Shinn-Hong Howard Jee was born Jee Shin Hong Howard Lovejoy (朱神康 Zhu Shenkang) on March 13, 1895 in San Francisco, California. Jee’s birth certificate is in his Chinese Exclusion Act case file at the San Bruno branch of the National Archives.
The New York Times, December 3, 1899, interviewed Jee’s father, Jee Gam (朱金 Zhu Jin), who explained how he named his children; below is an excerpt about Jee.
When the seventh child came, it was a boy, too, and that was just at the time of the war between China and Japan. I wanted very much to have peace, so I said I will call my boy God’s Peace. Then there was that good man Gen. Howard, and there was Mr. Lovejoy, who was a friend of Dr. Pond. I must name one of my boys after him, so I called my last boy Shin Hong Howard Lovejoy.
The St. Paul Globe (Minnesota), November 19, 1899, said Jee Gam was a native of the Hoi Ping district (Kaiping in Mandarin).
In the 1900 United States Census, Jee was the youngest of seven children. His father was minister of the Congregational Church. The family lived in San Francisco, California at 7 Brenham Place.
The Marysville Appeal (California), May 10, 1904, reported the twenty-fourth anniversary of the Marysville Chinese Mission. Jee and his brother, Jee Shin Min Benton, sang a song in Chinese, “America”. Jee’s father spoke about “The New China”.
On April 18, 1906, an earthquake and fire devastated sections of San Francisco, especially Chinatown. The church housing the Jee family was severely damaged but the family survived.
The 1910 census was enumerated in April. Jee was fifteen years old. The family’s address was 21 Brenham Place in San Francisco.
In June 1910, Jee Gam, his wife and four children made plans to travel to China. They were interviewed on June 16, 1910.
Jee’s parents vouched for him.
In a separate interview, Jee Gam said he was 62 years old and born in “See Gow Chun village, H P D [Hoi Ping District]”.
Form 430 was issued to each Jee member.
A record at Ancestry.com said a passport was issued to Jee on June 27, 1910. Below are pages of the application.
The San Francisco Call, July 7, 1910, said the Jee family and others had departed July 6 on the Pacific Mail steamship China. The Jees’ final destination was Shanghai.
Before the ship reached its first stop in Honolulu, Hawaii, Jee Gam died. News of his death was reported on July 21 in the Oakland Tribune and San Francisco Call. (The family name Jee was also spelled Gee in some publications.)
Already in China were Jee Gam’s eldest sons, Jee Shin Wong (location unknown), Jee Shin Fwe Pond Mooar in Tientsin (Tianjin), and Jee Shin Yien Luther McLean in Tangshan. After the children and their mother arrived in Shanghai, Jee traveled to Tientsin and continued his education.
Jee had a Certificate of Registration of American Citizen from the American consulate in Tientsin. Dated March 19, 1912, it said he was a student at the Tangshan Engineering College. His mother was in Tientsin at 17 Rue de Paris.
The American Missionary, January 1914, published an article and photograph of the Jee family in Tangshan.
Left to right: Mabel Kau Jee (wife of Pond Mooar Jee),
Pond Mooar Jee, Howard Jee, Chung Shee, Luther
McLean Jee, Mae Jee, and Benton Jee
On September 17 1919, Jee obtained an emergency passport to return to the United States. From 1910 to 1915, he was in Tangshan, and from 1915 to 1919 in Tientsin.
Aboard the steamship Nile, Kee departed Shanghai on October 19, 1919. He arrived in San Francisco on November 11 and answered several immigration questions.
Six days later, Jee applied for his Certificate of Identity.
Jee had returned to continue his engineering education. In Seattle, he enrolled at the University of Washington. The following year he was listed in the 1920–1921 catalog. The 1921 school yearbook, Tyee, said Jee was in the American Society of Civil Engineers and Chinese Students Club (His name was misspelled Chinn).
In Seattle, Jee was involved with the Chinese Students’ Christian Association in North America.
Later in 1921, Jee transferred to the University of Michigan and enrolled in the College of Architecture. The 1922 yearbook, Michiganensian, listed Jee as a member of the Chinese Students Club. Jee graduated in 1923. He earned a Bachelor of Science in architectural engineering.
The Michigan Alumnus, October 11, 1923, said
Shinn-hong H. Jee, ’20–’22, who was formerly in Ann Arbor, may now be addressed at 6138 University Ave., Chicago, Ill.
The Michigan Alumnus, March 7, 1924, said
Shinn-hong H. Jee, ’23e, is draftsman with the office of William Neil Smith, Architect, New York City. He may be addressed at Apartment 34, 195 Claremont Ave., New York City.
In July 1924, Jee returned to China. The exact date was not known according to two immigration letters.
The Annuary 1925–1926 of the American Institute of Architects listed Jee as junior member.
Jee, Shinn-hong Howard.....1923100 Rue Petain, Tientsin, China
The Michigan Alumnus, June 5, 1926, said
S. Howard Jee, ’23 arch, has recently opened an architectural office at 100 Rue Petain, Tientsin, China.
In February 1925, Jee’s brother, Shin Fwe Pond Mooar, passed away. According to the death certificate he died at 100 Rue Petain, Tientsin, China. Shin Fwe Pond Mooar and his family and brothers, Benton and Jee, lived in Tientsin at 10 Falkland Villas.
On January 15, 1929, Jee’s son, Leslie Sheryuan, was born in Tientsin. The mother was Kathleen Siu-Ming Sun, a Tangshan native, whom Jee married on April 14, 1928. When Jee moved in July 1929, he forgot to report his son’s birth to the American consulate. Jee was in Nanking (Nanjing) when the report was filed on April 10, 1930.
While in Nanking, Jee had collaborated with Yook Yee Wong, in 1929, on the Capital Plan. Their names are on the drawing in the lower right hand corner.
The North-China Desk Hong List: General and Business Directory 1930 had a listing for Jee.
100 Rue Petain Tel 30784Jee, S. HowardArchitect
What became of Jee is not known. There is no record of Jee’s return to the United States. Presumably Jee lived out his life in China.
Sidebar: The Jee Family
1. Jee Gam, died July 1910
San Francisco Call, September 20, 1895, Jee Gam’s Ordination
Leslie’s Weekly, April 7, 1900, Jee Gam photograph
San Francisco Call, November 9, 1905, Chinese Interpreter Abandons Queue
2. Chung Shee, probably died in China
3. Jee Shin Wong Linforth, status unknown
4. Jee Shin Fwe Pond Mooar, died February 22, 1925
named after Rev. William C. Pond and Rev. George Mooar
5. Jee Shin Yien Luther McLean, died November 29, 1960
partially named after Rev. John Knox McLean
6. Jee Shin Mae Felt Blodgett, status unknown
partially named after Rev. Henry Blodget
photograph in the Overland Monthly, January 1894
7. Jee Shin Quong Henshaw, died June 24, 1939
photograph in the Overland Monthly, January 1894
wife, Anna Jee arrived in San Francisco January 1947; passed away May 15, 1993 in New York City
daughter, Ellison Jee arrived in San Francisco in September 1940; married and passed away October 27, 2001 in New York City
8. Jee Shin Min Benton, status unknown
named after Rev. Joseph Augustine Benton
Peter G. Rowe, Seng Kuan
MIT Press, 2004
... The planning office first attempted to arrive at an acceptable proposal for the new capital’s administrative center on Purple Mountain through a design competition. The first-ranked submission, by Huang Yuyu (an engineer in the planning office) and Zhu Shenkang, was noteworthy for combining modern Beaux-Arts axial planning and, in places, a traditional Chinese unfolding of major urban spaces, as well as for its unified architectural proposals. ...
Jeffrey W. Cody, Nancy S. Steinhardt, Tony Atkin, Editors
University of Hawaii Press, 2011
... The period of relative prosperity, however chaotic, of the 1920s lasted only until the Japanese invasion, beginning in 1934. Among the many projects begun in the 1920s, the most ambitious was the establishment and planning of a new national capital by Chiang Kai-shek and the Goumingdong in Nanjing, designed by Huang Yuyu and Zhu Shenkang in 1928 [sic]. The plan laid out a modern city with different administrative districts and an axial relationship to Sun Yat-sen’s mausoleum. ...
University of Hawai’i Press, 2013
... The design that earned the most praise was the work of Chinese architects Huang Yuyu (an engineer in the city planning office) and Zhu Shenkang. (figs. 3.3 and 3.4) The judges specifically praised the patriotic flavor of the building designs: “[The plan] follows the Chinese ancient style in that all the buildings project a feeling of magnificence and enchantment.” The layout also reflected the spirit of the new China: “The arrangement is very systematic, in order to express freedom and equality in the Chinese republic.” To the judges, the plans evoked confidence in the GMD-led government, which would “represent” a “people’s nation,” with the “appearance and stability of a mountain rock” (Shoudu zhongyang zhengzhi qu” 1929, jihua 1).
(Next post on Monday: Helen Chu aka Duffy Mohler, Artist and Letterer)