Thursday, September 23, 1999

100 Who Made A Difference

Star Wallace Rider Farrington Star

Star-Bulletin file photo
Two unidentified members of the Junior Police Organization
present former Gov. Wallace Rider Farrington with a haku on
an Iolani Palace lanai in observance of Boys' Day in 1925.

Farrington left
lasting legacy

By Helen Altonn


FARRINGTON High School, Farrington Hall at the University of Hawaii and Farrington Highway bear his name.

They represent only a fraction of Wallace Rider Farrington's legacy in Hawaii.

The New Englander came here in 1894 when he was 23 to become editor of the Pacific Commercial Advertiser.

When he died at age 62 on Oct. 6, 1933, he left behind lasting civic, education and government improvements.

He was executive of three Honolulu newspapers, the sixth governor of Hawaii and architect of progressive education, political, social and governmental changes.

He left the Pacific Commercial Advertiser in 1897 to return to the mainland, then came back the following year to become editor of the Evening Bulletin.

The Bulletin merged with the Hawaiian Star in 1912 to become the Star-Bulletin and he became vice president and general business manager.

He was a Republican and was active in that party after Hawaii's annexation by the United States in 1898.

He continued in the newspaper business until 1921 when President Warren G. Harding appointed him as Hawaii's governor. After serving two terms, he became president and publisher of The Star-Bulletin.

While governor, he encouraged education and agricultural training, established the Territorial Budget of the Bureau and had a leading role in creation of the Hawaii National Park and the Territorial Retirement System.

He fostered Hawaii's Bill of Rights and Declaration of Rights.

The two gave Hawaii federal lands for public education and ended discrimination against Chinese and Japanese citizens who had been unable to travel freely between Hawaii and the mainland.

Farrington advocated annexation of the Republic of Hawaii to the United States and envisioned expanded opportunities under statehood. He promoted Hawaii as the hub of the Pacific.

The College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts in Hawaii was created in Manoa Valley under his leadership. It eventually became the state's land grant university.

Farrington strongly backed efforts to give native Hawaiians homesteads and perpetuate land grants.

Among resolutions adopted in his memory when he died was one saying: "He was a stout staff in the hand of one walking upon a strange road. He was a friend of Hawaii and of all men of good will."

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