Tag Archives: W. F. Watkins

Seid Juck Family Portrait – The Dalles, Oregon

Seid Juck Family Portrait
“Seid Juck Family Portrait,” ca. 1917, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Seid Quay Fong (Foon) and Fung Shee case file, Portland, Box 31, 4242.

[This undated, unidentified family portrait was included in the file. The people in the photograph are almost identical to other photos in the file: Fung Shee (mother), Seid Quay Foon (daughter), Sher Lun (adopted son), Seid Juck (father), and baby (probably born in 1916-17; not mentioned in the file). The photo was taken about 1917.]
Fung Shee and her daughter, Seid Quay Fong (or Foon), arrived at the port of Seattle, Washington on 3 June 1915 and were admitted four days later. Fung Shee’s husband, Seid Juck, was a merchant and manager of the Wing Yuen Company at 208 First Street in The Dalles, Oregon.
The file tells a complicated story. Seid Juck and his first wife adopted a son, Sher Lun. After Seid Juck’s wife died, his first cousin, Seid Dai, who was visiting in China from The Dalles, arranged for Fung Shee, a widow without children, to live in Seid Juck’s home and take care of Sher Lun. Seid Dai (sometimes referred to as Seid Ah Dai) was a fruit rancher and contractor for laborers for the Seufert Cannery in The Dalles, Oregon.
Fung Shee was thirty-one years old in 1915 and had bound feet. W. F. Watkins, Chinese and Immigrant Inspector in Portland, Oregon, explained the marriage situation in his report to J. H. Barbour, Inspector in Charge. Watkins said that Seid Juck and Fung Shee’s marriage was arranged by Seid Ah Dai and was “consummated by the bride coming to Seid Juck’s home to live.” “… according to Chinese custom, nothing additional in the way of ceremony is necessary when the bride is a widow.” Seid Juck arrived in China in October 1912 about a year after the marriage to Fung Shee took place. He returned to The Dalles in May 1913 with his son Sher Lun. His daughter, Quay Foon, was born four month later in China. Seid Sher Lun, age 11 in 1915, was attending school in The Dalles in Grade 2A in Miss Sebring’s class.
Seid Juck’s marriage name was Seid Sing Gee. He was 52 years old in 1915. Other members of the Wing Yuen Company were Seid Wah My, salesman and buyer; Seid Lup, silent partner; Seid Wah Yim, bookkeeper and salesman; Seid Sui, silent partner; and Seid Sing, silent partner. The company’s annual sales were $5,000.
F. A. Seufert, Jr. was a witness for Seid Juck’s 1912 trip to China. Seufert had known Seid Juck for about 12 or 14 years. He swore that Seid Juck was a bonafide merchant and performed no manual labor except that was necessary in the conduct of his business at the Wing Yuen Company.
Arthur Seufert, age 37, was born in San Francisco and lived in The Dalles, Oregon for 35 years. He was a member of his family’s salmon cannery, Seufert Brothers Company, and swore he knew Seid Juck and his partner, Seid Wah Yim, for several years. The brothers both gave favorable and positive statements for Seid Juck.

There is no information about Fung Shee in the file after 1915. In 1926, a letter in the file states that their daughter, Seid Quay Foon, age 14, applied for and received a Certificate of Identity.

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Leong Gain – Positive testimony given by Caucasian Witnesses

Leong Gain 1932 photo
“Leong Gain, Form 430 photo,” 1932, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Leong Gain case file, Portland, Box 96, 5017/705.

Leong Gain, son of Leong Poy and Lee Shee, was born on Oak Street in Portland, Oregon on 24 September 1893. When Leong Gain was about five or six years old, his mother returned to China with his baby sister.
Leong Gain visited his family in China in 1912. He received his Certificate of Identity in San Francisco, California upon his re-admission to the United States as a native-born citizen in 1914.
Leong Gain’s most challenging application came in 1917 with his interview for re-entry into the United States. He stated that Mr. Frasier and Billy Fook knew about his birth. The examining inspector, W. F. Watkins, questioned Leong Gain’s honesty because Leong did not mention his sister when he was interviewed in 1912. The 1917 interview went on and on. Recorded on page 3 of the interview, Watkins said, “You mean to say now, do you, that the first knowledge you received of your having a sister was when you returned to China in 1912…?” Leong Gain answered, “That’s correct.” The inspector wanted to know if Gain’s sister was born in Portland or China. Although he thought his sister was born in Portland, Gain explained that he just too young to know the details of his sister’s birth. He would have been 5 or 6 when she and his mother returned to China. (It was probably traumatic to be motherless at that young age.)
Later in the interview, the point of the questioning finally becomes apparent. Watkins said, “Isn’t it true and you and your sister were both born in China?”
The next nine pages of the interview involve witnesses testifying that Leong Gain was born in Portland.
Haw Ah Fook, also known as Billy Fook, was about 64 years old in 1917, when he testified that Leong Gain was born in Portland. He didn’t know Leong Gain as a small child but knew his father, Gong Poy. As far as he knew, Gong Poy lived on the east side of Portland and had a wife and son there. When Watkins pressed him for more information, he said, “Mr. Watkins, I can’t remember those things. I attend to my business and I don’t keep track of the Chinese. I can’t remember those things.” On the third page of Billy Fook’s interview, Watkins asked him if Leong Gain ever told him if he had a brother or sister. Fook replied, “No, never said a dam’ word to me.”
Charles R. Frasier, a merchant at Crescent Paper Company, testified that he had known Leong Gain all his life, since he was born. He was a week or two old when Frasier saw him for the first time. Frasier said he and his parents took an interest in the family. He saw the family frequently until he went away to college. After he got married and opened his own business, Leong Gain and his father would visit his business every few months. At Christmas they would bring Chinese nuts; they never forgot the family on Christmas. Mr. Watkins asked Frasier over and over if he was certain that Leong Gain was born in Portland. Frazier said, “I would gamble my last dollar on it.”
George J. Kadderly worked in the hardware business in Portland. He easily recognized Leong Gain from his photograph. He remembered “this little chap was around in swaddling clothes around on the sidewalk.” He saw Leong Gain off and on over the years on the street or in Chinatown. Whenever he ran into Leong Gain he always said, “Hello, George.”

Because Frasier and Kadderly were well-known, respected White witnesses and their statements were clear cut and positive in Leong Gain’s favor, Inspector Watkins approved the application in spite of some inconsistencies.
Leong Gain made another trip to China in 1923; returning in 1926. During his 1923 interview he presented his Portland draft registration card dated 5 June 1917. He was classified as 1-A but was not called for active military duty because he was under weight.
In October 1932 Leong Gain was applying for his fourth visit to China and was approved. Each time he traveled outside of the United States he went through the whole process of being interviewed and photographed.
There is no more information in the file.

Chin Mon – Deported in spite of strong support

Chin Mon Photo
“Chin Mon, Description of Person Deported,” 1927, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Chin Mon file, Portland, Box 53, Case 5001/88.

Chin Ding, Chin Mon, alias Chin Mon Ding, age 54, was ordered deported by Department of Labor on 25 May 1926. He left on his own accord on 1 February 1927 from Seattle on s.s. President Jefferson. He paid his own expenses.
Before leaving he sold all of his interests in the United States. He stated that if he was not permitted to remain permanently he preferred to depart on his own. He did not want to use all of his money “here in idleness” when he would probably be deported eventually.
The Department of Labor suspected Inspector Charles E. Keagy of accepting and soliciting bribes. They wanted Chin Mon to testify against Keagy because of Chin Mon’s “ingenuous and frank manner.” Although Chin Mon decided not to testify, Keagy was fired by the Bureau of Immigration.

Testimony revealed that Charles Brotchie, a deputy sheriff and John W. L. Fort, a mail carrier, both of Seattle testified that Chin Mon was a merchant in Seattle when he was actually a gardener (a laborer) at Beaverton, Oregon.
A summary of the investigation said that Chin Mon testified that he paid $500 to Inspector Keagy in 1922 to obtain a merchant classification. The amount was transferred at the Kuong Tai Company in Seattle. Chin Mon wanted to get merchant’s papers so he could bring his adopted son to the United States. The son, Chin Woon or Foon (Seattle file 1545/13/15) did accompany his father to the U.S. in 1924 but was denied admission, appealed and was eventually admitted. (Inspector Keagy was not on the board denying admission.) Chin Woon worked with his father in the garden in Beaverton.
Chin Mon, alias Chin Ding, marriage name Mon Ing, was born about 1872 in Foong Nguen village, Sun Ning district and first entered the United States at Portland when he was 18 years old. He had a truck farm in Beaverton, Oregon. He had planned to leave the country as a laborer but was convinced by Inspector Keagy that it would be better for him if he declared that he was a merchant.
After reviewing all the testimony Immigrant Inspector W. F. Watkins stated in his recommendations: “Chin Mon is a Chinaman of high intelligence, is an old-time resident of this district, an exceedingly industrious and hard-working fellow who lives by the sweat of his brow, well-liked and trusted by his neighbors, and so far as known, with the exception of the present instance, is a law-abiding citizen.” “Chin Mon has equipment and investments in his garden which he values at from $3000 to $3500.” He spent $1500 on legal fees to get Chin Woon landed. Inspector Watkins recommended that the warrant proceedings against Chin Mon be cancelled but Chin Woon was deported and Chin Mon decided his case was hopeless and left at his own expense.
In Chin Mon’s testimony he told about his truck farm. He was in business with Lee Kay who was trying to find someone to purchase Chin Mon’s interest. They grew lettuce, beets, carrots, parsnips, spinach, peas, potatoes, horseradish, cabbage and potatoes. His farming equipment consisted of four plows, three horses, two harrows, four cultivators, two dozen hoes, rakes, and small farm implements, two wagons and one 2-1/2 ton truck, between three and four dozen chickens and $800 worth of hay.
1928 affidavits swearing that Chin Mon was reliable, honest, industrious and hardworking were from:
August Rossi, resident of Beaverton for 42 years and has known Chin Ding (Chin Mon) for eight years.

Doy Gray, cashier at State Bank of Beaverton and has known Chin Ding (Chin Mon) for eight years.

Joe F. Keller, Special Agent in Charge of the Pacific Coast Automobile Underwriters Conference and own of a truck garden farm in Beaverton. and has known Chin Ding (Chin Mon) since 1919.

Chin Fong You, and has known Chin Ding (Chin Mon) for thirteen years.