William Herbert or W. H. Shipman was a wealthy businessman who once owned the W. H. Shipman House in Hilo, Hawaii. In addition to the Shipman house on Reed’s Island, Shipman also owned almost the entire town of Keaau and the Ainahou Ranch in Volcano.
Shipman was born to missionary parents on December 17, 1854 at Lahaina, Maui. But later his parents were invited to Hilo by Titus Coan, a well known minister of the Historic Haili Church. Shipman lived in Hilo for a time and then attended Punahou on Oahu and later Knox College in Illinois.
How W. H. Shipman Built His Fortune
- He came from humble beginnings, a child of missionaries
- His father died and his mother remarried a wealthy businessman
- When his stepfather died, Shipman inherited his landholdings
- With two partners he bought the entire 70,000 acre region of Keaau
- He leased much of the of the land to the Ola’a Sugar Company