In November 1923 Leong Hoey was shot during a robbery at the building on 230 1/2 Third Street where his store was located in Portland. Police officers took the four suspects to the meeting area in the rear building so the suspects could point out their positions when the shooting began. When they walked through the door they came upon an illegal lottery game in progress.
Ten people were taken to jail on lottery charges–one Chinese, Long Chung, and nine whites. They were all released on bail.
The above sign was found pasted on the wall in the lottery room. It was signed “Hugh.” The original sign is included in Leong Hoey’s file.
[It is not clear who Hugh was in this scenario but apparently his wish to keep things neat and tidy gave the police good evidence about the gambling operation.]
Leong Yuen and Leong Hoey at Leong & Co. store, 230 1/2 Third St., Portland, Oregon
According to a newspaper article included in the file [Oregon Journal, Portland, Oregon, Nov, 11, 1923, p. 1, col. 1] a gang robbed the store and shot, Leong Hoey, the proprietor, early in November. Judge Stapleton sentenced C. H. Jackson, leader of a gang, to ten years in the penitentiary and Vito Dellino received a 2-1/2 year sentence.
In October 1932 Leong Hoey [sometimes spelled Huey or Houie] applied for a laborer’s return certificate. He owned a $1000 Fourth Liberty Loan Bond, worked in a fish cannery, was married, and had a son, See Gok, who was 8 years old. Leong Hoey arrived in the U.S. in 1910 and was admitted as the minor son of a merchant.
His file also contained a letter from his brother, Leong Yuen, answering a charge by the city Attorney that the store at 230 1/2 had been used for gambling. He explained that the rear of the building had been leased to a Chinese society to be used as a meeting place.
Leong Hoey’s application was denied. He appealed and it was approved. He left for China from Seattle on 7 October 1932 and returned the following year.
[More about the robbery and the gambling charge next time…]