Walter F. Frear

Walter Francis Frear (October 29, 1863 – January 22, 1948) was a lawyer and judge in the Kingdom of Hawaii and Republic of Hawaii, and the third Territorial Governor of Hawaii from 1907 to 1913.

Walter Francis Frear
3rd Territorial Governor of Hawaii
In office
August 15, 1907  November 30, 1913
Appointed byTheodore Roosevelt
Preceded byGeorge R. Carter
Succeeded byLucius E. Pinkham
Chief Justice of the
Hawaiʻi Supreme Court
Personal details
Born(1863-10-29)October 29, 1863
Grass Valley, California
DiedJanuary 22, 1948(1948-01-22) (aged 84)
Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii
Political partyHawaiʻi Republican Party
Spouse(s)Mary Dillingham Frear
OccupationLawyer, Judge


Frear was born October 29, 1863 in Grass Valley, California. His father, Reverend Walter Frear, was born in Poughkeepsie, New York August 16, 1828, graduated from Yale in 1851, came to the Kingdom of Hawaii as a missionary, and then lived in California when he was born. His mother was Frances Elmira Foster.[1] The family returned to Honolulu in 1870, where his father was pastor of the Fort Street Church until 1881.[2] He graduated from Punahou School in 1881, Yale with a B.A. in 1885, and Yale law school in 1890.[3] On August 1, 1893 he married Mary Emma Dillingham, the daughter of industrialist Benjamin Dillingham. They had two daughters: Virginia (1900–?) and Margaret (1908–?).[4]

He was appointed as circuit judge on January 1, 1893 by Queen Liliʻuokalani. On March 7, 1893 he was promoted to serve on the Supreme Court of the Provisional Government. After the death of Albert Francis Judd,[5] on July 5, 1900 he became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of what was then the Territory of Hawaii.[6]

Frear was appointed governor after George R. Carter by President Theodore Roosevelt on August 15, 1907. Alfred S. Hartwell replaced him as Chief Justice. He was a member of the Republican Party of Hawaii. After the election of Woodrow Wilson, Frear was replaced by the first governor from the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Lucius Pinkham in November 1913.[7] He died January 22, 1948 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Frears founded the Mary D. and Walter F. Frear Eleemosynary Trust to sponsor educational projects. Frear Hall, a dormitory building built in the 1950s on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus, was named after Governor Frear's wife Mary Dillingham Frear, a member of the University's Board of Regents from 1920–1943.[8] The aging structure was demolished in 2006, to make way for a new dorm facility also called Frear Hall completed in the Summer of 2008.[9]

The Frear Center, located at 1132 Bishop Street,[10] was named after Walter and Mary Frear. It is a classroom building of Hawaii Pacific University, and was designed for information systems and computer science courses. The trust also supported Chaminade University of Honolulu.[11]


  •  Frear, Walter Francis (1922). "Hawaii" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York.
  • Frear, Walter Francis (1947). Mark Twain and Hawaii. Lakeside Press.


  1. John William Leonard; Albert Nelson Marquis (1903). Who's who in America. Marquis. p. 516.
  2. Proceedings respecting the resignation of Rev. W. Frear as pastor of the Fort Street Church, of Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands: Farewell discourse of the Pastor. Hawaiian gazette office. 1881.
  3. Memorials of eminent Yale men: a biographical study of student life and university influences during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Yale University Press. 1914. p. 398.
  4. Frear, Mary Emma Dillingham (1934). Lowell and Abigail: a realistic idyll. Yale university press. p. 307.
  5. "Supreme Court, Chief Justices of office record" (PDF). state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved 2010-03-11.
  6. "Frear, Walter F. office record". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
  7. Melendy, H. Brett (1983). "The Controversial Appointment of Lucius Eugene Pinkham, Hawaii's First Democratic Governor". Hawaiian Journal of History. 17. Hawaii Historical Society. pp. 185–208. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
  8. "Frear, Mary Dillingham office record". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
  9. Gima, Craig (June 30, 2008). "New dorm is pride of UH: A school official says the $71 million facility is a "dramatic step in the right direction"". Retrieved 2010-04-25.
  10. "FC Building - Frear Center - 1132 Bishop Street". Hawai'i Pacific University official web site. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
  11. "Mary D. and Walter F. Frear Trust Honored for its Support of Chaminade University's New Introductory Wet Lab". press release on Chaminade University of Honolulu web site. February 26, 2007.
Political offices
Preceded by
George R. Carter
Territorial Governor of Hawaii
1907 - 1913
Succeeded by
Lucius E. Pinkham
Legal offices
Preceded by
Albert Francis Judd
Chief Justice of the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court
Succeeded by
Alfred S. Hartwell
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