Daniel McCorriston, 1840-1927

Daniel McCorriston. Image originally published in  Meyer and Molokai  by Charles S. Meyer.

Daniel McCorriston. Image originally published in Meyer and Molokai by Charles S. Meyer.

Daniel McCorriston (November 3, 1840-March 13, 1927) was a rice miller, sugarcane farmer, and cattle rancher in the Hawaiian Islands at the turn of the 20th century.

Daniel McCorriston was born in Limavady, County Londonderry, Ireland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, on November 3, 1840, to Hugh McCorriston (1805-1848) and Margaret Farren (1816-1849). [1] [2] [3]

On July 19, 1863, at the age of 22, Daniel McCorriston departed for New York from Liverpool, England, with his cousin Daniel McCorriston (1845-1899) aboard the packet Alexander Marshall. They arrived at Ellis Island, New York, on August 23, 1863. On October 10, 1863, the McCorriston cousins departed for the Hawaiian Islands from San Francisco aboard the barque Comet and arrived in Honolulu on October 27, 1863. [4] [5] [6] [7]

Daniel’s first known business venture in the Hawaiian Islands was a rice mill at Waiau, Oʻahu, which he opened with his brother Hugh McCorriston (1836-1926); Hugh arrived in the Hawaiian Islands with their brother Edward McCorriston (-1872) in 1864. The brothers Daniel and Hugh opened the rice mill in about 1865. [8] [9]

In about 1867, Daniel married Ann Nelson (c.1851-1907), a part-Hawaiian woman born in the Hawaiian Islands. [10] They had nine children, eight of whom are known:

  1. Daughter Margaret Ann McCorriston, known as “Maggie,” was born in Waiau, Oʻahu, on June 22, 1867, married Otto Samuel Meyer (1854-1931) on January 1, 1890, and died in Kalaʻe, Molokai, on October 25, 1963

  2. Daughter Sarah Theresa McCorriston, known as “Sallie,” was born in Waiau, Oʻahu, on September 30, 1868, married Edward Vincent Dunn (1869-1938) on July 23, 1894, and died in Kula, Maui, on April 27, 1924

  3. Son Edward McCorriston, known as “Eddie,” was born in Waiau, Oʻahu, on February 19, 1872, married Mary Campbell, and died in Kamalō, Molokai, on November 26, 1945

  4. Daughter Elizabeth McCorriston, known as “Tootsie,” was born in Kamalō, Molokai, on June 9, 1874, married Frank Hudson Foster (1869-1955) on March 21, 1900, and died in Honolulu, Oʻahu, on June 1, 1931

  5. Son Hugh Patrick McCorriston was born on February 27, 1881, in Waiau, Oʻahu, and died on June 15, 1916, in San Francisco, California

  6. Son Daniel F. McCorriston was born on April 3, 1884, in Waiau, Oʻahu, and died on May 15, 1900

  7. Son John Samuel McCorriston, known as “Sam,” was born on April 14, 1888, in Waiau, Oʻahu, and died on September 24, 1923, in Kamalō, Molokai

  8. Daughter Aileen Ann McCorriston was born on July 1, 1900, in Waiau, Oʻahu, married Joseph Ah Hong Ah Ping (1906-1993), and died on August 2, 1982

In 1873, Daniel and his brother Hugh moved to Kamalō on the Island of Molokai. By about 1877, the brothers owned and operated a sugarcane plantation and mill known as the Kamalo Plantation; the plantation closed in about 1879. By 1880, Daniel was serving as the manager of the Kamalo Sugar Plantation, a plantation and mill owned by his cousin John C. McColgan (1814-1890), who also served as the plantation and mill’s agent in Honolulu. By 1888, Hugh had joined Daniel as a manager of the Kamalo Sugar Plantation. [9] [11] [12] [13] [33]

In 1890, Daniel and Hugh inherited the Kamalo Sugar Plantation upon John McColgan’s death; James F. Morgan acted as the agent in Honolulu. On August 7, 1891, the sugar plantation and mill burned down. [14] [15]

Some time after the Kamalo Sugar Plantation burned down, Daniel and Hugh turned cattle onto the lands and started a ranch. By May of 1897, the brothers planned to revive the sugar mill in concert with Frank Hudson Foster (1869-1955), Hugh’s stepson. On May 8, 1899, the new plantation was inaugurated as Kamalo Sugar Company, Limited, by Frank Foster, Frank Hustace, and John J. Egan, the trio having purchased the McCorriston lands for $25,000 in cash and $20,000 in company stock. [16] [17] [18]

On May 30, 1893, Daniel purchased the Express Business, a driving company, from M.N. Sanders; he renamed it Sanders’ Express. His son Edward McCorriston (1872-1945) served as a driver for the company, and on June 13, 1895, Daniel entered into a copartnership with Frank Foster. On January 1, 1896, Daniel officially withdrew from the company. [19] [20] [21] [22]

By 1900, Daniel was serving as a saloon keeper to the residents of Kamalō and beyond. He maintained this position until about 1904, and was the only proprietor of retail liquors on the Island of Molokai at that time. [10] [23]

Daniel served in a number of public offices in the later half of his life: on August 27, 1895, he was appointed as a member of the Board of Fence Commissioners; from September 3, 1895 to about 1905, he was the Chairman of the Road Board for the Taxation District of Molokai; in June 1897, he was appointed as the School Agent of Kamalo; from June 9, 1900, until April 30, 1907, he was the Postmaster for Kamalo, Molokai; in 1902 and 1903, he served as an Inspector of Elections for the Third District, Second Precinct; from April 25, 1904 to about 1906, he was Molokai’s District Magistrate; and from about 1903, he was an Agent to Grant Marriages on Molokai. [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [34]

The McCorriston home was often a stopping point for travelers from both Europe and from neighboring islands. According to an account from Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, musician, and travel writer, Daniel and his family were

… all of that class of Irish whom I cannot tell, save for a trifling variance of brogue, from my own folk of Scotland; persons of thoughtful, careful speech, observant subhumorously, and with those fine, plain manners which turn the laugh on class distinctions. [31]

Saint Damien of Molokai—then known as Father Damien—would stay with the McCorristons when he came “top-side” from the leper colony at Kalaupapa. According to Lydy Foster Lucas (1864-1943)

When Father Damien came to Wawaʻia [“Kamalo”] to give his sermons and tend to his small flock, he would stay with the McCorriston family. According to the remembrances of Lila Morgan’s grandmother … the sheets and towels were always thoroughly washed and everything else scrubbed down after he left. [32]

Daniel McCorriston died at 7:10am on March 13, 1927, in Kamalō, County of Maui, Territory of Hawaii, and is buried at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Kamalō, Molokai.

Updated February 4, 2019.


  1. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 15 December 2018), memorial page for Dan McCorriston (3 Nov 1840–13 Mar 1927), Find A Grave Memorial no. 113442571, citing Saint Joseph Church Cemetery, Kamalo, Maui County, Hawaii, USA ; Maintained by Sherry SH (contributor 48127093)

  2. Duncrunson. (2011, March 24). McCorristons to Hawaii 1850s [Msg 1]. Message posted to https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=522729.0

  3. Whiteout7. (2015, April 22). Daniel and Hugh McCorriston from Ireland to Kamalo, Molokai in the 1850's Hawaii [Msg 6]. Message posted to http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=718816.msg5625836#msg5625836

  4. Marine intelligence. New York. Sunday, Aug. 23. Arrived (1863, August 24), The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26249347/daniel_mccorriston_arrival_of_the/

  5. “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 15 December 2018), search for Daniel McCorriston, arrived 1863; Year: 1863; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 231; Line: 1; List Number: 764

  6. Port of Honolulu, H.I. Arrivals (1863, October 29), The Pacific Commercial Advertiser. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26250132/daniel_mccorriston_am_bark_comet/

  7. “Hawaii, Passenger Lists, 1843-1898,” database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 15 December 2018), search for Daniel McCorriston, arrived 1863; Hawaii State Archives; Kekauluohi Building, Iolani Palace Grounds, 364 S. King Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813; Series: Series 82

  8. Dan M’Corriston of Molokai dies (1927, March 16), Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/25881187/obituary_of_daniel_mccorriston/

  9. Dan McCorriston, Molokai kamaaina; taken by death (1927, March 20), The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26254838/daniel_mccorriston_obituary_1927/

  10. “1900 United States Federal Census,” database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 15 December 2018), search for Daniel McCorriston, residing on Molokai and born in 1841; Year: 1900; Census Place: Molokai, Molokai, Hawaii Territory; Page: 27; Enumeration District: 0088

  11. 1880-1881: The Hawaiian Kingdom Statistical and Commercial Directory and Tourist's Guide. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10524/19432 (Original published in 1880)

  12. 1884-1885: Husted's Directory of Honolulu and the Hawaiian Territory. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10524/12271 (Original published 1884)

  13. 1888: Husted's Directory of Honolulu and the Hawaiian Territory. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10524/12272 (Original published in 1888)

  14. 1890: Directory and Handbook of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10524/19436 (Original published in 1890)

  15. Local and general (1891, August 12), The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26256367/daniel_mccorriston_the_kamalo_sugar/

  16. Will develop Molokai (1897, May 26), The Hawaiian Star. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26261640/daniel_mccorriston_daniel_and_hugh/

  17. At Kamalo again (1899, April 22), The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26262163/daniel_mccorriston_kamalo_sugar/

  18. Harvey R. Hitchcock, Lawrence H. Dee, Harry I. Evans and Charles J. Fishel, on behalf of themselves and all other stockholders in the Kamalo Sugar Company, Limited, v. Frank Hustace, John J. Egan, Frank H. Foster, and The Kamalo Sugar Company, Limited (October, 1901). Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26262553/frank_foster_court_case_part_1_1901/

  19. Notice (1893, May 31), The Hawaiian Star. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26258222/daniel_mccorriston_daniel_purchases/

  20. McCorriston of Molokai dies at home (1945, December 6), The Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26281625/edward_mccorriston_obituary_1945/

  21. Notice of copartnership (1895, June 22), Evening Bulletin. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26261260/daniel_mccorriston_notice_of/

  22. Notice (1896, January 14), The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26258891/daniel_mccorriston_withdraws_from/

  23. 1903-1904: Directory of City & County of Honolulu. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10524/19438 (Original published in 1903)

  24. By authority (1895, September 6), The Hawaiian Gazette. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26258747/daniel_mccorriston_appointments_1895/

  25. The Board of Education (1897, June 25), Evening Bulletin. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26261703/daniel_mccorriston_appointed_school/

  26. “U.S., Appointments of U. S. Postmasters, 1832-1971,” database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 16 December 2018), search for Daniel McCorriston, residing Kamalo, Molokai

  27. By authority (1902, October 17), The Hawaiian Gazette. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26263162/daniel_mccoriston_inspector_of/

  28. By authority (1903, October 16), The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26263213/daniel_mccorriston_inspector_of/

  29. 1904-1905: Directory of City & County of Honolulu. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10524/22784 (Original published 1904)

  30. Molokai people want some justice (1906, July 10), The Hawaiian Star. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26283014/daniel_mccorriston_vacated_district/

  31. Stevenson, R. L. (1991). Travels in Hawaii. Illustrated edition, reprint. Manoa, HI: University of Hawaii Press

  32. McElroy, W., Eminger, S., and Elison, M. (2013). FINAL—Archaeological Inventory Survey of TMK: (2) 5-5-001:007 (por.) and :026 (por.), Keoneku‘ino Ahupua‘a, Kona District, Island of Moloka‘i. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/9641964/Archaeological_Inventory_Survey_of_TMK_2_5-5-_001_007_por._and_026_por._Keonek%C5%ABino_Ahupuaa_Kona_District_Island_of_Molokai

  33. C. Ah Ping recalls days when Molokai grew sugar crops (1939, September 8), Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26303693/daniel_mccorriston_kamalo_sugar/

  34. “Government Office Holders,” digital images, Hawaii State Archives (https://digitalcollections.hawaii.gov: accessed 23 December 2018), search for Daniel McCorriston