Dr. John Quon’s father immigrated from China in 1924 and settled in Moorhead, Mississippi. In this episode, he discusses how immigration laws prohibited Chinese nationals from owning property until 1943. Quon’s family lived in the back of their Moorhead grocery store until it became too crowded. He recalls how threatening letters led his father to purchase a cotton farm and build a home away from town.
Quon began working in his family’s grocery store at the age of five. He remembers working long hours during growing season and how their lives centered around the business.
After years as a successful merchant and cotton farmer, Quon’s father became well-respected as a businessman and patriarch. He recounts how his father sponsored other Chinese families and describes how their home became a meeting place for the Delta Chinese-American community.