• Emily Pan

The Ah Louis Family

Ah Louis:

  • Funded the founding of a Chinese school in the joss house (temple) at 818 Palm Street

  • Lived a bicultural life

  • Invited non-Chinese family friends to celebrate the Lunar New Year with his family.

Wife -

En Gon Ying Louis:

  • Ah Louis' wife - they met in San Francisco in 1889, when Mrs. Louis was 20 and Ah Louis was 48

  • Married and moved to San Luis Obispo, where she lived in the apartment above the Ah Louis store

  • She is said to have left that building only twice, over a span of 20 years

  • Hosted celebrations and dinners put on by her husband for business purposes, and to build relationships with the community

  • Had eight children

  • She died in her sleep at the age of 40 on September 30, 1909, with her baby Howard beside her

  • She was shot in the head by a .38 - caliber revolver

  • Known as "Silver Dove"


Children -

Howard Louis:

  • Philanthropist

  • Youngest of the eight children

  • San Luis Obispo High School Football Team's team captain

  • Known as a community-minded and generous man who enjoyed visiting classrooms and sharing stories of growing up on Palm Street - San Luis Obispo's Chinatown

  • Died in 2008, after his 100th birthday

Helen Louis:

  • Pianist

  • Performed a solo at a 1912 temperance revival

  • Performed at the wedding of Young Louis and Stella Chandler in January 1913

Helen Louis in 1939 (Image Source here)


George Louis:

  • Vocalist and steel guitarist

  • Performed at a concert at the Elmo Theater in 1923

Fred Louis:

  • Wrestler at the University of Chicago in 1931-32

Fred Louis in 1957 (Image Source here)


Grandchildren -

Elsie Louis:

  • Won the California state spelling bee in 1928

Sept. 4, 1928 Telegram about Elsie Louis being Spelling Bee Champion (Image courtesy of History Center of San Luis Obispo)

Works Cited

Gregory, Jim. San Luis Obispo County Outlaws: Desperados, Vigilantes and Bootleggers. The History Press, 2017.

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