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Memories of Frank

Don Rudisill relates a story of the son of the first Chinese family to settle in Davis.

Submitted by Don Rudisill 5/24/10

This entry relates to the past, present.

Categories: Unforgettable events, UCD, Coming to Davis.


Frank Young, who recently turned 80, was born and raised in Davis, the son of the first Chinese family to settle in the city. His father, who came to the U.S. from the Guangdong province of China in 1897, worked at a variety of jobs before opening the California Café, on G St. in Davis, in 1920. There he supported his family, which included Frank’s mother and five brothers and sisters. 

Frank recalls that when he was going to school while growing up, there were about 30 kids in each grade, for the entire city.  The original elementary school is gone, and the administration building on Russell Blvd served as both junior and senior high schools.  His graduating class (1948) had about 35 students. Frank graduated from Davis High School, served in the U.S. Army and went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in Art. Over the course of his career as a technical illustrator, he worked for several Sacramento area firms, including the University of California, from which he retired. 

Several years after retiring, he suffered a spinal cord injury and it was thought by the doctors that he might never walk again. However, with the support of his family, he worked at recovering and although still partially disabled, he began the volunteer work of picking up surplus food at some of the local grocery stores to deliver to local services feeding the hungry. He recently received a Certificate of Recognition for this work from Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada at the State Capitol. 

Frank and his wife, Huei, have two sons, Jesse and Clifford, who live and work in the Bay Area.

This site provided with the assistance of the Davis Community Network.