Volume 22 1913 > Volume 22, No. 85 > Obituary, p iii
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- iii

THE death of Dr. W. D. Alexander of Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, came Friday night, February 21st, 1913. He was one of the original members, or founders, of the Polynesian Society, and will be missed by his New Zealand friends as well as by his collaborators of the Hawaiian Islands.

He was born in Honolulu on April 2nd, 1833. His parents were American Missionaries under the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions. He was educated in Puna-hou, now Oahu College, Honolulu, finally graduating from Yale University in New Haven, Conn., U.S.A., in the year 1855, having the honour of being the Salutatorian of his class. For a time he was an instructor in Beloit College, Wisconsin, then came to Honolulu in 1857 to fill the chair of Greek Professorship in Oahu College. He was connected with this college thirteen years, six as a professor and seven as president.

In 1870 he accepted the important charge of the Bureau of Government Survey which he held for about thirty years. He was also a Member of the Privy Council under King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani.

For a number of years he was a member of the Board of Education. In 1874 he was a delegate to the International Meridian Conference in Washington, D.C., in which forty governments were said to have had representation. He was for years a Trustee of the Honolulu Library Association, and was a founder of the Hawaiian Historical Society, in which he was the moving spirit up to the time of his death. He was justly reckoned Hawaii's best historian. He received the degree of LL.D. from Yale University. He was also an F.R.G.S. and D. Sc.

At the time of death he was engaged in preparing a new history of the Hawaiian Islands which will probably be edited and completed by his daughter Mary Alexander, who is already doing some excellent literary work on behalf of the Hawaiian Islands.

He had been suffering for some time with kidney and bladder trouble, and his physicians thought an operation necessary. He was, however, not strong enough to rally from the effects of the operation.