Written of the back: “July 8, 1930
Dear Mr. Norene,
This is just a few lines to thank you and Mr. Lowe for your prompt attention on my matter.
With kindest personal regards,
[This post card is included in the file for Helen Wong.]
In June 1930, Wong Laine Heung (Helen Laine Louis), also known as Helen Wong, applied to leave Portland, Oregon for a short visit to Vancouver, B.C. with the Orpheum Circuit. Helen was a musician and played the piano. She was interrogated by Roy J. Norene, Immigrant Inspector. The Chinese Interpreter was Herman Lowe. Helen stated that she was born in San Luis Obispo, California on 14 April 1905. Her father, Ah Lui, also known as Wong On or Wong Ok Fon was a wealthy merchant. Her mother, Gon Ying Lui, died when Helen was six or seven years old. Helen went to Court Grammar School and California Polytechnic School and had five brothers and two sisters. They were all born at 800 Palm Avenue in San Luis Obispo. Helen’s brother, George (Wong Him), was also an actor.
Helen’s brother, Wong Jung Sing, was a witness for her. His birth certificate lists his name as Walter Wong Louis; his school name and business name was Wong Sing Louis. The Immigrant Inspector, H. F. Duff, asked Walter why the family name was “Louis” and sometimes “Wong.” Walter said that his father was known as “Louis” in the mines. Walter was a jeweler at Tin We Jewelry Store in San Francisco.
Included in the file is a telegram from the Signal Corps, United States Army to Immigration Service in Portland. It alerts Immigration that Helen’s brother murdered his mother or stepmother and was hanged for the crime. Mr. Norene at Immigration ignored the telegram and approved Helen Wong’s Form 430 enabling her to go to Canada. [The murder had nothing to do with Helen’s immigration status.]
[Information not in the file but found on GenealogyBank.com: San Luis Obispo Daily Telegram has many articles on the murder which took place in September 1909. Willie Louis had several reprieves but was finally hanged at San Quentin state prison on 6 December 1912 for the murder of his stepmother. ]
Mah Sun Inng was born in Bak Sar village, Sunning District, China about 1901. He was the son of Mah Sin Dung, a merchant in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. His mother lived in China. Mah landed in Seattle in 1919 and was admitted as a Section 6 student. After graduating from Wilson’s Modern Business College in February 1922 from the bookkeeping course and the scientific salesmanship course he became a merchant for Quon On Company on 660 King Street in Seattle. He had worked there part time as a salesman while he was going to school.
In 1922 Mah Sun Inng was applying for a one-week visit to his father in Vancouver, B.C. Earl H. Senn, an electrician in Seattle, was a witness for Mah. Senn testified that he had done a lot of work on Mah’s car. H. E. McGoldrick, an automobile electrician, also testified that he had worked on Mah’s car. [Neither one mention what type of car Mah owned and the interrogators did not ask about it.]
[The 8-page program for the 27th annual graduation exercise for the Wilson’s Modern Business College contains a listing of the class officers, class honors, the program, and graduates of the 1921 courses for shorthand, full commercial, bookkeeping, and scientific salesmanship.]
In November 1904 Pang Hong applied to Immigration to visit his family in China. His uncle, Pang Wah Tip, testified for him. His return trip in September 1905 was through Portal, North Dakota and his destination was Frankfort, Indiana. He was detained in jail in Portal for almost a month. On 2 October W. J. Palmer, his lawyer wrote to the immigration office explaining that he and Rev. T. H. Kuhn had filed the necessary application and affidavits for Pang Hong, a U. S. citizen, and had even obtained a U. S. passport. Twelve days later, on 14 October, Pang Hong was still in jail. Thirty-two members of the Christian Church in Frankfort signed a letter testifying that Pang Hong was a “truthful honest person, a citizen of integrity, and has taken a constant interest in the church.” The signers were: Thomas N. Lucas, Quincy A. Kennedy, E. A. Spray, A. M. Kern, M.S. Canfield, M.D. (Elder); J. H. Comley, Elmer Detwiler, Deacon; E. H. Whitake, Deacon; C. E. Bickley, C. H. Gillis, David S. Kern, J. A. Lucas, N. T. Rice, C. T. Keller, A. Michael, M.D.; H. C. Eldridge, Ellis D. Mines, Rev. W. J. Russell, J. C. Caron, M.D.; Ed Ross, Emma Ross, Mrs. T. N. Lucas, Katharine Lucas, Sarah E. Lucas, Mrs. G. A. Smith, Namie Haller, T. R. Spray, L. C. Brooke, C. H. Doctor, Marry Merrill, James McClomrock, and Mrs. C. E. Boulder.
This unidentified newspaper article dated 18 October  was included in the file.
When Pang Hong applied to leave in 1921, Immigration Inspector Brekke in Chicago approved his application reluctantly because of discrepancies in the file. He said it was very doubtful that the applicant was American-born but the applicant was found to be an American citizen by the department on appeal in 1905 and in 1912 so it would have been difficult for them to re-open his file.
Pang Hong was 41 in 1921. He was testifying about events that happened when he was 12 years old. Some of the discrepancies were concerning the exact address of his father’s cigar factory in San Francisco, which floor they were living on, how many floors the building, the names of the other families living in the building and other minor differences.
[One wonders how much time and money was spent trying to deport Pang Hong for no apparent reason.]
Miss Rose Dong (Dong Suey Heong) left Sacramento, California for Canton, China in June 1936 with her American teacher, Miss Hartley. She left before her application for her Form 430, Native’s Return Certificate, was completed and approved. Her mother, Quan Shee, died in Sacramento on 15 November 1934 and her father, Dong Haw, was unable to help her with her paper work before she left. Donaldina Cameron, Special Director Chinese Case Work at Presbyterian Mission Home in San Francisco, a friend of Miss Dong’s late mother helped with the necessary forms, certificates and affidavits so Miss Dong could get back into the United States. Miss Cameron was well known on the West Coast for her work with the Chinese. She wrote letters to Mr. Raphael P. Bonham of the Seattle Immigration office and Mr. Philipps Jones of Angel Island Immigration Service. Rose Dong was only gone one month and needed to get back on time to start the autumn semester for the Junior College at Sacramento. Miss Cameron testified that Rose had three younger sisters: Ella, Laura and Evelyn, and a younger brother, Richard; that she had been friends with Rose’s mother for many years and first met Rose about five years previously.
Rose Wong’s father Dong Hoo (Dong Haw), a merchant and manager of Yick Chong Company in Sacramento swore in an affidavit that Rose Wong was his lawful blood daughter, born 24 March 1916 in Sacramento. Immigration authorities requested affidavits of supporting witnesses willing to give testimony in Rose’s behalf and a copy of her mother’s death certificate. A copy of Rose’s birth certificate is also in the file.
Rose returned through San Francisco on 19 August 1936 and was admitted six days later. She was paroled to Miss Cameron. Rose’s paper work was completed and approved with the assistance of Donaldina Cameron.
A preview of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Oregon Experience documentary, Massacre at Hells Canyon will be screened on Thursday, January 19, 6 p.m. at University of Oregon, Portland Campus, White Stag building, 70 NW Couch Street, Portland, OR.
The program will air on OPB TV on Monday, January 23, 2017 at 9 p.m.
It will also be available online at opb.org. Included in the documentary is a short clip about the Chinese Exclusion Act Files at National Archives-Seattle.
On 2 July 1904 A.F. Learned, postmaster; William P. Wyckoff, Customs House official; and H. L. Tibbals, of Port Townsend, Jefferson County, Washington, swore in an affidavit they had been residents of Port Townsend for more than twenty years and were U.S. citizens. They proclaimed that Goon Fon was a bona fide merchant for more than twelve years, a member of the Wing Sing Company, the son of Goon Sam, and was now 22 years old.
Goon Fon was born at Hom Quon village, Sun Woi district, China on 14 January 1883. He came to the United States with his father and landed in San Francisco about 1894. His father returned to China in 1902 and died there. After his father left Goon Fon went to New York City and worked in the restaurant business. He came back to Seattle and worked in a cannery in Alaska for Goon Dip, then moved to Spokane, Washington.
In 1924 Goon Fon applied for a return certificate as a laborer. His only proof of his status was the 1904 affidavit. He obtained the required proof that debt was owed him—a $1,000 bond. His application was approved.
In 1937 Goon Fon was living at Noodles Café, 512 Main Street, Spokane. According to his application for his Return Certificate for Lawfully Domiciled Chinese Laborers, he had a $1,000 loan due from Hui Cheung, 126 ½ North Wall Street, Spokane. His application was approved.