James McQueen

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James McQueen

James William McQueen (born April 15, 1866 in Society Hill, South Carolina; died April 20, 1925 in New York, New York) was an executive with the Sloss-Sheffield Steel & Iron Company, serving as president from 1918 until his death. He was also the owner of the Birmingham Barons from 1901 to 1910.

McQueen was the son of former South Carolina congressman John McQueen and his wife, the former Sarah Pickens, who was the granddaughter of another congressman and Revolutionary War hero, Andrew Pickens. McQueen grew up in Eutaw, in Greene County, and was educated in private academies operated by Daniel Collier and Joseph A. Taylor. He began his career at age 16 as a bank clerk in Eutaw, but then took a job with the Alabama Great Southern Railroad in 1884.

McQueen married Lydia Edwards, daughter of Giles Edwards, on April 11, 1899. He worked as a station agent in Eutaw and Tuscaloosa before coming to Birmingham in 1890 as a train dispatcher.

In 1891 McQueen joined the Sloss Iron & Steel Company's transportation department, but was soon promoted to auditor. In 1897 he was elected secretary and treasurer of the company, and rose to vice president of the re-organized Sloss-Sheffield Steel & Iron Company in 1902. As an executive, McQueen focused on upgrading plants and developing new facilities, including the by-product coke ovens in North Birmingham which served after they were built as the city's sole source of fuel gas. He was made president of the company in 1918,

McQueen became owner of the Birmingham Baseball Association, which fielded the Birmingham Barons, in 1901. He sold his stake to Rick Woodward in February 1910. McQueen was also a member of the "Vulcan Committee" of the Birmingham Commercial Club which commissioned the great cast-iron statue for display at the St Louis World's Fair in 1904.

McQueen's wife died in 1918, having born him two sons: Giles and James Jr. McQueen was a guest at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City when he died in April 1925.