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zzChinese funeral held for Chun Wa in Seattle on July 21, 1873.

HistoryLink.org Essay 1617 : Printer-Friendly Format

On July 21, 1873, in Seattle, a funeral is held for Chun Wa (ca. 1841-1873). The deceased was a merchant in partnership with Wa Chong. Their store was located on Mill Street (renamed Yesler Way).

Chun Wa was born in Canton, and was "a great favorite with his countrymen" in Seattle. He was buried (in what was intended to be a temporary internment) in the Seattle Cemetery. The town's first official municipal graveyard, Seattle Cemetery was located on the site of what is now Denny Park, between lower Queen Anne and the south end of Lake Union.

The Weekly Intelligencer gave the following description of the funeral:

"For several hours previous to the funeral the remains of the deceased, enclosed in a very costly coffin, lay on a stand in front of Wa Chong's store, surrounded by a large crowd of spectators to witness the ceremonies. Many mourners were also present. Immediately behind the coffin stood a table, on which was placed a roasted pig, chicken, peanuts, oranges and other edibles. As the hour drew nigh for the funeral to take place, the refreshments were gathered up, placed in a wagon behind the hearse, and in a short time began to move in the direction of the old Cemetery [Seattle Cemetery], followed by several other wagons full of Chinamen and women. There the remains were temporarily interred, it being intended of course to ship them to their native land at some future period."

Sources:
The Weekly Intelligencer (Seattle), July 26, 1873, p. 3.


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