Tue, July 16

1918: MURDER OF AH FEE; December 2, Part 1.


"Ah Fee, of Clarkdale, and his white wife, Lucille Fee, are under indictment on charges of smoking opium. The woman has already pleaded guilty and asked for leniency of the court but sentence has not been passed."

(Verde Copper News; Jerome; Saturday, August 10, 1918; page 1, column 2.)

"The fall term of the federal court came to a sudden end yesterday. ...

"Lucille Fee, white wife of Ah Fee, the Clarkdale laundryman, arrested with her husband for smoking opium, was up for sentence. It was expected that the court would give her a light sentence but Judge Sawtelle decided to delay the matter until September 15 in order that he might investigate certain aspects of the case. It is suspected, among other things, that her marriage to the Mongolian is illegal."

(Verde Copper News; Jerome; Tuesday, August 20, 1918; page 1, column 3.)


"Mrs. Lucille Fee, the handsome American wife of a Jerome Chinaman, who last week entered a plea of guilty to a charge of having opium in her possession, was before Judge Sawtelle yesterday morning for sentence. Nattily attired, the young woman sat on the prisoners' bench along with a miscellaneous collection of bootleggers, slackers, white slavers, etc., and when the judge called her to the front she stepped forward and explained how the opium happened to be in her possession."

"She told the court that she had married the Chinaman at Gallup several months ago and that they had been living in Jerome since the wedding. Judge Sawtelle asked the girl whether it wasn't against the New Mexican law for any person to unite a Celestial and a Caucasian in marriage. The girl told the judge that she could produce her marriage certificate, and was certain that she was legally married to Ah Fee."

"Mrs. Fee and her husband were arrested together. The wife entered a plea of guilty and her husband entered one of not guilty. The Chinaman has been at liberty under bond and his wife has been in the county jail here for several weeks."

"Mrs. Fee told Judge Sawtelle how she had gotten into the clutches of the opium-smoking habit several years ago. She said that most of the opium which the Chinese used came from other Chinamen and that it would be pretty hard to say just where it came from originally or how it was brought into the state. She said that at the time of her arrest she had a small can of the poppy wax."

"Judge Sawtelle, after hearing the girl's story, announced that he would defer sentence until after the husband had had his trial. He was under the impression that Mrs. Fee was attempting to shield her husband he said."

(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; August 21, 1918; page 5.)


"There is an old adage, 'Love Laughs at Locksmiths.'"

"The climax to a recent sensational marriage in New Mexico occurred in Prescott yesterday afternoon, where an American girl and a Chinaman were the 'high contracting' parties."

"The name of the bride was Lucille Ellwood, and her spouse was Ah Fee. Both came to Jerome a short time ago on their honeymoon and the groom concluded to locate there. The rare racial combination started trouble at once for the pair, and while happily in wedded bliss they soon ran not only afoul of trouble but also the law, according to the story Mrs. Ah Fee told yesterday as she took the back track for home alone by the sad sea shore of Coronado, near San Diego."

"'I am going back but I will return,' she said, 'as Mr. Ah Fee and I are man and wife; our marriage was legal in New Mexico, or else it would not have taken place; they say that here in Arizona your State constitution won't permit the joining of our races in holy wedlock; that don't apply in our case, as we were 'over there' when the parson tied the knot; they got me at Jerome and landed me in the Prescott jail, to await legal developments; the longer they hold me the strongest will be my love for the man of my choice; I don't care the snap of this little finger what anybody says or thinks; I am of age, and have been making my own living since leaving home.'"

"Mrs Ah Fee was placed aboard a train yesterday afternoon and presumably left for Coronado, Cal. Her release from jail was conditioned that she would go home to her mother and a certain gentleman of Prescott was authorized by her father to see that she got started homeward, abundant funds being available for the trip and other expenses incurred by the daughter. Mrs. Ellwood is heartbroken over the escapade of her daughter, and it was the appeal of the mother which induced the girl to return to the home fireside."

"The Elwoods are reputed as quite prominent in social and fraternal circles of San Diego, and will resort to every judicial procedure to have the obnoxious marriage annulled. The girl admitted she is addicted to 'hitting the poppy pipe,' so between the nuptial and the narcotic problems, the parents have a hard problem to bring to a normal state the caprices of their wayward offspring."

(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; September 25, 1918; page 4, column 5.)


"The sheriff's office was notified at a late hour last night that a Jerome Chinaman named Lee Ong had shot and probably fatally wounded another Celestial named Ah Fee. The latter, it will be remembered, last spring married a white girl who was formerly an inmate of a disorderly house in Prescott."

(Weekly Journal-Miner; Wednesday, December 4, 1918; page 1.)