This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925.
Honorable Chang Cha, a native of Shiting, Nantungchow, was educated in the old Chinese school. As a young man, he took a great interest in business, and at that time the value of commerce to the nation was not as well appreciated as it is at present. He devoted his early life to business training, and his leisure hours to old scholastic work. The success in the development of modern industries, at Nantungchow, in recent years, under the leadership of Mr. Chang and His Excellency Chang Chien, his brother, is partly due to the practical experience which Mr. Chang himself gained during his youth.
At the age of thirty, he served under General Wu Chang-ching, in the capacity of secretary. Upon General Wu’s recommendation, he was promoted, by the Peking Government, to the rank of Magistrate, and was ordered to proceed to Kiangsi Province, as candidate. In Kiangsi he held two offices. He was appointed Magistrate for Yi Chun, and later for Kwei Chi, where he was highly regarded by the people, because of his good administration. When his brother His Excellency Chang Chien organized the present Dah San Cotton Mill, he was requested to come back to assist in this important undertaking.
Convinced of the significance of modern industries, to China, on the one hand, and disappointed at the official corruption of the Manchu Government, on the other, he retired from political life. Since then he has devoted his entire energy to the development of Nantungchow, industrially as well as educationally.
When the revolution broke out, in 1911, the civil and military officers of Nantungchow were at a loss to know how to handle the situation. The people elected Mr. Chang provisional Civil Governor of the city, and also Commander-in-Chief to maintain order. He handled the situation with great success, and Nantungchow passed the storm without loss of life or property. When the country was re-united under the Republican form of government, Mr. Chang at once relinquished the posts as Commander-in-Chief and Civil Governor, by tendering his resignation, and again returned to industrial activities.
When he organized a new industry or established an educational or charitable institution in the “Model City” of Nantungchow, His Excellency Chang Chien always had the able assistance of his brother Mr. Chang Cha. Hence every organization and institution claims his service. At present Mr. Chang is Vice-President of the Dah San Cotton Mill, Chung Ming Dah San Cotton Mill, Kwong Sung Oil Mill, and Fu Sing Flour Mill. He is President of the Textile College, Commercial School and Medical School: Managing Director of the Dah Yu Tsing, Da Yu, Da La, Dah Fong and Dah Kong Reclamation Companies: Honorary President of the Girl’s Normal School, Nantung: President of the Foundling Hospital at Fan Cha, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Tung Chung Hai Tai, and the Farmer’s Union Association, and President of the Nantung Shore Protection Institute, and the Nantung Conservancy Society.
Mr. Chang is a high-minded and upright political leader, and ardent social worker, an industrial promoter, and a philanthropist. He has fostered several charitable institutions, and has been decorated with the Third and Second Order of Chiaho, by the Central Government, in recognition of his meritorious work at Nantungchow.
A.R. Burt, J.B. Powell and Carl Crow, editors, Biographies of Prominent Chinese (Shanghai: Biographical Publishing Company Inc., c.1925), 60