Text Size S M L
Print E-mail

Yuen Chan Kwon

Pinyin & Chinese characters Yuan Changkun 袁长坤

Variant Spellings & Other Names  
Other Chinese Name(s) Yuan Jingsheng 袁静生

Detachment 3

LaFargue No. 81


Date of Birth 1863

Place of Birth Shangyu, Zhejiang

Age at Departure for US


12 (Lunar Calendar)

Date of Death  
Place of Death  
Place(s) of Residence in US [New Britain, CT ?]
Holyoke, MA.1

American Host Family/ies [Henry E. Sawyer, New Britain, CT ?]
Berijah & Mary Kagwin, Holyoke, MA1

School(s), with dates Holyoke High School, Holyoke, MA?-1880?2  For diploma awarded by school committee: see below, "Other."
Notable Activities/Awards in School  
College/University, with dates Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, 1880-81?3
Notable Activities/Awards in College  
Degree/Diploma Obtained (date)  
First Assignment in China Telegraph service

Later Positions Chief of Telegraph section of Board of Communications;

Assistant Examiner, Ministry of Education.

1908: appointed director-general of railway school in Beijing (see below, "Other")

Employment Sector(s) Telegraph/Railways/Government

Final Rank, if in Gov't Service  
Father's Name  
Mother's Name  
Family Relations w/ other CEM Students  
Children's Names  

Excerpted from Springfield Republican, 19 July 1908: “Back in the 70s the Chinese government sent over a large number of youths of the highest social standing, under the auspices of Yung Wing, a graduate of Yale, and a man of advanced ideas.  The young Chinamen were at first placed under private tuition and later in the public schools, and the results of American education were awaited with keen interest.  Chow Wan Pang [Zhou Wanpeng 周万鹏 III, 69] and another youth [Yuen Chan Kwon] were located at B. H. Kagwin’s home on Beech street…Chow and his comrade Yuen were given diplomas by the school committee though they were unable to graduate with the class of 1881.  Chow states that Yuen’s highly-prized diploma was burned during the Boxer uprising several years ago, to the grief of the owner, who wrote to Holyoke hoping to secure a duplicate.  Mr Yuen is now chief auditor of the Chinese railroad system.”

According to a report published in the North China Herald, 5 November 1908, p. 381, the Ministry of Posts and Communications established a railway school in Peking, "having for its object the training of men for service" on the Tientsin-Pukou Railway. "The school will be divided into two departments, viz., traffic and telegraph.  Mr. Yuan Chang-k’un has been appointed director-general of the school, which will be established near the Ch’ungmen Gate….Taotai Yuan Chang-k’un is a returned student from the United States, and a member of the Chinese Educational Mission which was sent to that country in the middle of the seventies."

Notes and Sources

1. Residence and host Henry E. Sawyer in New Britain, CT: Robyn (1996), p. 146; not confirmed. Residence and host Berijah & Mary Kagwin in Holyoke, MA: Edward Rhoads, email 2008/11/09; Rhoads (2011), p. 53, Table 5.1; p. 141, Table 9.2.

2. Rhoads (2011), p. 98, Table 7.2.

3. Rhoads (2011), p. 117, Table 8.1.