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 Ing “Doc” Hay

Ing “Doc” Hay

Walla Walla, Walla Walla County, Washington, USA
Death 19 Jul 1952 (aged 88)
Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA
Burial John Day, Grant County, Oregon, USA
Plot Row 13
Memorial ID 21735924 · View Source
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Born in Walla Walla, Washington, per his death certificate and in Canton China from other sources. Famous herbal doctor "Doc" Hay; partner with Lung On in the Kam Wah Chung & Co., general store, in John Day, Grant County, Oregon, USA; Go to this link:

The Kam Wah Chung site was designated a National Historic Site in 2005.

By Angel Carpenter
Blue Mountain Eagle newspaper
July 28, 2010

JOHN DAY - Time stands still at the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site, where the rooms appear just as they were around the turn of the 20th century.

Oranges, dried with the passing of years, grace a Buddhist/Taoist altar; hundreds of small boxes of herbs and other Chinese medicines are neatly stacked; and containers of food sit on shelves, their contents left undisturbed.

On the walls are epigrams written in Chinese on red paper -one reads, "Good friends make good business; good business makes good friends."

Kam Wah Chung, which translates "Golden Flower of Prosperity," was the home and business operation of Ing "Doc" Hay and Lung On, who bought the building in 1885.

Gold was discovered in nearby Canyon City in 1862, and the area saw an influx of people who came to work in the mining industry, including Chinese immigrants.

In the heart of Chinatown in John Day stood Kam Wah Chung, a center of activity for the Chinese population of Grant County.

Hay and On, both born in 1862, had talents which enriched the community.

Doc Hay was widely known for his unique ability to cure diverse ailments.

It is believed he learned his trade in China as an apprentice, but he also kept medical books.

Pulsology was his method for diagnosing medical problems for his patients who included the local Chinese and white people, as well as those who traveled miles to see him.

The patient placed their wrist on a pillow while Doc Hay felt their pulse.

If the patient was well he would send them on their way saying, "Go home, and have a happy life." But if a cure was needed he had everything at hand - a pinch of this, a sprinkle of that - which was then packaged in paper.

Instructions were given, and the patient would take the medicine home to make a tea, or for some wounds make a paste, to bring relief.

In 1936, one young newlywed from Burns visited Doc Hay with her mother who needed a treatment. The younger woman didn't know she was pregnant, yet Doc Hay, after feeling her pulse, predicted that she would have multiples.

Several months later the young woman had triplets - two boys and one girl.

Uncashed checks totaling about $23,000 - which would have been worth about $250,000 today - were found under the mattress of Doc Hay's bed.

Lung On had an entrepreneurial spirit, and ran about 12 businesses in his 50-plus years in John Day.

He ran a general store, housed in Kam Wah Chung. Besides food items and fireworks, alcohol and tobacco were his biggest sellers - typical of a gold rush town.

When the building was "rediscovered" in the 1970s after being closed up for at least 20 years, 95 bottles of whiskey were found boxed up under the floorboards.

In the room next to the general store, Lung On rented out four bunks at 25 cents for one week - three or four to a bunk.

He had the first car dealership in town - the Tourist Garage.

Other services he offered included reading and writing letters for people, selling catalog clothing and fortune telling.

With mining and other jobs available in the 1870-90s, the Chinese population in the area was about 2,000; however, only three to five of the 2,000 were women due to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which prevented Chinese men from bringing their families with them to the U.S.

As the local job market dried up in 1910, the Chinese population in the John Day/Canyon City area dwindled to less than 20.

Still, Doc Hay and Lung On stayed at Kam Wah Chung.

Both were married, their wives and children living in China.

Lung On's wife once wrote, "It's been over 30 years. Don't you love me anymore? Why don't you come home?"

Lung On died in 1940 at the age of 78. He insisted on being buried locally.

"I will always be an American," he said.

Ing Hay suffered a broken hip in 1948 and moved to Portland to receive care. He died at the age of 89 and is buried next to Lung On in the John Day Cemetery on Valley View Drive.

The museum's interpretive center is at 116 NW Bridge St.; to reach the building, turn north from Main Street to Canton Street, and travel half a block. The center is on the right across from the United Methodist Church. Kam Wah Chung is farther up the street within walking distance near the city park and Gleason Pool.

Chinese Americans leave legacy
By Tina Cook
The Blue Mountain Eagle 9/26/2007

JOHN DAY - Grant County is filled with historical riches. One such treasure was left by two Chinese immigrants, who came to John Day, started several profitable businesses, offered services to the community and were respected by both cultures.

Lung On and Ing "Doc" Hay immigrated to America and found their way to Grant County during the gold rush era. They formed a partnership and leased the building that is now the Kam Wah Chung Museum in 1888. The building served as a Chinese trading post, a hang out for Chinese immigrants, an herbal medicine practice, a Buddhist temple and their home.

Chinese and caucasian patients alike sought "Doc" Hay's expertise. His specialty was pulsology, diagnosing ailments by the strength and rhythm of a person's pulse. He mixed and sold herbal medicine to cure patients from all over eastern and central Oregon. He became well-respected by many as the "China doctor of John Day."

Hay broke his hip and spent his last four years at a retirement home in Portland. He went blind several years before he died at age 89, but he continued to practice medicine.

On, an entrepreneur, ran the general store. He sold merchandise shipped from China, tobacco, American-made foods and products, and even Western medicines. He kept the store stocked with merchandise that would appeal to his Chinese and American patrons.

Fluent in English and well-educated, he was considered an upperclassman in China. He served as a labor contractor for the white people and Chinese. He also served as the letter writer and reader for the Chinese. On owned the first car dealership in Eastern Oregon.

"Basically, anything he thought he could make money at, he tried," said the museum's curator, Christina Sweet.

Lung On died when he was 78. He left his half of the business to his partner, Hay, who later left the entire business to his nephew, Bob Wah.

In 1955, Wah donated the building to the city to use as a museum. The building remained locked up until the 1970s.

In 1976, the building had its first restoration and museum officials made several interesting discoveries.

When one portion of the floor was pulled up, they found 96 bottles of Prohibition-era whiskey under the floorboards.

Under Doc Hay's bed they found $23,000 worth of uncashed checks. Replicas are on display at the Interpretive Center.

Several documents, including letters to and from China were found, detailing the lives of a lost society.

"It's kind of a forgotten history and here we have all aspects of the Chinese-American culture," Sweet said.

Both men spoke Cantonese, as did most of the Chinese in Grant County.

"Chinese grouped together by province, because they spoke the same dialects," Sweet said.

On and Hay became respected members of John Day society, at a time when Chinese people were usually persecuted.

"These folks were way ahead of their time and they were providing a service to the community," said Deborah Wood, cultural resource manager for the National Park Service.

Kam Wah Chung means "Golden Flower of Prosperity."

The museum is extraordinary because it holds artifacts from Chinese-American culture that are virtually untouched by time. From the homemade Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling to the unopened canned goods in the kitchen, there is a wealth of history to be uncovered throughout the building.

The museum is in the national register of historic places and has been listed as a national historic landmark since 2004.

Gravesite Details Row 13 along with Bob Wah, Rose Wah and Lung On
  • Created by: Pam R.
  • Added: 24 Sep 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 21735924
  • Pam R.
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ing “Doc” Hay (16 Jun 1864–19 Jul 1952), Find A Grave Memorial no. 21735924, citing Rest Lawn Cemetery, John Day, Grant County, Oregon, USA ; Maintained by Pam R. (contributor 46923349) .