“It was your father that persuaded my grandfather to emigrate from Norway to Hawaii. He came on the Beta,” I said one day to Hans Faye L’Orange. He leaned back in his office chair. I can still see him shaking his head. Was it really true? He just couldn’t believe it.
But it was true. And the woman who said this to L’Orange, Alice Watson Kerns, later became his wife.
Hans L’Orange was the son of Captain Christian L’Orange and his wife Caroline.
Alice L’Orange, now 96 years of age and a widow, resides in Medford, Oregon. Her father-in-law arranged for 500-600 Norwegians to emigrate from Norway to Hawaii in 1880. Her memory still serves her well.
Edward D. Stengrimsen
Alice’s grandfather appears on the passenger list of the Beta by the name of Edward D. Stengrimsen. Alice has always known that the initial D stood for the name Danielsen. Her grandfather used the name Danielsen as his surname in Hawaii. Edward’s wife was unnamed on the passenger list, but her name was Matilda (nee Knudsen).
Alice’s mother was born on June 23, 1881, in Paia, Maui, and was named Anna Barbara (Kaspera) Danielsen. A brother was born in 1882, but died a year later.
Matilda died in 1883 of tuberculosis. Later Edward married Matilda’s sister, Anna Dorothea Knudsen who had two children from an earlier marriage: Charlotte and Elisa (Elisabeth). However, Anna Dorothea died in 1893 when Anna Barbara was only 12 years old.
Anna Barbara married Ezra Andersen Watson. They had three children and Alice is their second child. When Alice was only four years old her parents got divorced. Anna was then left with the difficult job of providing for the family and raising three children all alone.
She moved to a 20 acre property at Pauwela on the Hana Highway. There they had neither electricity nor running water, but they managed.
Later the family moved to Oahu, where Alice went to McKinley High School and then on to Honolulu Business College.
Bullet from the Attack on Pearl Harbor
Alice first got a job at the Supreme Court Library, and later she worked in the customer service department of the Liberty House Department Store. In 1935 she married Lambert Kerns and one year later she quit working.
Kerns worked as a horticulturist for the Oahu Sugar Company, where Hans Peter Faye L’Orange was one of the directors. “I remember well December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Lambert had gone out to play golf on a ridge overlooking Pearl Harbor. From there he had a good view of the Japanese planes.”
“Aloha from Forgotten Norwegians in Hawaii”