Saturday, May 25, 2013

Peruvia Joseph Goodness (1883-1933)


  The life of humorously named Hawaiian Territorial legislator Peruvia J. Goodness is examined today, and it is worth noting that Goodness is the first politician from the Hawaiian Islands to be honored with a profile here on the site. The following summation on Goodness and his career in the public forum will be rather brief, as information on him has proven to be difficult to come by (despite my best efforts at looking!)
  Peruvia J. Goodness was born in Hawaii on April 17, 1883, and was an adopted son of William Goodness (1828-1901). Research indicates that William Goodness was one of Wailuku, Hawaii's more prominent residents, being the founder and owner of the Bismarck Stables in that town. He had earlier served during the Mexican-American War and later saw action on the side of the Peruvian Army during a fracas between Peru and Chile in the mid 19th century.
   Nothing could be found in regards to Peruvia's childhood or education, and it is presumed that his schooling occurred on the island of Maui, where he resided for the majority of his life. His first name is also spelled as "Peruvian" by a few genealogical website listings. Goodness married twice during his short life, the first being to Maria Alo (1885-1922) and later to Victoria Alo (1883-1923) who died at age 40. One son was born to Peruvia, Reuben Antonious Goodness (1901-1970).
  Goodness was first elected to the Hawaii Territorial Legislature in 1904, at age 21. An article on his election to the legislature appeared in the Hawaii Gazette in September 1904 and is shown below. He represented the county of Maui during his service and continued to serve in the legislature well into the 1920s. A Maui News article from November 1920 denotes Goodness' service, and also lists him as serving on the committee on Public Lands and Internal Improvements and the committee on Accounts and Public Expenditures during that session of the legislature. 

From the Sept. 2, 1904 edition of the Hawaii Gazette.

  All told, Goodness served in the legislature in 1904, 1913, 1915, 1920, 1921 and in 1929. He also served in the Territorial Senate from 1923-1927, representing Hawaii's 2nd district. The Maui News also notes that he served as "Examiner of Chauffeurs" for the County of Maui in the early 1920s. Goodness died in Maui on September 23, 1933 at just 50 years old, and was shortly thereafter interred at the Iao Community Cemetery in Wailuku, Hawaii. Goodness' two wives and son Reuben are also buried here.

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