Sunday, May 04, 2014

Koh San Hin and family (Bukit Brown)

Koh San Hin, J.P (1873-1929) was a Straits born Chinese and a well known rubber planter and the Chairman of Nyalas Rubber Estates (1914-1929) , Director of Ulu Pandan Rubber Estates and Mandai-Tekong Estates. He even named his residence in 90 Grange Road as the Rubber Lodge. In 1910, he established a successful trading business in No 26 The Arcade and expanded also to be the Chairman of the Malayan Tribune Press, Ltd (1914) and was a Board of Director in the Eastern United Assurance Corporation, Limited.
Koh San Hin
Koh San Hin was also a Municipal Contractor, having tendered and also won various bids such as a $38,500 bid for erection of one block Subordinate Staff terraces at Bukit Timah Road on December 24, 1927 and a $24,000 bid to extend Municipal stores in River Valley on April, 19, 1928.

Other than being a successful businessman, he gave his time as well to public activities by playing active roles in various boards and associations:
  • President of the Straits Chinese British Association (1913-1916)
  • Member of Council of King Edward VII College of Medicine (1923-)
  • Management Committee of Tan Tock Seng Hospital
  • Visiting Justice of the Singapore Prison's (1924-)
  • Member of the Board of Licensing Justices (till 1927)
  • Rent Assessment Board (1919-)
  • Rubber Producers Association of Malaya
Koh San Hin passed away at the age of 56 on September 13, 1929 after a long illness at his residence, Rubber Lodge in  90 Grange Road. His son, Koh Kim Han was the sole executor of his will. He is buried in Block 3 Division B, plot 932.
Koh San Hin 
Mrs Koh San Hin nee Madam Seow Geok Lin (born 28/7/1872- 30/4/1968) passed away at the age of 96 at her residence in No. 87 Kovan Road in 1968. She is survived by one daughter-in-law, Mrs Koh Kim Han, several grand and great grandchildren. The cortege left from Paya Lebar Methodist Church for burial in Bukit Brown on May 1, 1968 at 3.00 pm.
Tomb of Mr and Mrs Koh San Hin
The tomb of Mr and Mrs Koh San Hin was recently clean up by Bukit Brown volunteers who also help to link up with the descendants of the Koh family. What is interesting to note on Madam Seow Geok Lin's tomb is the death date is not indicated, but the newspaper article clearly states that she was buried in Bukit Brown. Checking the burial records, confirms her burial in Bukit Brown, Block 3, Division B, plot 904
Seow Geok Lan burial record

Father: Koh Eng Hoon
Koh Eng Hoon's ancestry is well documented in Sir Song's book. He is the son of Koh Kee Oot and grandson of Koh Teck Hin and great grandfather, Koh Chin. Koh Chin left China 200 years ago and settled in Malacca and were traders. Koh Eng Hoon came down to Singapore at the age of 17 in 1840 and worked in a chinese shop before joining Boustead & Co. as a cashier. In 1845, he started a business as merchant and commissioning agent and had large business dealings with Bugis traders in Singapore and Malacca. In 1863, at 40 years old, he retired and left his business, Koh Eng Hoon & Co. (chop Soon Bee based in Malacca Street) in the hands of his eldest son-in-law, Soh Hong Chuan as his sons, Koh San Tee, Koh San Chuan and Koh San Lim. He spent most of time then in Malacca where he died in 1888.

There is a street in Tiong Bahru called Eng Hoon Street.
Koh Eng Hoon
Koh Eng Hoon's tomb in Melaka
Koh Eng Hoon's tomb in Melaka

Demise and rebirth of Koh Eng Hoon & Co. (chop Soon Bee)
At the time of Koh Eng Chuan's death on September 11, 1880, the business was thriving. The manager and eldest son-in-law, Soh Hong Chuan left the company in 1883 to start his own business. The company went into tin speculations and has a result loss heavily and suspended payment in 1890 and company declared bankrupt in 1891. Eventually the name of Koh Eng Hoon & Sons. (chop Soon Bee) was revived in 1901 with focus on the manufacture of Sarawak Sago flour, whose brand in the local market is known as S.B.A. flour. This company is managed by his eldest son, Koh San Tee. Koh San Hin as we know, made a fortune in rubber in 1909.

Brother: Koh San Tee
Koh San Tee passed away at his residence in No 279, Joo Chiat Road at the age of 77 on February 19, 1932, leaving behind 2 widows, 5 sons ( Koh Kim Guan, Koh Kim Choon, Koh Ek Wan, Koh Kim Soo and Tan Yean Swee), 7 daughters, 5 son-in-laws, several grandchildren, 2 brothers and 6 sisters. He is buried in Bukit Brown.
source: Bukit Brown Documentation Project
.許山治 (1054), 朱正娘 (1053), 蔡秀娘(1055) are affected by the 8 lane highway.

Daughter-in-law: Mrs Koh Kim Han (nee Chia Siew Lian)
Chia Siew Lian is the daughter of Chia Hood Theam. She passed away on June 26, 1972.
Madam Chia Siew Lian 
Supreme Court. (1893, March 29). The Singspore Free Press
Straits Chinese British Association (1917, December 13). The Singapore Free Press
Municipal Activities. (1927, December 24). The Straits Times
Town and Country (1928, April 19). The Straits Times
Mr Koh San Hin. (1929, September 14). The Straits Times
Advertisement. (1931, March 1). The Straits Times
Deaths. (1932, February 20). The Singapore Free Press
Advertisement. (1968, May 1). The Straits Times
Song, Ong Siang. One hundred years' history of the Chinese in Singapore. Ed. Edwin Lee. Singapore: Oxford University Press, 1984.
Documentation of Graves. [website] The Bukit Brown Documentation Project
A tag for History and a Trustee. [website]. Bukit Brown Cemetery, our roots, our future


Kohjb said...

I grew up with Madam Chia Siew Lian (Mrs Koh Kim Han - not Koh Kim Ban - typo I think) in her home in Kovan Road. She was my grandmother (whom I called Mama). I dearly remember her as she was one of the kindest sweetest women ever, and her goodness just emanated from her very being in her manners and the way she treated people.

Rojak Librarian said...

Thanks Joo Beng Koh for sharing !