From “The Annals of Changshu”, 1990 edition, I selected what I consider to be particularly important events. I now list them below together with events concerning the Zhang Family and some great events at the national level:-
1856 Weng Tonghe, of Changshu, was awarde the rank of Zhuangyuan.
1858 Zhang Zhi was born.
The Christian church set up a branch in Changshu.
1864 The Taiping movement came to the end.
1867 Zhang Hong , younger brother of Zhang Zhi, was born.
1870 Repair work on the Confucius Temple (damaged in the Taiping).
1871 Permission received from the Emperor for the Zhang Family to build a memorial gateway for its charitable work.
1872 Mother of Yu Mengying, was born in Zhujiajiao.
1889 Zhang Yuhe was born.
1892 Yu Mengying was born in Suzhou.
1895 China was disastrously defeated in the 1894-95 war with Japan.
1897 The scholar gentry of Changshu set up The China West Society.
1898 The “100-day Reform” ended in failure. Weng Tonghe was expelled from the court back to Changshu.
1900 Shen Peng, a native of Changshu at the court, petitioned for restoring the Emperor and punishing the “Three Evils”. He was jailed.
The 8-power army invaded Beijing, and the Empress Dowager fled to Xi’an.
Steamships began services between Changshu and neighboring cities.
1901 Telegram service inaugurated in Changshu.
1903 Pang Hongwen was appointed to be in charge of updating the official History of Changshu.
1904 Zhang Hong passed the national level examination and was awarded the Jinshi rank.
“Changshu Women’s World Society” and its journal inaugurated.
The first modern cotton spinning mill started operation.
1905 The thousand-year old examination system was officially terminated.
The Zhang Family ‘s Xiaoyou foundation set up modern school.
1907 Zhang Hong passed the entrance examination and entered the foreign ministry, and was posted to Japan and Korea as the consul in Kobe, Nagasaki, and Inchon. His nephew Yuhe followed him to Japan for studies.
1908 Zhang Yuhe returned to Changshu to wed Pang
1909 Yuhe’s first wife Pang died.
1911 Zhang Yuhe,22, wed Yu Mingying, 19.
Xin Hai Revolution broke out. Qing rule came to the end.
1912 The new government banned men from keeping pigtails
1913 Zhang Zhi died.
Changshu Electric Light Factory was built and started producing electricity on January 15, 1915.
1914 Yu Mengying gave birth to her first child , daughter Zhang Zhen.
1915 County library opened its doors.
1916 Zhang Hong retired from the foreign service and returned to Changshu.
Yu Mengying gave birth to her second child, boy Zhang YaoZhang.
Newspaper “Changshu Daily” inaugurated.
The government banned foot binding and the study of Confucian classics.
1917 The first movie house opened for business.
Cai Yuanpei appointed president of Peking University.
1918 The Zhang Family”s Xiaoyou Foundation granted funds for the purchase of land within the city walls and build a new school.
1919 Students demonstrated support for the May 4th Movement.
Xiaoyou School moved into its new premises.
1920 The first women’s hospital opened.
1921 Xiao School started junior school.,
1922 Local investors formed the first commercial bank.
The Christian church opened its hospital.
1923 Scandal in the Parliament in Beijing. Members of Parliament from Changshu refused bribe and returned home.
Zhang Yuhe died. Yu Mengying was 31.
1924 Provincial warlords fought a war. Changshu forced to pay a huge ransom.
1931 The Mukden Incident. Japanese army occupied China’s Mancuria.
1934 Zhang Yaozhang admitted to the Central University in Nanjing.
1935 The highways connecting Shanghai, Changshu, Suzhou, and Wuxi were completed.
1936 Zhang Yaozhang, 20, weds Li Jingfang, 19. Yu Mengying was 44.