Kuo Fong Tsai
From: 5 Race Course Road, Tientsin
Attended: Sept. 16, 1919-Mar 4, 1922; Sept. 22-Dec. 20, 1922; Sept. 12, 1923-
Dept: Classical Dept. Junior Year, Scientific Dept. Lower and both Upper Years
Sports: Soccer Team -’19-’2O, Capt '22
Dorm: Taylor 13 Junior Year
Abbot 4 Lower Year
Dr. Stearns first Upper Year
Abbot 7 second Upper Year
Mrs. Gardner and Day 34 - 1923-24
Graduated: Left, course incomplete on Permanent Record Card; 1924 according to Dr. Stearns' correspondence
Class of: 1924
College: Eastman Business College, Poughkeepsie, NY 1925
DOB: March 2, 1902 in Shanghai
Father: Shou KieTsai (CEM 1872)
Guardian: Dr. Stearns
MISC: Brother of Kuo Pao Tsai (‘10) and Kuo Tsao Tsai ('09)
Tsai Kuo-Tsao '05, Tsai Kuo Pao '10, and Tsai Kuo Fong '24, all from Teintsin, were the sons of Tsai Shou-kee, a Cantonoese who was one of the first students Yung Wing chose to be sent to America (with the China Educational Mission). Arriving in America in 1872 as a member of the first detachment, he attended Hartford Primary School and in 1875 entered the Hartford High School. He finished the prescribed four year course and from Hartford went to Yale University. Returning to China in 1881, he at first served as interpreter in the yamen of the Commissioner of Customs in Shanghai. Later he held a minor position in the office of the China Merchants Steam Navigation Company, and for a short time he was translator for the Great Northern Telegraph Company.
"In 1886 good fortune took Tsai Shou-kee to Korea where he entered the service of Yuan Shih-k'ai as one of the latter's private secretaries. In 1903 Tsai returned to China to become the Director of the Peiyang Bureau of Foreign Affairs. This was the Foreign Affairs section of the Viceroyalty of Chili and, in fact, was almost as important in the conduct of foreign affairs as was the Foreign Office of the Imperial Government in Peking. In 1904 Tsai Chou-kee became the president of Peiyang University at Tientsin, and in 1907 he succeeded Liang Yu-ho as Customs Commissioner at Tientsin, a post he retained until 1910. Just before being appointed to Tientsin, he followed Liang Yu-ho in another important post, the Customs Commissioner at the Manchurian port of Newchang. It will be recalled that Liang was appointed dto this post, one hereotofore always reserved for a Manchu, to negotiate with the Japanese for the retrocession of the Liaotung Peninsula, which they seized in the war with Russia. When Liang was transferred to Tienstin and then to Shanghai, Tsai was sent to Manchuria to preserve Chinese rights in South Manchuria. For his service there, he received the button of the first grade, an unusual distinction for a Chief of Customs.
In 1910 Tsai retired, and during the remainder of his life he devoted himself to charitable enterprises and to the improvement and expansion of Peiyang University. He died in Tientsin on May 23, 1933, survived by seven sons and seven daughters. His funeral was a magnificent affair in the best Buddhist traditions. It was also made noteworthy by the attendance of many prominent persons from the foreign community in North China. A detachment of the Brititish Municipal Police marched in the procession; the flags in the British Concession were flown at half-mast and the coffin was followed by the Chairman and Counselors of the British Municipal Council. Tsai was the first Chinese ever to be elected to the Council on which he served in 1898, 1899, and 1900.1,1
LaFargue, Thomas E., "China's First Hundred," (Pullman: Washington State University Press, 1987) pg. 133-134.