Tag Archives: Seattle Times

George and James Mar – brothers of Roy Sing Mar and Ruby Mar Chow in Seattle

Mar Jim Sing M143 1933

Mar King Sing andMarJim Sing

“Photos of George and James Mar, Form 430,” 1932, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Mar King Sing (George King Sing) and Mar Jim Sing (James Mar) case files, Seattle Box 538, 7030/3747 and 7030/3748.

George and James Mar – brothers of Roy Sing Mar, DDS (1927-2018) and Ruby Mar Chow (1920-2008), owner of Ruby Chow Restaurant and first Asian American elected to Seattle King County Council in 1973.

Mar King Sing 馬日勝 (Chinese name Mar Yet Sing) was the eldest son of Mar June (Jim Sing) and Wong Shee黃氏; (黃)巧云 . They had ten children; all born in Seattle, WA: George Mar, Jim Sing Mar, William Mar, Ruby Mar, Mary Mar, Alice Mar, Henry Mar, Roy Mar, Edwin Mar, Coleman Mar.

Birth Certificate, 12788, George King Sing,.
1915 Seattle, WA Birth Certificate, 12788, George King Sing,. File 7030/3747

George Mar was born on 19 February 1915 but his birth certificate incorrectly states that he was born on 29 March 1915. He was applying for his citizen’s return certificate so he could be employed by the Dollar Steamship Line on their steamers to the Orient.

James Mar (Mar Jim Sing), George’s younger brother, was born 29 May 1916. He presented his Seattle birth certificate #12786 as evidence of his citizenship. He was applying for employment with American Mail Line and hoping to go to China with the company.

When they applied their father was visiting China and their mother, home in Seattle, was a witness for both of her sons. Their Form 430, Application of Alleged American Citizen of the Chinese Race for Pre-investigation of Status, was approved. They visited their father in Hong Kong and returned to Seattle on the S.S. President Taft on 12 July 1932.

Additional information not in the file:
Their brother Roy S. Mar, DDS, died in Seattle on 14 March 2018. According to his obituary in the Seattle Times, 25 March 2018, page B4, Mar served in the U.S. Navy and became the first Chinese American to graduate from the University of Washington Dental School.
Obituary of Roy S. Mar

Their sister, Ruby married Edward Shue Ping Chow. They established the celebrated Ruby Chow’s restaurant in Seattle in 1948. Ruby helped create the Wing Luke Museum and became the first Asian American elected to the King County Council in 1973. She died in 2008.

See Seattletimes.com, seattlepi.com, HistoryLink.org, Wikipedia.org for more information on Ruby Chow.

 

Chin Fook Hing – Generation Book

Chin Hing photo & business card
“Chin Hing photo & business card,” 1922, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Chin Hing alias Chin Fook Hing file, Seattle, Box 1328, Case 39666/1-1.

chin-fook-hing-business-card-chong-hing
Chin Hing’s marriage name was Chin Fook Hing but he also went by Hing Henry. He was born in Canton, China on 1 September 1875 at one a.m. [It is very unusual to see the time of birth listed in a file.] His father, Chin Suey, was born in San Francisco and his mother was Woo Shee was born in China. Family information was included in a bible and a generation book. His grandfather, Chin Yick, was one of the first Chinese to come to San Francisco. He was married to an Indian woman and worked in the gold mines and then a fruit orchard. After the grandfather’s wife died in 1874 he and his son, Chin Suey, went to China. Chin Suey married Woo Shee soon after he arrived and they had a son, Chin Hing. The family moved back to San Francisco about 1881. Years later they moved to Seattle and Chin Hing became a merchant at Kwong Wa Chong Company. In 1910 Chin Hing visited China and married Tah Soo Len who was born in Los Angeles. Their two children, Chin Hing Henry and Chin Josephine were born in Seattle. At the time of his interview in 1922, Chin Hing was a merchant and member of Chong Hing & Co., at 676 King Street in Seattle.
The interpreter explained to the interviewer that the generation book was a history of Chin Fook Hing’s family for eighteen generations and dated back over three hundred years.
Witnesses for Chin Hing:
Julius Schweigart, in the art and picture business, a resident of Seattle since 1906.
Otto Guthman, salesman at National Grocery Co., Seattle; resident of Seattle since 1905.
Woo Gen, merchant and member of Kwong Wa Chong Co., Wa Chong Co., and Washington Rice Mill Company; resident of Seattle 36 years.

Chin Hing (Chin Fook Hing) died in Seattle on 16 November 1941. A copy of his obituary from 22 November 1941 issue of the Seattle Times is included in the file.
Excerpts from the obituary:
“A German knitter befriended Mr. Chin and taught him the knitting business and in                  1911, with no capital, Mr. Chin established the Chong Hing Knitting Company, 504                   12th Ave. S. of which he was general manager until his death.”
“Mr. Chin was the first Chinese to serve as a juror in King County Superior Courts. He                  was past treasurer of the Seattle Chinese Patriotic League and the Seattle Chinese                  Nationalist Association.”

Yee Ho Lee – Barred by Ears, Saved by Lips

Yee Ho Lee baby photo
Yee Ho Lee Photo, 1918, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Yee Ho Lee file, Box 585, Case 7030/5241.
Yee Ho Lee Ears
Yee Ho Lee Photos, 1933, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Yee Ho Lee file, Box 585, Case 7030/5241.

American-born Yee Ho Lee left the United States for China with her family in 1918 when she was almost four years old. When she returned fifteen years later as the bride of Wong Shew Leung, a Boston merchant, the immigration inspectors did not think she was the person she claimed to be. They wanted her deported. She looked younger than her stated age; her ears did to not match the ears of the child in the photo. According to experts ears of a certain type do not change as one gets older. It was noted that the child had large flat lobes sticking out from the checks but the young woman did not have a distinct earlobe and the ear tapered “gradually from the top to the bottom and coming to a point at the cheek.” They also thought there was a difference in the eyes, the lower lip, the eyebrows and the nose.
Included in the files are exhibits of photographs, her birth certificate, and witness statements from twenty-two Chinese, many of them siblings of Yee Ho Lee. A summary of the case is five pages long.
Chinese Immigration Inspector Ira L. Hazleton was called before the review board. He considered himself an expert in Bertillon work and had about fifteen years’ experience in identification of photographs regarding questioned documents. [See Edward J. “Ed” Steenberg, Saint Paul Police Historical Society, The Bertillon System of Identification”] According to the website,

“Bertillon System was an improvement of identification over simple mug shots and basic physical measurements, and was a forerunner to fingerprinting. It was developed by French criminologist Alphonse Bertillon in the early 1880s to increase the accuracy of criminal identification by measuring certain bony portions of the body, including the skull, foot, cubit, trunk and left middle finger. This identification method spread throughout Europe and was introduced into the United States in 1887.”

Yee Ho Lee arrived in Seattle on 21 March 1933 and was held in the Immigration Detention Center on Seattle Boulevard [1933 address]. She was denied admittance on 25 April. It was appealed. There were “Page 1” articles in the Seattle Times about the case on 22 April, 26 April and 16 May 1933 and other unidentified articles in the file. At the bottom of two of the articles there was an ad- –Buy American!— [Oh, irony!]

An appeal was made by Fred H. Lysons, attorney for Yee Ho Lee’s husband and the decision was reversed. The contours of the lips of the young woman were compared to those of the child and it was decided that they belonged to the same person. Yee Ho Lee was finally admitted on 13 May 1933.

Yung Hin Lun – Chinese Prince Visits Seattle

Yung Hin Lun Certificate of Identity
“Yung Hin Lun, Certificate of Identity, #22775” 1916, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Yung Hin Lun file, Seattle, Box1211, Case 35100/1731.

Yung Hin Lun was admitted to the United States as a Section Six student at Yale, New Haven, Connecticut in 1918. He made several trips back to China and returned again in 1920 with a merchant status. Henry M. White, U.S. Commissioner of Immigration in Seattle said that although Yung Hin Lun was not in the U.S. long enough to obtain merchant status “there appears to be absolutely no question that Yung Hin Lun is in no sense a laborer but is on the contrary a Chinese of unusually high class…”
Yung Hin Lun was an electrical engineer for China Metals and Welding Company with offices in Hong Kong and New York. His white witnesses were Mr. L. Fowle and Mr. Merle Walker, Guarantee Trust Company, New York City. Fowle said Yung Hin Lun’s family owned a large bank in China with a branch on Wall Street.
A Seattle Times article on 2 September 1919 had this headline, “Chinese Prince Visits Seattle, Acts as Secretary to Mission, Scion of Imperial Kwang Hsu, Family Perturbed Because identity is Discovered. Spends 2 Years in U. S.” With the article are photos of Prince Hin Lun and B.M. Chan.
Yung Hin Lun served in a secretarial capacity for Dr. T. Hsieh, representative of the Chinese Merchants’ Guilds, who was in the U.S.to promote Chinese diplomatic and commercial interest. They were accompanied by B. M. Chan, a multi-millionaire banker from Havana, Cuba.