This is a continuation of Ah Soon’s 1899-1907 file posted on the blog on 27 April 2023
Quick summary of the earlier post:
Ah Soon’s file starts in 1899, when as a cook (laborer) living in Helena, Montana, he is applying to visit China. He returns in 1900. In 1907 he was a merchant living in Seattle working for Ah King Company. He visited China again in 1907 and returned in 1909.
There is no activity in Ah Soon’s file from 1909 to February 1913.
28 Feb 1913
Ah Soon applied to travel aboard under the provisions of Rule 15 of the Regulations of the Department of Commerce and Labor with the status of a domiciled broker. He had merchant status and claimed that he owned 2,000 shares of the Canton Province Mining Company in Seattle.
3 March 1913
White witness, George F. Ober, a thirty-nine-year-old mining engineer in Seattle, testified that he had lived in Seattle for over three years. He knew Ah Soon was a merchant and real estate broker who bought and sold restaurants and laundries. Soon worked with Wong Shin How at a curio exhibit for an Ah King concern at the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition in Seattle in1909. Ah Soon was a stockholder in the Canton Province Mining Company and sold shares of the company on commission. The Mining Investment officers and trustees were President: Ah King; Vice President: Thomas W. Snaith; Secretary and Treasurer: George F. Ober; Trustee L.L. Thorp; Managers: Yee Onlai, Assistant Secretary: Louie Kee.
Joseph H. Beaven, another white witness, stated that he was fifty-four years old and a superintendent of Baptist mission work. He had known Ah Soon about twenty years. Ah Soon was employed and a stockholder at the Ah King Company. About twenty years ago Ah Soon was a cook at a restaurant in Spokane but presently had an interest in his brother’s store, the Ah King Company.
Later that day, Ah Soon testified that he had misplaced his certificate of residence but was classified as a merchant. He was a mining stockbroker, living at the Ken Chung Lung Store in Seattle. He owned 2,000 shares in the Canton Province Mining Company. He paid $.06 to acquire a share and got 15% commission on every dollar’s worth of stock he sold. He had sold over $2,000 worth of stock in a little over two years. He also sold goods on commission from the Ken Chong Lung Company. He denied doing any manual labor in the past twelve months. He signed his statement in Chinese characters.
12 March 1913
A letter from the Ellis DeBruler, Immigration Commissioner, stated that he was not satisfied that Ah Soon met the requirements to receive a return certificate as a domiciled exempt broker. DeBruler thought Ah Soon’s white witnesses also could not testify that he met the requirements.
20 March 1913
J. V. Stewart, Chinese Inspector, put a note dated 20 March 1913, into Ng Ah Soon file saying that he found Ng Ah Soon acting as cashier in the Peking restaurant in Tacoma, Washington. And J. A. Wilkens, A.S. Fulton, and watchman Sylvester, were witnesses also.
8 July 1913
Ah Soon testified that his “baby name” was Gong Sen, Hock (Hok) Fong was his marriage name, and his American name was Ah Soon. He was fifty years old, born in Har Ping village, Sun Ning District, China. He originally came to the U.S. through San Francisco. He had been back to China twice, in KS 24 or 25 (1898 or 1899), returning KS 26 (1900) through Port Townsend as a laborer. He went to China in KS 33(1907) and returned in 1909 through Seattle as a merchant and a member of Ah King Company. In 1913 he was living in Tacoma and working as a laborer at the New York Laundry. He earned $40 per month. Charley Dan owned the laundry. He based his claim for a return certificate on his loan to Charley Dan for $1,100 so Charley could buy an interest in the Peking Café and buy a laundry. Ah Soon got the money from his brother, Ah King, [sometimes he says Ah King was his cousin] when he sold his interest in the Ah King Company store in Seattle.
Ah Soon was married to Lou Shee. They had two children, a boy and a girl. Their son, Gong Sen/Kwong Sin was born in 1908, was six years old and their daughter, Ah Que, was about fourteen years old.
Ah Soon was cautioned that he should not collect any part of his loan to Charley Dan while he was in China because it would change his status and he would not be able to return to the U.S. Ah Soon signed his statement in Chinese and English. Charley Dan, baby name Men Dan, was his witness. Dan was married and twenty-eight years old. He and his wife and fifteen-month-old daughter, Annie Dan, were living at the laundry at 1508 South D Street in Tacoma. Dan was a native-born citizen. He went to China when he was six years old, returning when he was nineteen years old and was admitted at Port Townsend.
9 July 1913
A letter from the Immigrant Inspector in Tacoma to the Commissioner of Immigration in Seattle, confirmed that Ah Soon was issued a Certificate of Residence #14906 as a laborer at Helena, Montana on 24 Feb 1894. [Ah Soon status was changed from a merchant to a laborer.]
5 August 1913
Ah Soon made another trip to China.
8 April 1915
Ah Soon was unable to return within the allowed one-year period because he was sick with rheumatism. He provided corroborative statements by Chin Gee Hee and Ng Kun. Ah Soon obtained a Chinese Overtime Certificate.
9 May 1915
Ah Soon returned from China in May. Upon his arrival he testified that a son, Quong Ock was born after he left China in July 1913. He now had two sons. His daughter died about 1912.
12 July 1915
Ah Soon applied for the laborer’s return certificate to return to China. He recently had made a loan of $1,000 to Mah Fook Hing, a merchant at Yik Fong Company at 705 King Street in Seattle. Hing was interviewed and although he did not sign a promissory note, he substantiated Soon’s testimony. Ah Soon planned to leave for Hong Kong on the July 17 and would be staying at the Sam Yik Company. This is the last document in his file, so he probably did not return to the U.S.