Henry Northrup Castle (1862-1895) was the youngest of Samuel N. and Mary Castle’s children. He was a prolific writer and original philosophical thinker who was educated at Oberlin, Harvard, and various leading German universities. Henry was closely associated with John Dewey, his brother-in-law George Herbert Mead, and the philosophy of instrumentalism and the new progressive early childhood education experiments at the University of Chicago, Columbia University and the University of Michigan. His papers are archived at the University of Chicago.
Henry and his young daughter, Dorothy, by his first wife Frida Stechner (1869-1889), died tragically at sea when the Elbe sunk in the North Sea while returning to the United States on January 30, 1895.
In memory of her youngest son and his daughter, Mary Tenney Castle established the Henry and Dorothy Castle Memorial Fund in 1895. The memorial was initially a kindergarten located on King Street. After 1940, the memorial was a preschool teacher-training unit on the University of Hawai’i campus. Funds were made available to construct the training facility and to provide operating support until 1951. In 1953, the Memorial Fund became a funding source for promising educational programs for young children.
Today, the Trustees set income aside at the beginning of each calendar year for such programs, in memory of Henry and Dorothy. The fund works in tandem with the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation to assist programs and projects that enhance the quality of life for Hawai’i’s children ages 0-5.