Cheah Tek Soon was born in Penang to Cheah Chow Pan, and was brother to Cheah Tek Thye and Cheah Tek Lee. Cheah Tek Soon was the owner of the Sing Eng Moh & Co., and had founded the first Chinese insurance company in the Straits Settlements, known as Kean Guan Insurance Company. Cheah Tek Soon was best known for his impressive five-story house at Northam Road. In spite of the spacious house, Cheah Tek Soon never married, he invited his brothers to live with him. One of his brothers, Cheah Tek Thye had given his daughter, Cheah Liew Bee for his adoption. Cheah Tek Soon was active in the Chinese community affairs, he was a donor to the establishment of the Penang Chinese Town Hall in 1881 and donated a Bandstand at the Penang Town Hall in 1884.
Cheah Tek Soon in partnership with Cheah Eu Ghee 谢有义 was a government contractor. In 1893, both men were in charged for repairing the road from Tanjong Tokong to Tanjong Batu in Penang which cost $5,000. Besides that, he and Cheah Eu Khay had business interest in steamships
When Cheah Tek Soon died, he left all his estate to his adopted daughter, Cheah Liew Bee, including his mansion at Northam Road. Cheah Liew Bee who had married to Goh Say Eng (1875 - 1941), was a loyal supporter of Dr Sun Yan Sen's revolution movement in China. Had contributed all the Cheah’s properties to keep Dr Sun's movement alive and had led the couple live in dire conditions. Cheah Tek Soon’s another brother, Cheah Tek Lee was a business partner with Cheah Chen Eok, where he acted as intermediary for Thai merchants in Penang, Perak and Kedah. Cheah Tek Lee had married two daughters of Khaw Teng Hai@Khaw Soo Cheang (1797 – 1883), the Governor of Ranong.