Named Ye, his family did smelting and casting industry for a living. During Jiajing period of Ming Dynasty, he moved to Zhaxi Town of Tongxiang City (suburb of Wuzhen) from Zhudun Village of Wuxing County with his seven sons and daughters-in-law. At both ends of the town, he had opened up 10 mu of land, and set up factories to melt and cast pots and kettles and sold to people around. Later, the six sons and daughters-in-law and his uncles and nephews were left in Zhaxi. He led his families to move to the county and opened a furnace shop.
Shen Dongxi believed in Buddhism, and was addicted to alcohol and liked to play chess. He had close contact with the abbot of Fengming Temple in the town. In the thirty-third year of Jiajing (1554), Japanese invaders invaded coastal cities. Dongxi moved Zhaxi Workshop into the city and temporarily operated it outside Fengming Temple to melt and cast the bell tripod and candlestick for the monastery. Two years later, the Japanese invaders occupied Jiaxing, attacked the Zaolin and surrounded Tongxiang County for more than forty days. The guard could not retreat the enemy. One day, Dongxi and the abbot played chess in the monk's house and declared, "If you want to get rid of the thieves, why should be so afraid?" At that time, Governor Ruan E was also in the siege. He was curious about this and prepared a present to visit Dongxi and ask for advice on the strategy of retreating the enemy. Dongxi said, "At present, the army is exhausted and the people are unarmed. The only way is to collect pots and kettles and attack the enemy with the melt." And then the governor gathered iron, recruited workers to melt, and tied them up with huge ropes and waited the enemy to attack the city. The smelters sprinkled iron powder into the air, killing countless enemies. The Japanese invaders were terrified and retreated, and Tongxiang City was preserved. After that, the Inspector wrote four words in his handwriting, "Protect the City and Retreat Invaders", made plaques hanging in his house and awarded him a lot of houses.
After his death, during Emperor Longqing's reign (1567 - 1572), his tomb was moved to the Zaolin ancestral hall and then moved to the Zhongyi ancestral hall in the county. People respected him and regarded as "General of Flying Fire". His descendants inherited the metallurgical and casting industry and opened the Shen Yichang Smelting workshop in Zhaxi (later moved to Wuzhen), which lasted for more than 400 years. There are many stoves (lu) in Zhaxi, so Zhaxi is commonly known as "Stove Town (lutou)", and this place name is still in use today.Keyword: