JULY 3, 1956


Born in Honolulu, Hawai’i, on December 15, 1871, Wilson was of Hawaiian royal lineage on his mother’s side.  His parents were friends of King Kalākaua and Queen Liliʻuokalani and his father was Marshal of the Kingdom under the Queen.  A construction job with O’ahu Railway & Land in 1890 led him to pursue civil engineering.  With monetary support from the Queen, he enrolled at Stanford University in 1891, however, funds dried up after the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893 and he was forced to quit.  Initially involved in running guns in 1895 in support of a counter-revolution to restore the monarchy, when that coup failed, he rejoined O’ahu Railway & Land in 1896.  From there, Wilson served as roads engineer for both Maui and Honolulu counties before entering politics.  Wilson failed to win a seat on the Territorial Senate in 1918, but with the death of Honolulu Mayor Joseph J. Fern in 1920, Wilson was selected to succeed him.  He served 3 times as mayor (1920-27, 1929-31, and 1946-54).  

Source:  Peter T. Young, “John (Johnny) Henry Wilson,” Ho’okuleana, 7/2/2013.  Retrieved 7/5/2019, http://totakeresponsibility.blogspot.com/2013/07/john-johnny-henry-wilson.html . 
Photo:  Author unknown.  Date:  Pre-1921.  From Siddall, John William , ed. (1921) Men of Hawaii, 2, p. 434.  Public Domain in U.S.:  Pre 1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less.

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