Lew Family Biographies

Lew Hee Pork (劉希樸) and Lew Hee Leung (劉希樑)

About the 1860's, Lew Hee Pork and Lew Hee Leung of Choong Lau town(冲 簍), Long Son Hong Village (朗 傘 塘 鄉), Lew Pak Hong (蔞北鄉), County of Hoison (台 山), map location FQ 8651, China came to California and worked on building the transcontinental railroad. Lew Hee Leung was a very good worker and other workers would listen to him. He was big and had a strong body and was very handsome looking. The railroad manager promoted Lew Hee Leung to foreman. After the transcontinental railroad was completed, Lew Hee Leung with his brother Lew Hee Pork, opened a fruit/vegetable store and packing business located in Sacramento, CA. The business was very profitable and they made a considerable amount of money.

As the industrial revolution progressed, packing business machines were replacing much of the manual type operations. Because the brothers were Chinese, the machine manufacturers would not sell them the new machines. Competition made it impossible to stay in business, so they sold the business and property to a Mr. Lum. Mr Lum converted the business into a 5 & 10 cent store and subsequently, became wealthy and a very well respected and known individual in the Chinese community. The property where the store was located on has since changed to the Wong's Benevolent Association (1702 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95818.)

Lew Hee Pork and Lew Hee Leung both returned back to the village in Long Son Hong, Hoison, China and purchased approximately 80 hectares (Lew Hee Pork - 10 hectares, Lew Hee Leung - 70 hectares) of land around the present village called Slen War Lee Village (新 和 里) and Oong War Village (東 和). There was considerable jealousy and dislike between the two brothers. Both brothers married and lived in the village. They both became wealthy from leasing the land and did not actually do any real work. They were originally from Ngen War Village (仁 和).

Lew Hee Leung(劉希湙)

Lew Hee Leung was a very generous man and did many good things for the Lew family. With the wealth he had earned while in the United States, he helped finance immigration of 7 good men from the Lew family to the United States. These men eventually brought their families over to the United States. Today's presence in the United States of many Lew families was attributed to Lew Hee Leung. Most of the families are living in California.

Lew Kung Doung(劉孔覮)

Lew Kung Doung opened a grocery store business in Hong Kong and had asked his uncle, Lew Hee Leung to help finance its expansion but was refused. Lew Kung Doung wanted power and wealth. During this period, opium was a big business. So, Lew Kung Doung opened a garbage transportation business and smuggled opium between Hong Kong and mainland China and Malaysia. He was making lots of money. Unfortunately, the authorities caught him smuggling. He sold both the grocery store and the garbage transportation business and used all his available cash to buy his escape from the authorities. He returned back to the village and opened a restaurant supply business in Choong Lau town (冲 簍) which was near the village. The business made porcelain china ware. He again began smuggling opium thru his business and accumulated a considerable amount of wealth.

In Choong Lau town, Lew Kung Doung was well known and he knew a lot of local influential people including the towns chief-of-police. Because the the chief-of-police trusted him, a business arrangement was made between the two of them to extort money from the gambling operations around town. The exhorted money was split 50-50 between the two of them. He died at age 59 during the occupation by the Japanese Imperial Forces in WWII.

Kong Hong Loui(劉孔衡)

With the help of his brother, Lew Kung Doung immigrated to Mexicali, Mexico. From Mexico, he migrated into California and finally moved to Baltimore, MD. He became a U.S. Citizen on July 10, 1913 under the name Fook Loui (劉 状 福). Apparently, there was a misspelling of the sir name 'Lew' to 'Loui' during the processing of the citizenship paperwork. Although Fook Loui's given name was Kong Hong Loui (劉 孔 衡), he decided to use his common recognized name. It shows that he was born in San Francisco, CA but all records were destroyed during the 1906 earthquake. This method of claiming U.S. citizenship was used by many Chinese immigrants in those days.

Although Fook Loui really had one son and two daughter's, he officially listed having three son's on his U.S. immigration documentation. With the extra money he earned from his laundry business, Fook Loui sent the money back to Lew Kung Doung to build two houses and a small school house. One house was built to house Lew Fook's wife (李氏 ), George Mong Yung's wife (鄧 銀 笑) and Mong Ngeung Lew's wife. The second house was built to house Lew Kung Doung (劉 孔 覮), his wife (吳) and their grandson, Hem Loui (劉 道 幹). A third house was specially built next door to accommodate an exclusive family classroom. A teacher would come teach everyday. Hem Loui and Lew Fawn Key were the primary students and a couple of other family kids would attend class occasionally.

Fook Loui made his last trip and died from an accidental head injury after falling down in the hotel bathroom in Hong Kong before he was able to see his wife. His remains were exhumed many years later in Hong Kong and were moved to the Slen War Lee village cemetery to be reburied next to his wife and grand son.