Yio Chu Kang (variants: Yio Choo Kang, Yeo Choo Kang, Yeo Chu Kang, Yeo Chukang, Eo Chu Kang, Eyo Chu Kang), was a originally gambier and pepper plantation settlement located by Sungei Seletar. It was probably named after an owner or the occupant clan by the surname Yeo. A survey published in the Straits Times on 18 May 1855 showed that Yio Chu Kang was a place with 161 coolies.
Picture credit: A Pictorial History of the Nee Soon Community
Yio Chu Kang Road, a major road was built in the 19th century to connect Upper Thomson Road to Upper Serangoon Road. Subsequently the term Yio Chu Kang become associated with a wider area covering Upper Thomson, Yio Chu Kang, Ang Mo Kio, Buangkok, Jalan Kayu, Hougang and Serangoon. A number of Chinese villages that sprung along the road survived until the 1980s.
Remember Singapore blog provides a good write-up and some interesting old photos on the Teochew Yio Chu Kang Village and Chia Keng Village 車宮村 in the enlarged Yio Chu Kang area.
Pre-1860 newspaper reports
The Singapore Free Press published on 27 July 1849 a proposal by Louis S. Jackson, Chairman of the Municipal Committee, to build police stations at Bukit Timah, Sungei Kranji/Sungei Sempang and on Thomson Road towards Yio Chu Kang, as part of measures to bring the interior under British controls.
Read full article here
The Singapore Free Press 5 December 1851 reported three cases of tiger attacks, including one at Yio Chu Kang and discussed on the need to increase monetary reward to encourage the people to hunt the animal.