James Campbell was just 13 years old when he left his home in Londonderry, Ireland, stowing away on a ship to seek his fortune in the New World. He eventually found his way to the Pacific, arriving in Hawai’i in 1850 at the age of 24. Here he began a brilliant business career that spanned 50 years, starting as a carpenter, then a sugar mill owner, eventually becoming one of Hawai’i’s largest landowners, with holdings on O’ahu, Maui and the Island of Hawai’i. These holdings formed the basis of his wealth. When he died in 1900, Campbell’s will directed that his estate, valued at $3 million, be held in trust for the benefit of his wife, Abigail Kuaihelani Maipinepine, his four daughters and their offspring.
Under the terms of the will, the trust terminated on January 20, 2007 following the death of his last surviving daughter. That same year, the majority of the heirs of the Estate of James Campbell elected to receive their distribution as shares in the newly formed James Campbell Company.
“The 19th century brought many men for many diverse reasons to the islands of the Pacific. Some came with missionary zeal to spread the gospel. Others came to seek their fortune hunting whales for their valuable oil. Still others were lured by the tropical climate or by sheer adventure.
James Campbell was one of the adventurous spirits who came to the Pacific and he left a significant mark on the islands he chose as his home.” – James Campbell, Esq.