top of page



     Waialua was a small village surrounded by magnificent mountains, extending from Anahulu stream to Kaena Point, when the Rev. John S. Emerson and His wife Ursula arrived in Honolulu in May 1832. Their trip from Honolulu to Waialua in a “little native schooner” followed their long and hazardous journey from New Bedford, Massachusetts, around the Horn in the whaleship “Averick”.

     The Emersons stayed with the Rev. and Mrs. Clark in Honolulu prior to their arrival in Waialua. The new recruits were warmly welcomed by the members of the mission. On four of the islands, seven stations had already been established by 30 men and women. As a happy coincidence, all the other missionaries were about to arrive in Honolulu for their two to four weeks General Meeting. The Emersons were excited to be able to attend the “General Meeting”.

      At this time the Emersons met King Kaukeaouli, a youth of 18. Also during their stay in Honolulu, Queen Kaahumanu, a devout Christian and widow of Kamehameha I, passed away and the Emersons attended the internment for the royal burial. Mr. Bingham preached the service in both Hawaiian and English.

     The Emerson’s first home in Waialua was a grass hut on the banks of the Anahulu Stream. They soon found out that as missionaries they had to be, not only pastors  and spiritual guides, but also school teachers, doctors, farmers and mechanics to thousands of Hawiians.

In Hawaii the missionaries entreated the Hawaiians to “Ku pa’a I ka pono” (stand fast to the good). In carrying out their noble purpose, they won the confidence of and became the guides for not only the common people, but also the King, Queen and chiefs. Although other influences did much harm, the Hawaiians received help and training from the missionaries that they were saved from overwhelming disaster. For many years the Hawaiians spoke fondly of “na makua o ka pono” (fathers of righteousness).

     The Rev. and Mrs. Clark had preceded the Emersons to Waialua overland by horseback, as there were only trails through deep gulches and streams. They stayed during the summer to help the Emersons learn the native language, establish a school for teachers and to visit other villages from Waianae to Kahuku.

Rev. John S. Emerson

(28 Dec 1800-26 Mar 1867)


The Emerson home along the Anahulu Stream built in 1834

Ursula Sophia Newell Emerson

(27 Sept 1806-24 Nov 1888)

High Chief Gideon Peleioholani Laanui

(1797-Sept 12, 1849)

bottom of page