The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Compiled and Edited by Virginia Ross
Stronghurst Graphic: June 18, 1925
A LETTER FROM PARADISE: Letters home from faraway places were read with great interest as most never hoped to visit these exotic places. Guy Stine shared a letter from R. E. Gallagher, who a few years ago was employed on the Stine farm south of town and is working on a big cattle ranch on the island of Hawaii. Mr. Gallagher went to the Hawaiian Islands last winter with a shipment of cattle consigned by the firm of Gittner Bros. of Eminence, Ky. After describing the voyage, which was made from New York in a freighter by way of the Panama Canal and telling of the wonderful traffic which passed through that waterway and of the 17 days journey on the Pacific before docking at Honolulu, the writer continues under date of May 28th.
"I started this letter last Friday night but couldn't finish it. It will go from here to Wismea tomorrow. The mail goes down from here on Friday's and we usually get mail twice a week. The ranch headquarters are at Wismea and the post office (Kamuela) is also at Wismea. There is a Wismeaa on one of the other islands and in order to avoid a mix-up in the mail they named our post office Kamuela.
Honolulu is about 6,700 miles from New York City and we were just 30 days making the trip. The stock came through in fine shape for being tied up for 37 days without exercise. Two of the bulls had been shown for 3 years in the states and were in high flesh. They suffered very much with heat down around the canal and a few days each side of it. I had to blindfold the stallion loading and unloading him. They were placed in quarantine one week in Honolulu as they are very strict here in the islands. The stock were tested in quarantine and all passed O.K. and the several firms who bought them were well pleased with their purchases. The Lambs sailed from Honolulu to Manilla and I felt rather lonesome for the old boat. The were going to take some mules to Manilla and the captain wanted me to go along, but the mules were not shipped. I rather think the Lambs went on around the globe and perhaps are in New York by this time.
Honolulu is a pretty town as most every house is set in a garden of flowers. It is down at sea level and of course is a little warm. There are showers of rain frequently most of the day and most every day. One can see rainbows most any time even at night; these are moonlight rainbows. There are many races of people and many nationalities-the most numerous being Japs. The people lead an easy-going life; nobody hurries and they seen to get on very well. Waikiki Beach is not such a wonderful place as it is advertised to be. Most all tourists are disappointed with it. They have a wonderful collection and odd shaped and various colored fish in the aquarium. There is much to interest tourists for perhaps a month in the islands. The best feature of the islands is the even temperature and that is mostly ruled by the sea breezes. There are about 30,000 soldiers, sailors and marines stationed in the islands. Oahu, the island where Honolulu is situated is the strongest fortified island in the world. There are guns hidden all through the mountains and old volcano craters, and the harbor is mined. Do you remember Jimmie Jones who was around Stronghurst two or three years ago? I think he said he played baseball there. I didn't know him, but I accidently met him down at Honolulu. He is in the army and when I saw him, he was looking for a soldier who had ran away from camp. Jimmie was wishing he was out of the army and he had enough of Honolulu also.
The combined American fleets, the Atlantic, Pacific and the Asiatic have been maneuvering in Hawaiian waters lately. There are 42,000 men in the fleets. I would like to see them but I have no chance. We send 70 turkey gobblers from here this week for the fleet. The ranch sold over 2,000 last fall at 60 cents per pound. The are big turkeys too.
I came out to the islands to take a job about 20 miles from Honolulu with a herd of Angus cattle, but the fellow wouldn't pay me what I wanted and he is one of the wealthiest men here. I was about ready to return to the States when I got a chance of a good job on a two months trial, transportation home guaranteed and here I am and I am quite well satisfied. I am with the Registered Hereford herd. There are about 1,200 head in the herd now and in five years it will be the largest herd of registered cattle in the world. All the heifers are kept and put in the breeding herd. There are 37 calves so far this month. It is, I think, the best herd of cattle that I have yet seen. There are 300 cows as good as Old Gay Lad was and many are almost as good and most of them extra good milers. Everything runs year around; of course, the pastures are good. The herd bulls, twenty in number, and the most promising bull calves are fed grain twice daily.
We are 4,000 feet elevation on the northern slopes of Mauna Rea, 11,825 ft. high (??-hard to read) So far I can still see snow on the top of the mountain about 20 miles away. About 15 miles south of Mauna Rea is Mauna Lea, 11,875 which volcanos that are active at irregular intervals. There are many old volcanos craters that have been dead for centuries on the pastures that I ride over every day. They are all covered with good grass now and one can just make out the outline of the former fire pits. The land here is all of a volcanic origin and is quite rough.
I have a very easy job here. I go to work at 6 a.m., ride horse back most all day and everything is really done at 4 p.m. Alex Napier, a Scotchman, is in charge of the Herefords and has been here 15 years. He is a fine fellow and also John Gammie, another Scot who works with me. Gammie and I stay in a little house together.
The climate here is ideal, temperature averages about 60 degrees. The ranch has about 22,000 range cattle, 20,000 sheep and about 5,000 horses and mules, all sizes. They raise 5,000 acres of corn usually. This is a long letter, Guy, but I could write much more. Give my regards to all the folks and the boys up town and drop me line or two sometime. I am in a lonesome place. Kindness wishes to all."-Bob Gallagher