This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925.
Mr L. T. Yuan, (YUAN LI-TUNG) a popular member of the Chinese merchant community of Shanghai, was born in Ningpo, Chekiang Province, into a family of very modest means. Mr Yuan was obliged to struggle for his own education, which began in a mission school in Ningpo. Diligent application to his studies won for him the opportunity to attend St. John’s University with a scholarship from the United Methodist Mission of Ningpo. After his graduation he returned to Ningpo to serve the above mentioned mission, as Vice-Principal and Head Master in the English Methodist College, and as residing pastor of one of the chapels, for a period of 8 years.
During the first revolution, Mr. Yuan was appointed by the Military Governor at Ningpo to serve as Deputy Chief of Foreign Affairs and Communications.
In 1912, Mr. Yuan joined the staff of the Hankow-Canton-Szechuen Railway, but resigned shortly before the second revolution. Wishing to obtain a broader knowledge of commercial business methods, he joined the Commercial Press Ltd., of Shanghai, the largest printing establishment in China. In 1918, Mr. Yuan made two trips to Japan to study industrial conditions, during which he visited all the principal cities of the Empire.
Returning to China, he became interested in and assisted in developing coal mine undertakings and steamship companies. He manifested unusual shipping ability, and, in 1921, was invited by the board of directors of the Ningpo-Shaoshing Steam Navigation Co., Ltd., to serve as General Manager of that company, succeeding Mr. Y. J. Zah.
In addition to his regular work with the Ningpo-Shaoshing Steam Navigation Co., Mr. Yuan takes an active interest in public works as well as other commercial pursuits. He served for many years as a Director of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Shanghai. He was elected to serve on the National Committee of the Young Man’s Christian Association of China, and is Vice-Chairman of the Shanghai Y.M.C.A. He is a director of the Ningpo Association of Shanghai and of the Chinese and Foreign Famine Relief Committee which recommended him for decoration by the Chinese Government. This honor, when offered him, he refused to accept.
He is Chairman of the Federation of Street Unions of Shanghai and Vice-Chairman of the Chinese Ratepayer’s Association. In 1924, he was reappointed to serve as a member of the Chinese Advisory Committee of the Shanghai Municipal Council. He is a member of the Shanghai Rotary Club, representing Inland Water Navigation.
Mr. Yuan is a stockholder in, and director of, the Shanghai Citizen’s Bank, Ltd., the Heng An Steamship Co. Ltd., the Far Eastern Recreation Association, the China Refrigeration and Investment Co. Ltd., and the China Motion Picture Co. Ltd.
A.R. Burt, J.B. Powell and Carl Crow, editors, Biographies of Prominent Chinese (Shanghai: Biographical Publishing Company Inc., c.1925).