The Wyoming Experience: Chinese in Wyoming 

By Dudley Gardner


                A New York Daily Tribune reporter traveling with the United States Army in 1857 filed a report from future Wyoming, then a part of Utah territory.  The reporter wrote, "having gone out from the camp a few days ago, to pass a day and night . . . I trifled away a morning in visiting the lodges of some mountaineers. . . . "  In one of the tents "a Chinese boy was darning his pantaloons, encircled by puppies. . . . "  In another lodge "three or four" Shoshoni women sat cooking.  The "Chinese boy" apparently worked for the Shoshoni women and their husbands.[1]  Describing the military encampment and neighboring camps on the Black's Fork River near Fort Bridger, the unidentified writer noted that a Chinese "boy" had found his way into the trapping and trading industry in the Intermountain West.  Not until the Union Pacific Railroad arrived a dozen years later, however, did noticeable numbers of Chinese appear in Wyoming.[2]

                Beginning in 1869 Chinese immigrants came to the territory to repair the Union Pacific Railroad.  Soon, opportunities for other immigrants increased.  Specifically, Chinese coal miners found work throughout southwest Wyoming.  The combination of jobs on the railroad and in coal mines led to the creation of Chinese communities that lasted into the twentieth century.  Rock Springs, Wyoming, witnessed the single largest influx of Chinese Miners. In 1885 the infamous Chinese Massacre in 1885, an event that dominates the Chinese experiences in Wyoming, led to the almost complete removal of Chinese from Wyoming.   However, literally rising from ashes, the Chinese immigrants in Rock Springs showed that even after flames destroyed homes and businesses, people working toward a common goal could rebuild their communities.  Soon after "the Massacre," the Rock Springs Chinatown became the cornerstone of the Chinese immigrant activities in Wyoming.[3]

The Rock Springs Chinatown

                North of the main part of town at Rock Springs, Chinatown was built along the valley floor of Bitter Creek.  Here alluvial soils, conditioned by centuries of bountiful stream flow, made the valley north of Rock Springs ideal for a village.  Along the flanks of the hills and along the banks of Bitter Creek, most of the miners lived with their families, but the flats just north of Bitter Creek were reserved for the Chinese.  Here, on the sun-drenched alkali alluvium, the Union Pacific built a Chinatown.  Under their homes and into the banks of Bitter Creek, Chinese miners cut cellars.[4]  Unlike simple storage cellars, these "so-called dugouts" served variously as bedrooms, kitchens, opium dens, and gaming houses.  Other immigrants also dug their homes into the banks of Bitter Creek, but the Chinese perfected the cellar system, sometimes connecting separate houses through connecting underground rooms.  One newspaper contended that all the houses in the first Rock Springs Chinatown had one common feature, "Nearly every house had a cellar."  In each cellar, "in the side walls small apertures about three feet long and perhaps two feet square or larger, had been dug, for what purpose no one knows, but [Chinatown] was literally honey combed."[5]

                The Rock Springs Chinese community had its genesis in the mid-1870s, but by 1880 the Chinatown eclipsed all others in the territory.  Three times as large as the Evanston Chinatown, Rock Springs's Chinese community contained 40 percent of the territory's 914 Chinese immigrants in 1880.  Two decades later, Rock Springs held 60 percent of the state's 461 Chinese residents.[6]  Throughout the territory, most individuals in 1880 worked below the ground in coal mines.  In fact, 52 percent of the Chinese immigrants (448) worked in mines, 20 percent as railroad laborers (172), and 14 percent worked as laborers (123).  Coal mining brought these men to the town along Bitter Creek.  And here evidence of stable support systems centered around the household became clear.

                In 1880 in Rock Springs, both miners and cooks worked nearly year around with few breaks in their routine.[7]  Coal miners went underground and returned to meals prepared by cooks who remained at home.  Those houses, although relatively small in size, contained an average of eleven men.[8]  The houses that the Union Pacific Coal Company built for these men measured 12 ft. by 16 ft.[9]  Eight percent of the population worked as cooks in the households of miners; 78 percent of Rock Springs's Chinese population mined coal.  Changes were in the wind that would make it difficult for Chinese immigrants to work as coal miners.


The Tragedy on Bitter Creek

                In the 1880s several obstacles stood in the way of Chinese immigrating to the United States.  In fact, anti-Chinese sentiment during the decade led to the passage of several laws and acts designed to prevent immigration.  In 1882 Congress passed and then President Chester A. Arthur signed the so-called "Chinese Exclusion Law" that prohibited skilled or unskilled Chinese miners or laborers from entering the United States.  The law prohibited entry for ten years.  In 1892 even more severe legislation came into force when the Geary Act passed, restricting immigration for ten more years.  The Geary Act denied Chinese immigrants "due process" by stipulating that no Chinese involved in criminal cases would be allowed out on bail during court proceedings and required that all laborers from China carry "certificates of residence."  Still another exclusionary law came into force in 1902.  Yet none of these acts prevented Chinese from continuing to seek their dreams in "Gam Saan" (Golden Mountain).  As one historian has asserted, numerous Chinese "entered the country by assuming the roles of merchants, teachers, students and travelers--categories of Chinese eligible to enter the country."[10]  Some Chinese simply walked into the American Northwest via British Columbia, using the woods and mountains to conceal their entry.  In addition, the border crossing went both ways, with Chinese from Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco traveling into British Columbia to take advantage of employment opportunities.[11]  Unfortunately, the Chinese immigrants to Canada could not expect favorable legislation there either.

                To provide a broader context for understanding what happened in Rock Springs in 1885 and the extent of prejudice against Chinese immigrants in North America, a brief look at how Canada dealt with immigration issues is useful.  In 1884 a "Canadian federal Royal Commission" investigated the "alleged problem of Chinese immigration."  As a result of the Commission's investigation and recommendations, "a fifty-dollar 'head tax' was imposed upon each Chinese who entered Canada."[12]  At Victoria or New Westminster in the "General Register of Chinese Immigration" the list of who paid the head tax grew.[13]  Only merchants, tourists, scientists, students, and diplomatic personnel from China did not pay the tax.  Then in 1902 the rate increased to $100 and a year later rose to $500.  Added to this was a federal act, passed in 1903, requiring all Chinese laborers entering Canada to have $200 in their possession before being admitted into the country.[14]

                Even while political forces conspired to prevent the entry of Chinese into Canada and the United States, prejudice began to take on dangerous overtones.  In Wyoming, prejudice fanned flames that forever left a mark on the area's future.  Throughout Wyoming, misgivings about Union Pacific's hiring of Chinese surfaced as early as 1868.  In that year, the Frontier Index decried the use of Chinese labor on the Central Pacific Railroad and elsewhere in the West.  Two years later, a Wyoming Tribune editorial claimed 1,200 more "Chinamen" had arrived in California and complained that they would soon be taking "white men's" jobs.  The paper continued, "Every day a suicide, some poor devil of a white man out of money, too proud to beg, too honest to steal, too noble to starve, blows his brains out.  All right white blood is at a discount and coffins are cheap.  The potter's field is large; starving white people are welcome to its gates."  The writer of the editorial, in an appeal to readers' patriotism, concluded by imploring workers, "By every consideration of honor and manhood; by every impulse of justice and patriotism, I conjure you to rise as one man in the majesty of your power as freemen, and throw back the tide of heathen paupers from our shores."[15]

                Growing anti-Chinese sentiment, coupled with Union Pacific's wage-cutting policies, led to a volatile situation.[16]  Warnings of this sentiment came to the attention of the management of the Union Pacific, but they went unheeded.  Seemingly, little was done to avoid events that eventually erupted in violence.

                One of the contributing factors that led to the anti-Chinese movement in the coal mines was a perception that Chinese miners were treated better than whites.  This false perception grew in part from cultural misunderstanding.  In fact, on the average, Chinese coal miners made less and paid more for goods and services.  For example, in the late 1880s Chinese miners earned between $1.73 and $2 a day for their labors underground.  By comparison, white miners earned $2.50 to $3 each day.[17]  Meanwhile, Chinese coal miners rented their homes for between $5 and $7 each month.  Union Pacific rented similar houses for $2.50 a month to white miners.  Interestingly, for September 1885, when the Chinese miners only lived two days in the Union Pacific homes, they were charged either $1 or $2 rent.[18]  Meanwhile, the head of Union Pacific Coal Company, D. O. Clark, who lived in one of the finest houses in town in the years leading up to the tragedy in Rock Springs, paid only $5 a month rent.[19]

                Despite these facts, many whites felt that the Union Pacific granted the Chinese extra privileges.[20]  The major complaints of the white miners in the 1880s included the statement that "Chinese miners were favored in the assignment of rooms in the mines," where the actual extracting of coal took place.  The coal miners in Rock Springs thought that the Chinese miners were given the easiest "workings" where they could more easily extract coal and make more money each day.  To this end, white miners accused J. M. Tisdel, mine superintendent in Rock Springs, of selling "privileges to Chinamen."  Adding to their discontent was the fact that Union Pacific coal miners were "compelled to trade at the Beckwith, Quinn and Company store."[21]  Trade at Beckwith and Quinn was especially objectionable to the white miners since this company had brought the Chinese miners into Wyoming.

                The "white" miners and Chinese miners chose two different paths.  In general, Euro-Americans joined the union; Chinese miners turned to their elders.  Both wanted better working conditions.  Not finding the Union Pacific management open to listening to their problems, the workers turned elsewhere to vent their frustrations, notably to the Knights of Labor.  The Knights of Labor proved less attractive to the Chinese living in southern Wyoming.  The Chinese leaders and community in some ways served the same function as the Knights of Labor.  The Chinese refusal to join the union probably did not indicate their support for Union Pacific's labor practices but, instead, may have indicated that their elders served as their negotiator or vehicle (or in labor terms "union") for dealing with the company.  They did not, however, docilely go to work, mine coal, and return to living in the company homes without a complaint.  And in retrospect, paying "white" foremen to assign them better rooms below ground may reflect an active choice to ensure success.[22]  Whatever the case may be, Chinese miners who lived in Rock Springs worked to make as much money as quickly as possible.

                The Knights of Labor activity in Rock Springs increased after 1883.  Successful in organizing miners in Rock Springs, the union also enrolled railroad workers throughout the territory.  Initially the Knights of Labor in Rock Springs tried to recruit Chinese workers.  This effort was contrary to its anti-Chinese labor policy, but it showed good faith in trying to bring all coal miners into the union.  As one author wrote:  "Considering the union strictly a 'White Man's Organization,' the Chinese refused to join."  This refusal of the Chinese miners to join the union embittered the white miners.  The proverbial die was cast, and the union began advocating the removal of all Chinese from Wyoming.[23]

                On January 16, 1885, Charles F. Adams, Jr., appointed president of the Union Pacific Railroad, was told of brewing labor problems  Adams, was a member of the distinguished Adams family that had produced two American Presidents--John Adams, his grandfather, and John Quincy Adams, his father.  Adams was told of labor strife about to unfold  in the coal mines.  S. R. Callaway, the general manager for Union Pacific Railroad at Omaha, became concerned about the growing anti-Chinese sentiment and pro-labor stance of the workers in Wyoming.  Callaway wrote Adams on that date:  "[At] Carbon, the men were all out on strike…and… they claim that before they will go to work they are going to compel us to discharge all Finlanders and Chinese."[24]    Union Pacific's position was galvanizing: the Chinese would stay.  The Knights of Labor countered, "The Chinese must go."[25]

                In early September 1885 the situation in Rock Springs quickly worsened, and on September 2 in the tiny coal camp of Rock Springs, 28 Chinese were killed by coal miners wanting to drive all Chinese from Rock Springs.  The Chinese witnesses--who gave the most accurate accounting of dead and injured--contended:  "The whole number of Chinese killed was twenty-eight and those wounded fifteen."[26]  Another report estimated that 100 houses erupted in flames on September 2, 1885.[27]

                Tension in the coal mines did not end with the Chinese Massacre, however.  Instead, that dramatic conflict helped generate additional strife in the mines at Carbon and the Union Pacific mines at Louisville, Colorado.  On October 1, 1885, the miners at Carbon went out on strike after issuing a proclamation to the Union Pacific Coal Department.  In part the statement read, "the working men at Carbon will not go to work until every Chinaman along the Union Pacific road [is] discharged."  Reacting swiftly, the Union Pacific closed the mines at Carbon.  On October 2 the miners at Louisville issued a similar ultimatum calling for "a general settlement of the grievances at Rock Springs."  The Louisville mines were likewise closed immediately.[28]

                After these events, the Union Pacific clearly needed outside help to begin reopening its coal mines.[29]  Since the principal fuel used to operate the railroad was coal, something had to be done soon.  The first attempt at reopening the mines came shortly after the return of the Chinese miners to Rock Springs.  On September 12, 100  reluctant Chinese re-entered the mines.[30]  Most of these miners had lived in Rock Springs on September 2.  The first attempt to reopen all mines at Rock Springs was made on September 21.  Nearly all the white miners, who ran the surface trains, refused to return to work.  Without their assistance, resuming mine operations proved impossible.  According to the Union Pacific, it became necessary to replace the operators and other mine employees.  "[M]easures were accordingly taken to bring white miners at once from Utah and elsewhere.  These were mostly Mormons, and no less objectionable than the Chinese to the men who had been concerned in the outbreak of September 2 and who were now waiting to reap the fruits of it."[31]  Nonetheless, Chinese were needed to run the Rock Springs mines.  By October 25, 720 Chinese miners once again worked in Rock Springs.[32]  In spite of protests and attempted work stoppages, the mines resumed producing coal at Rock Springs and elsewhere along the Union Pacific mainline with the help brought from outside Wyoming.

                Meanwhile, by the end of September, 25 new homes rose from the ashes of Chinatown.  In all, 60 houses would be built for the Chinese returning to Rock Springs.[33]  As one source indicated, on the site of Chinatown "which was destroyed, a new town [was] going up as fast as skilled workers can put the timbers together."  A reporter for The Cheyenne Democratic Leader reported that the cellars, an important part of most of the Chinese homes in Rock Springs, were being "filled up, and the whole space to be used will be made as level as a floor."  Possibly to prevent the rapid burning of the structures in case of another attack on Chinatown, "a street between each row and a wider space between houses than the Chinese like to have" marked the new community.  The houses measured "12 x 30 feet in size, with an ell about ten feet square for a kitchen."  The new houses, according to one account, would  "accommodate ten men to each and [would] be cleaner than the old quarters."[34]

                The Chinese did most of the rebuilding of the Rock Springs Chinese community.  Although the Union Pacific built the structures, the Chinese immigrants rebuilt their community.  Like the old community, the new Chinatown contained households and lineage clans.  Even though the new town continued to diversify, it, like the old, centered around one industry, coal mining.  Still, Chinese doctors, druggists, and possible Buddhist "priests," along with the ever-present restauranteurs continued to reside in the new town.  By the end of the 1880s, the vitality of the Chinatown was once again evident.  In 1893, of the 675 Chinese in Wyoming, 617 lived in Rock Springs,[35] and the rebuilt Rock Springs Chinatown contained drugstores, grocery shops, tea merchants, and a variety of other stores and services.[36]  Children, a rarity in Rock Springs in the 1880s, began to grow up in Chinatown.  And a newspaper account of January 24, 1895, reported that Mrs. On Wah "has a baby."  The rare arrival of a Chinese newborn attracted "more than ordinary attention."[37]

                The Chinese community in Rock Springs began to rebuild following the Chinese Massacre of 1885.  The strength of the community could be measured, in part, by its ability to rebuild.  Interestingly, as late as 1900 the average date that Chinese immigrants living in Rock Springs had entered the United States was 1867.  The average age of these residents was 43.2 years.[38]  This meant that the population was aging, but these statistics also show that the vast majority of the residents still living in Rock Springs arrived before the massacre and knew the town's past.  Choosing to stay, in part, meant that not only were there opportunities in this coal camp but also that a support group existed capable of continuing the community.

                In the decade of the 1890s, Rock Springs's Chinatown became even more diversified.[39]  For example, in February 1891 The Cheyenne Daily Leader noted that in Rock Springs "a steam laundry, blacksmith shops, Chinese stores [and] establishments" served the town's citizens.[40]  Two years later, a Chinese tailor from Portland, named Tuck Sing, set up shop.[41]  Prosperity returned, and by the late 1890s, Lung Sing Chung and Company had property assessed at $4,040.[42]  Fat Quong and Toi Yen Quong owned assets valued at $1,000 and $550, respectively.[43]  The wealth of some led others to try their hand in business.  Soon other stores opened in Chinatown.

                Over time, Chinese merchants in Rock Springs left the new Chinatown to establish stores on the fringes of "white man's" town.  In April 1894 the Rock Springs Miner reported that Hung Wah "had opened a drug store on Pilot Butte Avenue."  Located south of Chinatown, Wah appealed to customers from American and European immigrant communities, as well as to Chinese customers in the area.  The Miner added that Hung Wah gave "special attention to herbs which he has in variety to cover all the ills that flesh is heir to."[44]  Earlier census records also note the presence of Chinese doctors in several towns.[45]  In these cases the doctor probably served as the druggist prior to the arrival of a herbalist who generally opened  drug stores.  Archaeological records also suggest that some households contained druggists who operated a cottage industry where they supplied drugs and herbs to residents.[46]

                A bit later, Dr. Hung Wah, described as a "Chinese druggist and pharmacist" at Rock Springs, proclaimed "I have practiced Chinese medicine for twenty years and [have] never failed to correctly diagnose a case and successfully treat it."  To prove his point Wah added, "I have in my office testimonials from people I have treated and cured in Rock Springs."[47]  Hung touted:  "If you are ailing give me a call.  It won't cost you a cent."[48]  These herbalists enjoyed a clientele that not only included Chinese but also Europeans and Americans.

                Chinese doctors also resided in or visited Rock Springs in the 1890s.  Ah Say, one of the leaders in the Chinese community who served the Union Pacific Railroad Company in a variety of capacities in the Evanston and Rock Springs communities, often hosted these influential countrymen.  In May 1895, Dr. Soo Yun Poy, Kom Jan Sun, and Kong Komi, "all wealthy residents of China," visited the coal camp, bringing with them their expertise to aid the Chinese citizens.  Dr. Poy, the Rock Springs Miner reported, was "an eminent physician and came to the relief of many of his countrymen here.  He [was a] specialist on asthma, consumption and such diseases."[49]  Since black lung, often called consumption, frequently afflicted miners, even those who labored briefly underground often needed Poy's services.  One Chinese doctor in Evanston saved a nameless Chinese man's life as he suffered from a severe head injury.[50]  A week after suffering the wound, the injured gentleman remained alive and well.  Since he worked as a "gardener and peddled vegetables" during the summer, he, according to one account, was "pretty well known by the white people in town."[51]


Interaction Among Chinese Communities

                Southwest Wyoming, specifically two counties, Sweetwater and Uinta, contained the bulk of Chinese immigrants living in Wyoming in the 19th century.  Of the 139 Chinese resident in Wyoming in 1870, 90 percent lived in these two counties.  Little changed a decade later when the percentage grew to 95 percent of the territory's 914 immigrants from Guangdong Province.  Since these two counties, with Evanston in Uinta and Rock Springs in Sweetwater, shared common borders, it was only natural that the two Chinese communities interacted.            

                Interactions between the two Chinese communities of Evanston and Rock Springs is best exemplified in one of the Chinese community's most important functions, the celebration of the New Year.  As one newspaper reported, on February 7, 1895, "with banners flying, drums beating and pipes playing" a parade marched "the principal streets" of Rock Springs to signal the beginning of the lunar year.  In the procession "the stars and stripes were the center flag in the group of fancy flags and glittering ornaments."  The majority of the "Chinamen in the procession were dressed in costumes of bright colors and marched in single file."[52]  On this day, according to the same account, "The sun was shining brightly on the display made by our Chinese residents. . . . "  "The procession," the observer wrote, "was attractive to the eye.  Peacock feathers and ornaments of fine and delicate workmanship formed part of the pageant."  Leaving downtown, the parade returned to the Rock Springs Chinatown.  Firecrackers and explosions punctuated the arrival of the procession, but the celebration was not over.  From here the Chinese celebrants proceeded by rail to Evanston to celebrate the New Year.[53]  The celebration of the New Year in Wyoming started as early as 1870 but began to receive annual attention from local newspapers in the 1880s.

                On February 21, 1880, an issue of the Carbon County Journal reported that the "China New Year" in Evanston had "been very dull."  The extent of the "excitement . . . has been the firing of a few firecrackers."[54]  But another account noted, "Chinatown has been made more lively the past week over the arrival of the Chinese wooden god" in anticipation of the lunar New Year.  The residents of the Evanston Chinatown in 1881, "feasted on roasted hogs . . . cakes, tarts and all kinds of cookery. . . ."[55]  In the Evanston Chinatown on New Years day 1883, "a Chinese flag of heavy silk, richly embroidered in colors and gold, representing the dragon is floating at the top of the tallest and most finished flag-staff in town."  Northeast of the tracks in Evanston, "the elaborately carved and gilded doors of the Joss stood open."  Inside, "roast pigs and bowls of fragrant liquors are set before Joss as an offering, and numerous censors . . . kept slowly burning on the altar."[56]

                Taken together, these New Years ceremonies provide valuable insight into 19th-century Chinese communities.  Even though surrounding "white" populations saw them as curious ceremonies, they participated in the festivities.[57]  For example, on February 24, 1884, "in the afternoon, all the porches, verandahs, and even the roofs of the smaller houses, surrounding Joss House square" in the Evanston Chinatown filled "with spectators men, women and children from town to the number of fully one

thousand. . . . "  Chinese men, according to the local newspaper, "occupied the ground, the surrounding porches crowded with white people forming an amphitheater."  To show their hospitality, the Chinese men were extending honor to outside visitors by allowing them to stand on porches under the cover of wooden awnings, a valuable consideration in the winter weather of February.  The final ceremony began with the "beating of the gongs and cymbals, burning wax-tapers and fire-crackers."  The central event of the final day, in this case the twenty-fourth, involved firing a "light ball into the air and as it descended, there was a grand rush of Chinamen to catch the falling ball; in capturing this there was in each instance a fierce struggle to see who should get it; and the lucky one received from a dignitary on the ground . . . a certificate. . . . "[58]  The document, written in Chinese, proclaimed the holder in charge of the Joss House for one year.  The person who caught the ball held the distinguished position of offering sacrifices to the ancestors through the upcoming year.  As part of the newly acquired status, he received a "blessing and paid $10 to $50," the cost of the "light ball" shot into the air.[59]

                The New Years celebrations generally lasted for more than a few days.  In 1885 the Uinta County Chieftain, describing the Chinese New Years celebration, explained that it lasted well over a week.[60]  The closing ceremony, with all its splendor and fireworks, ended the "big annual blowout" on the first day of March 1885.[61]  "Chinatown, a suburb of Evanston," as one 1885 writer called the village, put on its "annual holiday airs" in February.  "The festivities of the Chinese New Year "commenced on the seventh and would last about four weeks.  On the staff in front of the "Joss House" a "silk flag of gay colors" floated in the ever-present breeze.  The festivities ended "with a grand bedlam" at the end of the month.[62]

                The 1891 New Year, like those in prior years, drew celebrants into the Rock Springs Chinatown.  As one journalist reported, when the moon grew full "at 1 o'clock Sunday morning" during the first week of February, open house "was kept by the Chinamen, and from the middle of the forenoon until late in the evening throngs of people, both gentlemen and ladies were passing to and from Chinatown."[63]  Children "especially availed themselves of this opportunity to visit 'John' and eat his candy."  On Saturday night hundreds of fire crackers exploded.  The following day "a banquet for the residents began the New Year."  In Evanston at the Joss House, the election of officials for the following year commenced following New Years day, but selection of the "Keeper" of the Joss House for the following year was more random.[64]  A balloon ascended a pole in front of the Joss House, "and when it came down a great rush [was] made for it and the man who gains possession of it [and the key inside] "holds the . . . office for a year."[65]  New Year continued to prove important.  A half dozen years later the Evanston Wyoming Press reported:  "The next event of any great importance will be Chinese New Years."  New Years would commence on February 9, "but the 'big day,' when the Dragon will be totted out, is the 25th."[66]  The procession of the dragon became the visible symbol of the season, and by extending the parade across the railroad tracks and into downtown Evanston, the Chinese community left Chinatown to walk on main street.[67]

                One 19th-century Evanston reporter praised Chinese hospitality.  Writing about New Years in 1898 he noted, "in company with several ladies and gentlemen of Evanston [we] had the pleasure of taking in Chinatown last Tuesday evening from Alpha to Omega, and are not sorry we made the trip."  The Chinese "extended courteous hospitality with as much grace as our polished French brethren across the water could possibly have opted to have done."  On behalf of the visitors the writer gave warm thanks "particularly to Kim Lung, the popular merchant of Chinatown. . . . "[68]

                Chinese New Year consistently drew the attention of outsiders, in part because it brought color and diversity into towns in the late 19th century that had little in the way of outside entertainment.  Consistently, Chinatowns filled with guests from neighboring communities during the annual festival.  Specifically, residents in Rock Springs gave money to help make the Evanston celebration a success.[69]  In part what made the celebration successful was the pooling of resources.[70]  For example, the "famous Dragon," needed to ring in the New Year in 1899 paraded through the streets on February20.  Then on the 22nd the Dragon appeared in a procession in the Evanston Chinatown.  According to one account, the Chinese believed "the spirit of God is in the Dragon and from it blessings flow to" those observing the processions and participating in the celebration.  The Chinese had "faith" the Dragon could drive "away sickness and bring prosperity to them."  To make the move from Rock Springs to Evanston, the Chinese chartered a special railroad car.  Total  cost of the event exceeded $1,000.[71]

                The importance of the Dragon and the ceremonial ball launched into the sky at Evanston is only mentioned in a few 19th-century descriptions.  The "ball represents God's power to take care of his people," an account in 1899 noted.  Once the ball is caught, the story continued, "it is taken into the Joss House, sprinkled with something of a fragrant odor which makes it holy. . . . "[72]  Over time, a "Dragon and fragrant ball" stayed in Rock Springs for one year then returned to Evanston.  It would not be used again; instead new balls were "imported from China, and a new one used every year."[73]  By the turn of the century, the Chinatown at Evanston had dwindled, so much so that the  Wyoming Press (Evanston) on February 17, 1900, noted that Chinese New Years drew a crowd from "other places" in order to make the New Years ceremony a success.  They added "the Dragon was not on exhibition," meaning, more than likely, it still was in Rock Springs.[74]

                The complexity and contradictions of the Chinese life in Wyoming between 1869 and 1900 makes generalizing about the Chinese experience in the territory and state difficult.  On the one hand, Chinese men fought for their rights using knives and guns.  On the other hand, they were victims of a tragedy where 28 men died.  In one way, the men lived lonely lives without families, yet households functioned as places where cooks provided meals and structure to the immigrants' home lives.  So while there is here an attempt to chart the different aspects of Chinese life in Wyoming, there is also the problem of providing a generalized description of the immigrants' lives in Wyoming.  Nonetheless, are a few patterns do emerge in Wyoming.

                A few generalizations about Chinese life in Wyoming can be made.  Chinese immigrants in Wyoming generally lived in Chinatowns or segregated sections of section camps.  Slowly, integration took place but not in the 19th century.  Like the dragon in the 1897 New Years parade in Evanston, Chinese immigrants could cross the tracks into the "white" part of town, but their return to Chinatown was still expected.  As far as occupations go, coal mining and railroad maintenance made up the core of employment for Chinese in Wyoming prior to the turn of the century.  By 1900, the service industries offered one source of employment, but manual labor and mining still dominated the lives of Chinese workers.

                In the late 1800s, few women from China resided in Wyoming and even fewer children.  Yet there were Chinese women and children throughout the territory and state.  And while the Chinese labored to develop the territory and state, the Chinese Massacre pointedly showed that while Wyoming was called the "Equality State," equal protection under the laws had not yet become a fixed feature of Wyoming's political culture.

                When Wyoming became a state in 1890, the state seal boasted equality.  But for the Chinese resident, five years removed from the Rock Springs Massacre, segregation was still the norm.  In that way, Wyoming differed little from its eastern counterparts where European immigrants lived in isolated neighborhoods in places like New York City, and "Jim Crow" laws separated blacks from whites in the South.  Likewise, in turn-of-the-century Alberta, British Columbia, and Montana, segregation for Chinese immigrants was the norm.  The Chinese Massacre had affected the Chinese deeply, but it was the Chinese that rebuilt their community in Rock Springs.

                The question of what happened to the residents of the Chinatowns in the Intermountain West once the town withered is difficult to answer.  Still, the question is answered, in part, by what happened in Rock Springs.  The end of the Rock Springs Chinatown is well documented.  Although it is but one example, Rock Springs provides a compelling example of how ethnic communities disperse.  In Wyoming in the early 20th century, the Rock Springs Chinese community drew the attention of the area's single largest company, the Union Pacific Coal and Railroad Company.  Beginning in 1925 the Union Pacific Coal Company began an active campaign of sending home to China the remaining Chinese coal miners who still lived in Rock Springs.  In part, the company saw sending them home as a reward for years of faithful service.[75]  By 1929, the historic Chinatown in Rock Springs no longer existed.  The number of Chinese men living in Rock Springs had dwindled to a point that by 1920 only 73 men and two woman remained.  Meanwhile, Evanston had 28 Chinese men and one Chinese woman scattered throughout town.  And it appears that the Evanston Chinatown contained only one or two people.  By this time Wyoming's Chinese population had fallen to 252 individuals, nearly half of what it was in 1900.[76]  But the dwindling numbers do not tell the entire story.  By tracing the return of these few remaining men to China, the story of the rise and fall of households and communities is brought full circle.

                By 1920, most of the Chinese women and men in Evanston and Rock Springs were in their late forties and fifties.  A decade earlier the average age of Chinese residents in Evanston was 40.2 years and 49.6 years in Rock Springs.[77]  In 1920, Evanston's Chinese population averaged 40.6; Rock Springs, 45.16.[78]  This aging population showed that the decades of anti-Chinese immigration laws had had their effect.  Many of the Chinese miners in Rock Springs now neared retirement, and their younger replacements came primarily from southern Europe, not from Asia.[79]  Meanwhile, the Chinese community in Evanston had all but vanished.  In 1922 the vacant Evanston Chinatown burned to the ground.[80]  The demise and dismantling of the Rock Springs Chinatown came more slowly.  The retirement and returning home of Chinese miners from Rock Springs in the 1920s led to the slow dismantling of former Chinese homes and Chinatown.[81]  In both towns the Chinatowns disappeared, but in Rock Springs the purposeful removal of the aging Chinese provides insights into the end of a community and the lives of men who ended their days in the land of their youth.

                In the late 1920s, the Union Pacific Coal Company began to actively assist retired Chinese coal miners.  This assistance was given as a reward for loyal service and as a generous offer to men living in an era before Social Security and retirement plans.[82]  The company decided it would pay the way for any Chinese miner in Rock Springs who had reached the age of retirement and wanted to return home to China.  In 1925 the company paid the way home for ten Chinese men.[83]  Two years later, four other men received one-way tickets to Canton.[84]  Initially, the Union Pacific had gathered information on twelve Chinese employees in Rock Springs.  When they returned to China, these former employees of the Union Pacific Coal Company ranged from 63 to 74 years in age.[85]  Although not all the men returned home, the information they provided illustrates many ingredients of these men's lives, including to whom the workers regularly sent money home.

                The majority of the Chinese men for whom Union Pacific paid passage back to China returned to Taishan.  The men lived a distance of from one and four days journey from Canton.  Except for Leo Chung, each man owned a "House" in China.[86]  Of all the 1927 returnees, only 76-year-old Sing Lee did not have a wife.  Not surprisingly, the China they returned to differed much from the country they left in the late 19th century.  Most significantly, the Ching Empire ended in 1911, and the Chinese Republic stood in its place.  The passage home aboard a steam liner was relatively rapid, and money wired by telegraph reached Canton in hours.  Like the China they had left in the late 1800s, the China of the early 20th century was marked by contradictions.  Steamships sailed into Hong Kong or Canton, but the trip to their native village still took one to four days and was primarily accomplished by sailing or rowing a "sampan" to their local village.[87]  Where villages lay inland, the trip was first by water then often by foot.  In their home villages, fields were still plowed by water buffalo pulling wooden plows or by men tugging the wooden plow through water-soaked fields.  As it had in the 19th century, economic depression once again visited south China in the 1920s.  In the later half of the decade in China, the shadow of the Great Depression preceded its arrival as the worldwide depression of 1929.  All the returning retired miners from Rock Springs felt the effects of the Depression.

                Joe Bow's plight clearly illustrates the problem.  Born on April 25, 1861, he arrived in the United States at the age of 15 and entered  the service of the coal company at 22 years of age.[88]  He had immigrated to the United States in 1876 and had entered the service of Union Pacific Coal Company in 1883.[89]  Ah Bow, listed as Lau Bow in the census but known by "Joe Bow" in Rock Springs, survived the 1885 Chinese Massacre and earned enough money by 1898 to return home, where he stayed in China until 1903.  It was probably during the five-year stay in China that Lau married.[90]  Then he returned to the United States in 1903 and went back into the coal mines of Rock Springs, where he stayed until 1925.  Meanwhile, his wife remained in China.  Joe Bow returned to China in November 1925.[91]  At home in Hoi An Village, Taishan County, the 64-year-old Ah Bow had "a good house" and family.

                Lau Bow worked hard and managed his money well.  From what he earned and saved, he built and maintained a home in China while paying rent for a home in the coal camp at Rock Springs.  Lau Bow, however, could not save enough money to keep him from working once he returned to China.

                In December 1928, from Hoi An Village in Taishan County, Joe Bow wrote George Pryde, the Union Pacific superintendent in Rock Springs,  attempting to explain his life in China.  He began his letter:  "It has been 3 or 4 years now since I left there and I haven't an opportunity to [write] you, (but as you know that I can't write an English letter), so now that a friend of mine who studied many years in English, . . . sent you this honorable message. . . . "[92]  Joe Bow wrote George Pryde because he faced problems he could no longer solve himself.  He had spent his entire retirement and now lived "in misery."  "In fact," Bow added, "I am ashame[d] to ask [for] help but . . . now. . . I am very poor as a beggar."  Since he accepted a lump sum from the company when he left Rock Springs in 1925, he was without other income.[93]

                Bow then explained his need for more money.  China, Joe Bow wrote in 1928, "is a nation of poor m[e]n."  Joe had used the money earned in the United States to buy seed for his farm, but "The field which I farm," he wrote, "had been eaten by locust.  [So] when cutting rice we found that rice is so little that [I] can't support . . . " myself and my family, he continued.  It also appears Joe Bow could not pay rent to the landlord who owned the land he farmed.  Even though Joe Bow could afford to build a home, he evidently never earned enough working in the coal mine to buy farmland.  Joe Bow was still a tenant farmer, and as he told Gorge Pryde, "I am so very old I can't go [to] that beloved place of yours  [Rock Springs]."

                Joe Bow then went on to describe conditions in China in griping terms.  "Since last year," he observed, "it is true [there has been] no rain [or] no water to fl[oo]d the farms so the inhabitants here were in great 'crisis.'"  In China, Joe had "a wife and one son and one daughter."  His son was 12 years, but his daughter died "at the age of 2 years old."  To George Pryde he wrote:  "Here, dear sir, it's very hard to live. . . . "[94]  Admitting that his advanced age prevented him from returning to the coal mines, he now was left to the kindness of others for his livelihood.  "Please dear sir," Joe Bow pleaded, "grant me this favor so that your humble servant might live yet many years."[95]  George Pryde did send Ah Bow more money.

                Others faced problems similar to Joe Bow's.  Ah Fan, who also returned to Taishan, wrote in 1929 that since his return my "life is very, very hard. . . . "  Like Joe Bow, Ah Fan noted that "China now . . . is a country of poor [men;] it's not like there in America."  "For my part," Ah Fan added, "I have not a family but have a niece, grandson, [and] nephew to support. . . . "  According to Fan, no one else could support them.[96] Worse, his old age left him with "no more strength."  Ah Fan could no longer work for a living.[97]  From Sun Hei Village in Taishan, Ah Fan wrote, not only regarding his condition but also that of Joe Bow's.  Ah Fan wrote that not only he suffered, but that Joe Bow's home had collapsed.  The "very bad luck of my friend Joe Bow," Ah Fan wrote, has left Joe "in poverty."[98]

            Joe Bow and the former miners from Rock Springs carried to the United States a sense of community and carried back with them to China a feeling of personal responsibility for one another.  All of the returning Chinese coal miners faced financial hardships.[99]  Leo Chee, one of the leaders of the Chinese community in Rock Springs who also returned to China, wrote George Pryde and stated, "I have met Joe Bow, Ah Fan, Ah How, Shing Lee, Ah Jim, Ah Bow (Wong Bow), You Kwong, Ah Chee, and Ah Chong, but I haven't f[ound] Ah Sing, he lives quiet [sic] a long ways from me."  Then, Leo Chee makes a plea for all the former Rock Springs residents.  Chee writes, "Every old man is healthy, but their finances is low.  And foods are high."  Making a very specific request, Chee reports:  "They all wish the company would send them a little money monthly to help them out."[100]  To the credit of the coal company, beginning in January 1930, they began sending $10 per month to the eleven Chinese men living in China.  Not a large sum, it nonetheless improved the living conditions of the former miners.[101]  The payment continued until World War II disrupted the mails; by then most of the former Rock Springs miners had passed away.  No record exists of any of the remaining men surviving the war.

                Although Chinese have lived in Rock Springs since 1870, the Chinese population after 1940 represents a new wave of immigration.  Their presence illustrates the economic processes evident in Canada earlier in the 20th century.  In fact, two distinct immigration phases are clear in Rock Springs.  The first wave spans the period from 1870 to 1920.  During this half century, immigrants lived in Chinatown but did not raise families in the coal town. The second wave of Chinese immigrants, following the 1920s, were marked by the dispersal of individuals throughout town.[102]  Now, the Chinese in Rock Springs no longer lived in a tightly knit community.

                Still newer patterns emerged after 1940.  Many post-World War II immigrants raised families in Rock Springs, and in some instances their children inherited the family business and became deeply rooted and involved in the broader community.[103]  The post- World War II Chinese immigrants in Rock Springs did not, however, restore Chinatown.  It vanished.  After 1930, the Rock Springs Chinese community looks much like that in Montana or Alberta towns, where one or two Chinese restaurants serve as the core of the Chinese settlement in the area.  This new wave of immigration is smaller than earlier numbers of newcomers and scattered throughout town.[104]  On the eve of World War II the Rock Springs Chinatown literally disappeared from the city.


  [1]   New York Daily Tribune, January 18, 1858, 1, Special Collections, Utah State Historical Society Archives, Call No. F, 826N49, Salt Lake City.  Snake is another name for Shoshoni whose homelands centered in western Wyoming.

  [2]   Special Census of Wyoming Territory, 1869; United States Census 1870, Wyoming Territory.

  [3]   Most of the works describing the Chinese in Wyoming deal with the Chinese Massacre.  Examples of works that discuss the Chinese Massacre in some detail include Isaac Hill Bromley, The Chinese Massacre at Rock Springs Wyoming Territory (Boston: Franklin Press, Rand, Avery and Company, 1886); T.A. Larson, History of Wyoming (Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1978); Dell Isham, Rock Springs Massacre 1885 (Lincoln City, Or.:  Quality Printing Service, 1985); Arlen Ray Wilson, "The Rock Springs, Wyoming, Chinese Massacre, 1885" (Master's thesis, University of Wyoming, 1967); Robert Rhode, Booms and Busts on Bitter Creek (Boulder, Colorado:  Pruett Press, 1987); and Craig Storti, Incident at Bitter Creek:  The Story of the Rock Springs Chinese Massacre (Ames:  Iowa State University Press, 1991).  The majority of these works contain excellent source material.  Storti's work, however, has been criticized because he blames the victims of the massacre for the 1885 riot.  In addition to these books and the theses, several articles have been published dealing specifically with the Chinese Massacre.  Among the articles published are two pieces by Paul Crane and T.A. Larson, "The Chinese Massacre," Annals of Wyoming 1 (January 1940):  47-55; and 2 (April 1940):  153-61.  Murray L. Carroll's, "Governor Francis E. Warren, The United States Army and the Chinese Massacre at Rock Springs," Annals of Wyoming 59 (Fall 1987):  16-27, and Clayton D. Laurie's "Civil Disorder and the Military in Rock Springs, Wyoming:  The Army's Role in the 1885 Chinese Massacre," Montana:  The Magazine of Western History 40 (Summer 1990):  44-59.  These articles contain balanced presentations of the events surrounding September 2, 1885.  Some recent essays have looked at other aspects of the Chinese experience in Wyoming.  In 1991, A. Dudley Gardner's "Chinese Emigrants in Southwest Wyoming, 1865-1885," Annals of Wyoming 63 (Fall 1991):  139-44, examines Chinese contributions prior to September 2, 1885.  In Barbara Bogart's "The Chinese in Evanston, Wyoming, 1870-1939" (Evanston, Wyo.:  Evanston Urban Renewal Agency, 1996):  1-23, a good description of the Evanston Chinatown is provided.  A book dealing with the Chinese experience in Wyoming from 1868 to the present is much needed. 

  [4]   Kevin W. Thompson, A. Dudley Gardner, and Russell Tanner, "Excavations of the Rock Springs Chinatown 1990," Small Report and Article File, Archaeological Services of Western Wyoming Community College, 1-5.

  [5]   Cheyenne Democratic Leader, September 26, 1885, 3.

  [6]   United States Census 1880, 1900, Wyoming.

  [7]   United States Census 1880, Wyoming.  The census indicated all but one cook worked year around, and most coal miners rarely were unemployed.  In fact, just 27 percent lost a month of work.  Only one cook lost a month of work in 1880. 

  [8]   United States Census 1880, Wyoming.

  [9]   A. Dudley Gardner and Val Brinkerhoff, Historical Images of Sweetwater County  (Virginia Beach, Va.:  Donning Company Publishers, 1993), 184.

  [10]   J. Brian Dawson, Moon Cakes in Gold Mountain:  From China to the Canadian Plains (Calgary, Alb.:  Detselig Enterprises Ltd., 1991), 22.

  [11]   "General Register of Chinese Immigration," 1881-1891, Nos. 1-9975, Immigration Branch Microfilms RG76, Volumes 694-695, microfilm on file Victoria, British Columbia Archives.

  [12]   Dawson, Moon Cakes in Gold Mountain, 22.  The Montreal Daily Witness, November 5, 1885, 4.

  [13]   "General Register," 1884-1891.

  [14]   Dawson, Moon Cakes in Gold Mountain, 22.

  [15]   Wyoming Tribune, May 14, 1870, 1.

  [16]   For wages in the 1880s, see "Union Pacific Railway Company Coal Business," June 30, 1888, Union Pacific Coal Company Collection (UPCC), Box 3, Historical Documents, Western Wyoming Community College (WWCC), Rock Springs, Wyoming, 51.

  [17]   "Union Pacific Railway Company Coal Business," June 30, 1888, 51.

  [18]   "Union Pacific Railway Company Coal Department Rent Book," No. 4 Mine 1885, UPCC Collection,  Box 3, Rent Book for Mines Number 3 and 4, House 1 and 4, WWCC, Rock Springs, Wyoming.

  [19]   "Union Pacific Railway Company's Coal Department Rent Book," House No. 35, Rock Springs Mine, UPCC Collection, Ms. Rent Book 1880-1883, WWCC, Rock Springs, Wyoming, 1.

  [20]   Wilson, "The Rock Springs, Wyoming, Chinese Massacre, 1885," 28; Bromely, The Chinese Massacre at Rock Springs Wyoming Territory, 1886), 30, in University of Utah Special Collections, Salt Lake City.  Issac Bromely's book was compiled to present the Union Pacific's viewpoint of the Massacre and is quoted copiously in the company's History of the Union Pacific Coal Mines (Omaha:  The Colonial Press, 1940).

  [21]   Bromely, The Chinese Massacre, 34.

  [22]   Laurie, "Civil Disorder," 51.

  [23]   Dell Isham, Rock Springs Massacre, 19; House Reports, 49th Congress, 1885-1886, No. 2044 (Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office), 23, 28.

  [24]   S. R. Callaway to Charles F. Adams, January 16, 1885, Union Pacific Railroad Company (UPRR Co.), MS3761, Nebraska State Museums and Archives, Lincoln.

  [25]   This quote was posted in Rock Springs on the night of September 26, 1885, twenty-four days after the Chinese Massacre.  Wilson, The Rock Springs Massacre, 58; House Report,  No. 2044, 28.

  [26]   House Report No. 2044, 29.

  [27]   Salt Lake City Tribune, September 4, 1885, 1.

  [28]   Bromely, The Chinese Massacre, 88-89.

  [29]   Laurie, "Civil Disorder," 54-56.

  [30]   Laurie, "Civil Disorder," 58-59.

  [31]   Bromely, The Chinese Massacre, 72-73.

  [32]   The Cheyenne Democratic Leader, October 25, 1885, 3.

  [33]   The Cheyenne Democratic Leader, September 26, 1885, 3.  In the same paper  another article contended 70 houses would be built.

  [34]   The Cheyenne Democratic Leader, September 26, 1885, 3.

  [35]   The Rock Springs Miner, May 18, 1893, 2.  When compared to the 465 reported in the 1890 census, this figure is a significant increase.  By 1900, the number had fallen to 461.  The Rock Springs Miner asserted this 1893 figure was "somewhat overdrawn," but added, "we may be wrong."  Report of the Seventeenth Decennial Census of the United States, Census Population:  1950; Volume II, Characteristics of the Population (Washington, D.C., United States Government Printing Office, 1952), Part 50, Wyoming, Table 36.

  [36]   The Rock Springs Miner, May 23, 1993, 2; April 19, 1894, 4; United Stats Census 1900, Wyoming.

  [37]   Rock Springs Miner, January 24, 1895, 2.

  [38]   United States Census 1900, Wyoming.

  [39]   United States Census 1900, Wyoming Territory.

  [40]   Cheyenne Daily Leader, February 6, 1891, 1.

  [41]   Rock Springs Miner, May 25, 1893, 2.

  [42]   Rock Springs Miner, July 18, 1895, 2.

  [43]   Rock Springs, Miner, July 11, 1895, 1.

  [44]   Rock Springs Miner, April 19, 1894, 4.  Rock Springs Miner, April 24, 1894, 4.

  [45]   United States Census 1880, Wyoming.

  [46]   A. Dudley Gardner, "Results of Excavations at the Evanston Chinatown," Small Report and Article File (1996), Archaeological Services Western Wyoming Community College, Rock Springs, Wyoming, 2-5.

  [47]   Rock Springs Miner, August 1, 1895, 1;  November 12, 1896, 3.

  [48]   Rock Springs Miner, July 25, 1895, 1.

  [49]   Rock Springs Miner, May 23, 1895, 2.

  [50]   Uinta County Chieftain, February 21, 1885, 2.

  [51]   Uinta County Chieftain, February 28, 1885, 2.

  [52]   Cheyenne Daily Leader, September 28, 1877, 2.

  [53]   Cheyenne Daily Leader, September 28, 1877, 2.

  [54]   Carbon County Journal, February 21, 1880, 4.

  [55]   Uinta Chieftain, January 15, 1881, 1.

  [56]   Uinta Chieftain, February 10, 1883, 1.

  [57]   Uinta Chieftain, February 24, 1883, 1.  Uinta Chieftain, February 2, 1884, 2.

  [58]   Uinta Chieftain, February 24, 1883, 1.

  [59]   Uinta Chieftain, February 24, 1883, 1.

  [60]   Uinta County Chieftain, Evanston, Wyoming, February 21, 1885, 2.

  [61]   Uinta County Chieftain, February 28, 1885, 3.

  [62]   Uinta Chieftain, February 7, 1885, 2; February 28, 1885, 2.  The article states:  "The big annual 'blow-out' incident to the closing of the Chinese New Year will be held tomorrow afternoon at one o'clock in Chinatown."

  [63]   Rock Springs Miner, February 11, 1891, 2.

  [64]   Rock Springs Miner, February 11, 1891, 2.

  [65]   Rock Springs Miner, February 11, 1891, 2.

  [66]   The Wyoming Press, February 6, 1897, [2.]

  [67]   The Wyoming Press, February 6, 1897, 2.

  [68]   The Wyoming Press, January 29, 1898, 2.

  [69]   E.g., Rock Springs Miner, February 16, 1899, 1; March 2, 1899, 3.

  [70]   By 1900, the Evanston Chinese Community numbered 43 and the Rock Springs community 276.  United States Census 1900.  Cooperation between the two communities was necessary to ensure adequate funding for a successful New Years celebration.  The population figures used here vary from other numbers because some researchers count only the numbers in the Evanston Chinatown and not for the entire town of Evanston.  See also Rock Springs Miner, February 15, 1894, 1.

  [71]   Rock Springs Miner, February 16, 1899, 1.

  [72]   Rock Springs Miner, February 16, 1899, 1.

  [73]   Rock Springs Miner, February 16, 1899, 1.

  [74]   The Wyoming Press, Evanston, Wyoming, February 17, 1900, 1.  February 2, 1900, 1.

  [75]   The Rock Springs Rocket, July 7, 1932, 1; July 21, 1932, 3.

  [76]   United States Census 1920, Wyoming.

  [77]   United States Census 1910, Wyoming.

  [78]   United States Census 1920, Wyoming.

  [79]   United States Census 1920, Wyoming

  [80]   Wyoming Press, Evanston, January 28, 1922, 1.

  [81]   The Rock Springs Rocket, November 6, 1925, 2; November 13, 1927, 1; October 28, 1927, 1.

  [82]   The Rock Springs Rocket, July 21, 1932, 3.

  [83]   The Rock Springs Rocket, November 6, 1925, 2.

  [84]   The Rock Springs Rocket, October 28, 1927, 1.

  [85]   "Cost of transportation [table] - Rock Springs to Canton," Union Pacific Coal Company (UPCC), Collection Box 16, AUP Special file No. 236, Western Wyoming Community College (WWCC), 1.

  [86]   "Cost of Transportation - Rock Springs to Canton," 1925.  This table was annotated periodically from 1925 to 1929.  Specifically, the hand written notes beside individuals' names gives the date of their death,  UPCC Collection, Box 16, Special File No. 236, WWCC Rock Springs, Wyoming.

  [87]   "Cost of Transportation - Rock Springs to Canton," 1925.

  [88]   United States Census 1910, Wyoming.  Joe Bow, "dates of service."

  [89]   The Rock Springs Rocket, November 6, 1925, 2.  Joe Bow, "dates of service," UPCC. Collection, Box 16, Special File No. 236, WWCC Rock Springs, Wyoming.

  [90]   Interestingly, the United States Census 1910, Wyoming, lists Lau (Joe) Bow as single.  This is clearly not the case, "Cost of Transportation - Rock Springs to Canton," 1925; Joe Bow to George B. Pryde, December 5, 1928, 1-3.  Since Lau Bow was in China during the 1900 census, there is no early record of his marital status.

  [91]   Joe Bow to George B. Pride, December 5, 1928, UPCC Collection, Box 16, Special File No. 236, WWCC Rock Springs, Wyoming, 1-3.

  [92]   Joe Bow to George B. Pryde, December 5, 1928, 1.

  [93]   Joe Bow to George B. Pryde, December 5, 1928, 1-2.

  [94]   Joe Bow to George Pryde, March 14, 1929, 1-2.

  [95]   Joe Bow to George Pryde, December 5, 1928, 3.

  [96]   Ah Fan to George Pryde, March 14, 1929, UPCC Collection, Box 16, Special File No. 236, WWCC Rock Springs, Wyoming, 1-2.

  [97]   Ah Fan to George Pryde, December 17, 1928, UPCC Collection, Box 16, Special File No. 236, WWCC Rock Springs, Wyoming, 2.

  [98]   Ah Fan to George Pryde, April 18, 1929, UPCC. Collection, Box 16, Special File No. 263, WWCC Rock Springs, Wyoming, 3.

  [99]   Ah Fan to George Pryde, April 18, 1929, 1-3; Leo Chee to George Pryde, November 19, 1929, UPCC. Collection, Box 16, Special File No. 236, WWCC Rock Springs, Wyoming, 1-3.

  [100]   Ah Fan to George Pryde, November 19, 1929, 1-2.

  [101]   Eugene McAuliffe to George Pryde, January 15, 1930, 1.  UPCC Collection, Box 16, Special File No. 236, WWCC Rock Springs, Wyoming.

  [102]   United States Census 1920, Wyoming.  In 1920 there was one Chinese family in town.  The remainder were male-headed households.  In all, 72 Chinese individuals lived in Rock Springs in 1920, two females and 70 males.

  [103]   United States Census 1870, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, and 1990, Wyoming; Paul Ng interview with author, Rock Springs, Wyoming, September 1996 (Rock Springs:  Archaeological Services of Western Wyoming Community College), 1-22.  Betty Ng interview with author, Rock Springs, Wyoming, September 1996 (Rock Springs:  Archaeological Services of Western Wyoming Community College), 1-12.

  [104]   Paul Ng interview with author, Rock Springs, Wyoming, September 1996 (Rock Springs:  Archaeological Services of Western Wyoming Community College), 1-22.