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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
El Paso in El Paso County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

El Paso's Chinese Community

 
 
El Paso's Chinese Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, November 3, 2010
1. El Paso's Chinese Community Marker
Inscription. Chinese immigrants first arrived in El Paso shortly before the Southern Pacific Railroad completed its line here in 1881. The earliest immigrants opened a rooming house and a grocery store. Soon afterwards, the U.S. Government passed the Chinese exclusion act (1882) which restricted Chinese immigration. However, enough Chinese remained to create a vibrant community throughout downtown El Paso. Into the early 1920s, El Paso's Chinese community was the largest in Texas.

The Chinese contributed to the area's economy largely by growing and selling fruits and vegetables for the local market, and by opening businesses, including laundries and restaurants. The mostly-male sojourners sent earnings to families in China, with the intention of returning home.

While retaining their native culture through language (most spoke the Toishonese Dialect), food, community associations and traditions, the newcomers also adopted area languages and customs. The immigrants experienced discrimination, but faced fewer problems here than did the Chinese in other parts of the United States.

Chinese continued to migrate to El Paso into the 20th century. During the Mexican Revolution, General John J. Pershing brought hundreds of Chinese into the United States for their protection from racial violence. They were legally allowed to
El Paso's Chinese Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, November 3, 2010
2. El Paso's Chinese Community Marker
immigrate following General Pershing's petition to Congress. The Chinese continued to immigrate to the city during the great depression of the 1930s. Another wave began in the late 1940s, prompted by the communist takeover of China. Today, Chinese El Pasoans continue to maintain a sense of community in the city they helped develop.
 
Erected 2008 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 16051.)
 
Location. 31° 45.552′ N, 106° 29.291′ W. Marker is in El Paso, Texas, in El Paso County. Marker is on West Mills Avenue, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 110 West Mills Avenue, El Paso TX 79901, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Site of United States Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Sidewalk Clock (within shouting distance of this marker); The First United States Soldiers to Be Stationed at the Pass of the North (within shouting distance of this marker); El Camino Real (within shouting distance of this marker); San Jacinto Plaza (within shouting distance of this marker); Hotel Cortez (within shouting distance of this marker); The Woman's Club of El Paso (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); LULAC (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in El Paso.
 
Categories. Asian AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,043 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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