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Bicentennial Tidbits Greenville’s Chinese Laundry

Greenville’s first Chinese laundry opened in 1899 on Commerce Street where Sunshine Cleaners was later located.

A man from China named Sing Loo operated the laundry for several years before it burned in 1907.

Sing Loo replaced the wooden building with a brick one, and it was reported that he made enough money in his new shop to go back to China.

However, a number of different Chinese operators had laundries in Greenville, and their businesses were all known as “Charlie Loo’s.”

The last Chinese laundryman in Greenville was Way Wun, who called himself Loo Coon.

In 1917 he registered for service as a private in the military and went with his Greenville buddies to France, where he fought with the famed Rainbow Division.

After the war, Loo Coon moved to the Birmingham area where he opened a modern steam laundry.

He was an ardent supporter of the American Legion and always came back to Greenville to visit his friends.

No matter what his name was – Way Wun or Loo Coon – everyone in Greenville always called him Charlie Loo.


From the files of the Butler County Historical & Genealogical Society.


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