Friedrich Heinrich Weber (1874-1953)

Brother of Rosine Weber Janssen

FROM IMMIGRANT TO LUNA (Reproduced from an article in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 23, 1939)

KEKAHA, Kauai, June 23, 1939 -- From immigrant boy to Section Luna of the Kekaha Sugar Company, Limited, is the story of Fred (Fritz) Henry Weber, who will retire on September 1, 1939, at the age of 65, after 42 years of service on plantations.

Mr. Weber plans to take a real vacation with his wife in October. They will go to the coast, visit the two world fairs and relatives and enjoy real leisure. His story is that of a lad of 9 who came to Hawaii with his parents from Bremen, Germany, in 1883. The family made the trip around the horn on the Ehrenfels.

Henry Weber, his father, was given employment on the Pokaki plantation at Kapaia. Pokaki was a small private venture started by Hans L'Orange Sr., on leased land from the Lihue plantation, located one mile above Kapaia on the Wailua waterfalls road.

ATTENDED GERMAN SCHOOL. Mr. Weber and his sisters walked to Lihue where they attended the old German school at the church. After school they worked about the home and in the fields with their father.

At 14, Mr. Weber completed his schooling and was hired as a "boy" by William Hyde Rice for his stables. Fritz worked with Mr. Rice until he was 23, when he was employed in the harvesting fields of the Lihue plantation.

He later moved to the new Waimea plantation where he was a harvesting luna. In 1901, he became associated with the Waimea Stables, and operated this enterprise for 17 years.

WENT TO MANA IN 1918. When the Waimea Stables business was sold in 1918, Fritz went to Mana to take a position as section overseer with Hans Peter Faye Sr., who was building up the present Kekaha Sugar Company, Limited, out of the marsh and sand dunes of that region. Mr. Weber says that in 1918, there were 1,400 acres of mauka land in cane and that all the makai land was a huge swamp. This land has since been drained and reclaimed and today the Mana section comprises 3,400 acres of cane land.

Mr. Weber was married to Miss Marie Mengler of Makaweli, in 1906. His bride had also been one of the immigrants who came to Hawaii on the same ship in 1883, with the Weber family.

Mr. and Mrs. Weber have six children. Henry, the eldest, is Agriculturist at Hakalau Plantation on Hawaii; Dorothy is Mrs. Dan Foster of Koloa; Fred is the Bookkeeper for the Grove Farm plantation; William is Timekeeper for the Kekaha plantation; Marie is a secretary in Oakland, California; and the youngest, Eleanor is studying design in Honolulu.

Photo of orchids grown by Robert T. Vorfeld

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