Text Size S M L
Print E-mail

Kee Tsu Yi


C.1909; wearing peacock feather on Mandarin's hat; photo credit: P.A. Crush Chinese Railway Collection.
Pinyin & Chinese characters Qi Zuyi 祁祖彞

Variant Spellings & Other Names Key Tsu Ye
Ki Tsu Ye
Tsu Ye-Key1
Tsu Yi Ki
Key Tsu-yi2

Other Chinese Name(s) Qi Tingxuan  祁听轩

Detachment 3

LaFargue No. 82

Date of Birth 1863

Place of Birth Shanghai, Jiangsu

Age at Departure for US 12 (Lunar Calendar)

Date of Death  
Place of Death Antung, Manchuria

Place(s) of Residence in US (1) South Hadley Falls, MA
(2) New Haven, CT3

American Host Family/ies (1) Miss Emma Moore, South Hadley Falls, MA
(2) Mcdelena Walz, 114 High St., New Haven, CT3

School(s), with dates South Hadley Falls High School, South Hadley Falls, MA 1876-78
Hopkins Grammar School, New Haven, CT, 1878-804
Notable Activities/Awards in School  
College/University, with dates Yale, Sheffield Scientific School 1880-81.5
Notable Activities/Awards in College Member, Alpha Chi Freshman Society, Sheffield Scientific School6
Degree/Diploma Obtained (date) No degree

First Assignment in China 1881-84: connected with the Jiangnan Arsenal.

Later Positions c. 1885: Following the Sino-French War, Kee Tsu Yi, together with other officials, was sent on an extended tour of various European steelworks and gun foundries, including those at Newcastle (England) and Essen (Germany).  While in England, he engaged for the Kiangnan Arsenal a staff of gun-making and other experts from the Elswick works2;

Civil service: In Sichuan 四川 Province, Sub-Director, Sichuan Arsenal7;

1904: Sent by Sichuan viceregal government to Berlin, Germany to purchase plant for a proposed new arsenal in Chengdu 成都, the provincial capital; a new chemical laboratory was also being planned to give technical support for the arsenal, which was said to be one of the best and most complete to be built anywhere.2 In October, Kee returned to China via New York and St Louis where he visited the International Exposition as Special Commissioner of the Viceroy of Sichuan1.  In December, Kee addressed the annual meeting of the Yale Alumni Association of China, of which he was an active member.8

1906: Appointed Director of the new arsenal at Chengdu.2 In October, as "an expectant Taotai of Szechuan", Kee was sent to make a tour of inspection of various arsenals, dockyards, powder factories and steel foundaries in Shanghai, and Kiangxi and Hubei.9

Unknown date: Shangpu Representative on Special Duty in the South.2

Daotai of Antung, Manchuria.10

1910 Director of Mukden [a.k.a. Fengtian 奉天, today known as Shenyang 沈阳] Electric Light Works and Co-Director of the Manchurian Mint.  "The credit for the success of this [electrical] Plant must be given to Taotai T. Y. Key through whose foresight, ability to appreciate new conditions, and knowledge of engineering problems, it was made possible to complete the installation of the Plant in a space of time hitherto considered impossible in China."11 

Employment Sector(s) Government

Final Rank, if in Gov't Service Daotai (District Magistrate)

Father's Name Qi Zhaoxi 祁兆熙12

Mother's Name  
Family Relations w/ other CEM Students  
Children's Names  
Descendants Qi Wenzhong 祁文忠( g/s)
Qi Wenbin 祁文彬 (g/s)

Notes and Sources 1. Directory (1905), p. 3.

2. "Notes on Native Affairs, October 19. Two Notable Appointments" in North China Herald and Supreme Court & Consular Gazette, 19 Oct. 1906, p. 180.

3. Residences: Rhoads (2011), p. 53, Table 5.1 (American host families); p. 140, Table 9.2 (June 1880 census records). Street address in New Haven, CT: The Yale Banner Vol. xxxvii 1880[-81] (New Haven, 1880), p. 43. Cf. Chu Pao Fay (Zhu Baokui 朱宝奎 III, 65) who also boarded with Mcdelena Walz.

4. Rhoads (2011), p. 99, Table 7.3; p. 101.

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

6. Rhoads (2011), p. 131 (citing The Yale Banner, vol. 37, 1880).  Cf. Yale Pot-Pourri, Vol. XVI, 1880-81, p. 75.

7. “Off. Rank Prefect of Sze. Prov.” in Directory (1905), p. 3.

8. North China Herald, 9 Dec. 1904, pp. 1301-02.

9. North China Herald, 19 Oct. 1906, p. 148.

10. Former province in southern part of Manchukuo, formed 1932, dissolved 1945; also city, the modern Dandong 丹东, in Liaoning 辽宁 Province.

11. Far Eastern Review, May, 1910, pp. 570-571.

12. Qi Zhaoxi was the minor official put in charge of the students of the 3rd Detachment boys on their voyage to the U.S. in 1873.  Excerpts from his travel journal are quoted in “Journey to America” in the section, History, on this website.  In the student list compiled by Tong Yuen Chan (Tang Yuanzhan 唐元湛 II, 53) Qi Zhaoxi’s personal name is written 照熙.