Yee Wee


Gleeson had a Chinese restaurant run by a gentleman named Yee Wee, one of the oldest and last residents of Gleeson. Yee Wee's house was behind the restaurant, away from the noise of "all the traffic" in Gleeson.


Yee Wee came to the United States in 1900, arriving in San Francisco, then making his way to Fairbank, Arizona, and then to Gleeson, arriving in 1910.


Yee Wee passed away on February 20, 1968, at the age of 85. His grave is in the Gleeson Cemetery, marked with the words "I see you tomorrow!" (often spoken to his friend Dan Christiansen when Dan brought him groceries).


Every month Dan Christiansen put Yee's old-age pension check (eighty-five dollars) in the Tombstone Bank for him. At his death, there was eight hundred fifty-nine dollars in the account. This was used to pay for his funeral.


Dan didn't know what religion Yee Wee embraced or if he had any at all. Only a Catholic priest and a Protestant preacher were available, so he had both of them come to the funeral.


It was an unusual funeral to be sure. The undertaker, who had apparently come straight from a saloon, fell into the grave and had to be pulled out! Then the casket was either too long, or the grave was too short. Finally, Yee and his casket were in place. A Tombstone deputy shot off several strings of firecrackers, which is done at Chinese funerals to drive away the evil spirits.


Photo of Yee Wee's restaurant in Gleeson, 1917.



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