Over 160 years ago, John Palmer Parker, a sailor from Massachusetts, jumped ship to stay on Hawai‘i Island and came to the attention of King Kamehameha I. He married the King’s granddaughter, Chiefess Kipikane, and they acquired their first land, where they built a home and raised three children together. . Years later, Kamehameha son Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III), leased acreage to Parker after the Great Mahele allowed private land ownership.
John’s grandson Samuel Parker, three-quarters Hawaiian, was a Punahou School classmate of King David Kalākaua (“the Merrie Monarch”), who visited the Ranch many times and later appointed Samuel to his Privy Council. His first wife, Harriet Napela’s family had close ties to Queen Emma, wife of Kamehameha IV. Their daughters Helen and Eva Parker were friends of Princess Ka‘iulani who was also a frequent guest. Samuel remained active in government for years and was Minister of Finance and Minister of Foreign Affairs under Queen Liliu‘okalani at the time she was deposed.