Benjamin Franklin Dillingham and the Oahu Railway and Land Company

By November 15, 2019Today in History
Hawaiian Government Survey; W.D. Alexander, Surveyor General, Oahu, Hawaiian Islands;…. C. J. Lyons, 1881. Transportation and Communication. Geography & Map Division

I’m impressed by the resourcefulness of folks like Dillingham. I wonder how I would act in similar circumstances.

“Dillingham arrived in Hawai`i in 1865 as first mate of the sailing ship Whistler. Prevented by a fractured leg from returning to sea, Dillingham made Oahu his home and began investing in its future. Within four years, he was a partner in a local hardware company supplying goods for the growing sugar industry. Dillingham also invested in a dairy business. He was interested in real estate, but failed to raise the money to purchase the land for speculation. In 1888, Dillingham obtained a concession from the Hawai`i legislature to build the OR&L and succeeded in raising the money to build this venture. He scheduled the opening of the short line-railway, which originally ran nine miles, to coincide with the birthday of Hawaiian King Kalakaua.”

https://www.loc.gov/item/today-in-history/november-16/

Of course, summing up twenty three years of a person’s life eliminates hardships and makes it sound like they were successful immediately. Still Dillingham sounds like an interesting character and I would like to learn more about him.