Hen Lee was born in China in 1819. During the political unrest of the 1850s, he immigrated from Canton province to the U.S. along with many other Chinese immigrants. By the 1860s he was one of the first Chinese residents to settle in Walla Walla with his family. In 1861 he opened and ran a successful laundry business on Second Street.

Hen Lee is portrayed by Myron Huie.