Chinese in St. Louis

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Greater St. Louis has a Chinese community.

The first Chinese immigrant to St. Louis was Alla Lee, a 20-year old from Ningbo who arrived in 1857. He socialized with the Irish American community and married and Irish woman. He sold coffee and tea in a shop on North Tenth Street. Several hundred Chinese wishing to work in factories and mines in and around St. Louis moved there from New York and San Francisco around 1867 The community they settled, Hop Alley, became Chinatown, St. Louis. This community disappeared in 1966 after it was demolished to make room for a parking lot for Busch Stadium.[1]

In a several decade period following 1966 increasing numbers of Chinese Americans moved to St. Louis County, Missouri.[2] From the 1960s to the 1980s many Chinese-language schools and Chinese churches and community organizations developed in the area.[3]

Demographics[edit]

The 2000 U.S. Census stated that there were 9,120 people of Chinese descent in Greater St. Louis. Huping Ling, author of Chinese St. Louis: From Enclave to Cultural Community, stated that unofficial estimates as of 2004 ranged from 15,000 to 20,000.[4] She stated that 1% of the population of suburban St. Louis was ethnic Chinese and that the "great majority" of the ethnic Chinese in the area lived in the suburbs, particularly those west and south of St. Louis.[4]

The ethnic Chinese population was less than 0.1% of the city's population in the late 19th century and the early 20th century.[1] There were 300 Chinese in St. Louis by the end of the 19th Century.[5] In 1960, 102 Chinese lived in the St. Louis suburbs, making up 30% of the Greater St. Louis Chinese. In 1970, 461 lived in the suburbs, making up 80% of the area population. In 1980 the number increased to 3,873, making up 78% of the area population. In 1990 the number increased to 3,873, making up 83% of the area total.[4]

Economy[edit]

As of 2004, William Tao & Associates, a Chinese American company, helped design over half of the buildings in St. Louis. As of the same year, the St. Louis area has over 300 Chinese restaurants.[4]

Despite the community's small size during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it provided 60% of St. Louis's laundry services during those periods.[1]

Institutions[edit]

As of 2004 there were over 40 Chinese community organizations in the area.[4] Organization of Chinese Americans has an area chapter, OCA St. Louis, founded in 1973.[6] Besides the OCA, other organizations include the St. Louis Overseas Chinese Educational Activity Center aka the Chinese Cultural Center (S: 圣路易斯中华文化中心, T: 聖路易斯中華文化中心, P: Shènglùyìsī Zhōnghuá Wénhuà Zhōngxīn), the St. Louis Taiwanese Association, the Chinese Liberty Assembly, and the St. Louis Chinese Jaycees.[3]

Education[edit]

St. Louis Modern Chinese School students perform Chinese Kung Fu at the University of Missouri–St. Louis in December 2005.

As of 2004 there are three Chinese-language schools in the St. Louis area.[4] St. Louis Modern Chinese School (SLMCS) is located in Richmond Heights, Missouri.[7] It was established in 1997 by the Mainland China-origin community and at that time it had 40 students. By 2007 there were several hundred students.[8] The St. Louis Chinese Language School (STLCLS, T: 聖路易中文學校, S: 圣路易中文学校, P: Shènglùyì Zhōngwén Xuéxiào) holds its classes at the St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf school (SJID) in Chesterfield, Missouri.[9] In addition there is the St. Louis Chinese Academy (T: 聖路易中華語文學校, S: 圣路易中华语文学校 P: Shènglùyì Zhōnghuá Yǔwén Xuéxiào), with its classes held at the St. Louis Community College at Meramec Campus in Kirkwood, Missouri.[10]

Media[edit]

As of 2004 there are two weekly Chinese language newspapers.[4] They are the St. Louis Chinese American News (T: 聖路易時報, S: 圣路易时报, P: Shènglùyì Shíbào), headquartered in Overland, Missouri,[11][12] and the St. Louis Chinese Journal (T: 聖路易新聞, S: 圣路易新闻, P: Shènglùyì Xīnwén), headquartered in University City, Missouri.[13][14]

Religion[edit]

As of 2004 there are around 12 Chinese religious institutions.[4]

Christian churches include the Taiwanese Presbyterian Church of Greater St. Louis (TPCSTL, T: 聖路易臺灣基督長老教會, P: Shèng Lùyì Táiwān Jīdū Zhǎnglǎo Jiàohuì) in Ballwin,[3][15] the St. Louis Chinese Christian Church (SLCCC; T: 聖路易華人基督教會, P: Shèng Lùyì Huárén Jīdūjiàohuì) in Chesterfield,[3][16] the St. Louis Chinese Gospel Church (T: 聖路易中華福音教會, P: Shèng Lùyì Zhōnghuá Fúyīn Jiàohuì) in Manchester,[3][17] the Light of Christ Lutheran Chinese Mission (S: 基督之光路德会华人教会, P: Jīdū zhī Guāng Lùdéhuì Huárén Jiàohuì) in Olivette,[3][18][19] The St. Louis Chinese Baptist Church (STLCBC; T: 聖路易華人浸信會, P: Shèng Lùyì Huárén Jìnxìnhuì) in St. Peters,[3][20] the Lutheran Asian Ministry in St. Louis, and the St. Louis Tabernacle of Joy.[3]

The other religious institutions are the St. Louis Amitabha Buddhist Learning Center,[3] the St. Louis Tzu-Chi Foundation,[3][21] the St. Louis International Buddhist Association,[3] the Mid-America Buddhist Association (MABA) in Augusta,[3][22] and the St. Louis Falun Dafa.[3] The Fo Guang Shan St. Louis Buddhist Center (FGS; T: 佛光山聖路易禪淨中心, P: Fó Guāngshān Shèng Lùyì Chánjìng Zhōngxīn) is in Bridgeton.[23]

Recreation[edit]

The Chinese Culture Days are annually held at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. The Chinese community organizations sponsor this event, cultural gatherings, and other Chinese-American events.[4]

Notable residents[edit]

References[edit]

  • Ling, Huping. Chinese St. Louis: From Enclave to Cultural Community. Temple University Press. 2004. ISBN 1439905819, 9781439905814.
  • Ling, Huping. Chinese in St. Louis: 1857-2007. Arcadia Publishing, June 20, 2007. ISBN 1439618968, 9781439618967.
  • Ling, Huping. "Cultural Community: A New Model for Asian American Community" [sic] (Chapter 6). In: Ling, Huping. Asian America: Forming New Communities, Expanding Boundaries. Rutgers University Press, April 29, 2009. ISBN 0813548675, 9780813548678.
  • Ling, Huping. "Growing Up in "Hop Alley": Chinese American Youth in St. Louis During the Early Twentieth Century" (Chapter 3). In: Tong, Benson. Asian American Children: A Historical Handbook and Guide (Children and Youth: History and Culture Series, ISSN 1546-6752). Greenwood Publishing Group, January 1, 2004. Start p. 65. ISBN 0313330425, 9780313330421.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Ling, Huping, Chinese St. Louis, p. 1 (Archive).
  2. ^ Ling, Huping, Chinese St. Louis, p. 1-2 (Archive).
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Ling, Huping, "Cultural Community: A New Model for Asian American Community," [sic] p. 146.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ling, Huping, Chinese St. Louis, p. 2 (Archive).
  5. ^ Ling, Huping. "Growing Up in "Hop Alley": Chinese American Youth in St. Louis During the Early Twentieth Century," p. 65.
  6. ^ "About Us" (Archive). OCA St. Louis. Retrieved on May 21, 2014.
  7. ^ "Contact Us" (Archive). St. Louis Modern Chinese School. Retrieved on May 21, 2014. "St. Louis Modern Chinese School 6710 Clayton Road Richmond Heights MO 63117"
  8. ^ Ling, Huping Chinese in St. Louis: 1857-2007, p. 101.
  9. ^ "Home" (Archive). St. Louis Chinese Language School. Retrieved on May 21, 2014. "2007-2013 School Location: St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf school (SJID) located at 1809 Clarkson Road (Click here for Map!)"
  10. ^ "Contact Us" (Archive). St. Louis Chinese Academy. Retrieved on May 21, 2014. "Location (地點): Social Science Building St. Louis Community College at Meramec Campus 11333 Big Bend Blvd. St. Louis, MO63122 "
  11. ^ "Home" (Archive). St. Louis Chinese American News. Retrieved on May 20, 2014. "1766 Burns Ave, Suite 201, St. Louis, MO 63132, (0.6 mile west of Page & 170)"
  12. ^ "2010 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Overland city, MO" (Archive). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on May 21, 2014.
  13. ^ "Contact Us" (Archive). St. Louis Chinese Journal. Retrieved on May 20, 2014. "Address 8517 Olive Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132"
  14. ^ "Wards" (Archive). City of University City. Retrieved on May 20, 2014.
  15. ^ "聯絡我們 Contact." Taiwanese Presbyterian Church of Greater St. Louis. Retrieved on June 23, 2014. "542 Ries Rd Ballwin, MO 63021"
  16. ^ "Home." St. Louis Chinese Christian Church. Retrieved on June 23, 2014. "832 N. Woods Mill Rd. Chesterfield, MO 63017"
  17. ^ "Home." St. Louis Chinese Gospel Church. Retrieved on June 23, 2014. "St. Louis Chinese Gospel Church, 515 Meramec Station Road, Manchester, MO 63021"
  18. ^ "Zoning District Map" (Archive). City of Olivette. Retrieved on June 23, 2014.
  19. ^ "About Us" (Archive).
  20. ^ "Home." The St. Louis Chinese Baptist Church. Retrieved on June 23, 2014. "908 Jungermann Rd, St Peters, MO 63376"
  21. ^ "Midwest Region Chicago Chapter." Tzu Chi. Retrieved on June 24, 2014. "St. Louis Office 8515 Olive Blvd., Saint Louis, MO 63132"
  22. ^ "Contact Us." Mid-America Buddhist Association. Retrieved on June 23, 2014. "Mid-America Buddhist Association 299 Heger Lane Augusta, MO 63332-1445 U.S.A."
  23. ^ "About FGS." Fo Guang Shan St. Louis Buddhist Center. Retrieved on June 23, 2014. "3109 Smiley Road Bridgeton, MO 63044"

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]