false starts were made and failures were experienced but phoenix-like the school came through each experience. A bit better and a bit further toward realizing the ideals of the founder.