JUDGE A. S. McQUEEN, ATTORNEY AT LAW AND AUTHOR
February 3, 1950
Charlton County Herald
Editor R. Ward Harrison
Alexander S. McQueen, former Judge of the Charlton County Court of Ordinary, Solicitor and Judge of old Charlton County Court, and an active practicing attorney in Charlton County for the past thirty-two years, was born in Montgomery County near the present city of Vidalia, Ga., being a descendant of the Scotch Highlanders who settled in that area of the state in the latter years of the eighteenth century. His father, the late Phillip A. McQueen, was the first County School Superintendent of Toombs County after its creation in 1905 and was also a newspaper editor and well known writer of that section. His mother was Mary Rambo McLeod, daughter of G.M.T. McLeod, a Captain in the Confederate Army. Educated in the public schools of Toombs County, A.S. McQueen graduated from the Vidalia Collegiate Institute, then a Junior College in the class of 1910. He was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1914 and before coming to Charlton County served as the Justice of the Peace of the 51st G.M. District, was City Clerk and City Attorney of Vidalia, his native city. He was elected Justice of the Peace just prior to his 21st birthday and while serving in that office he compiled the “Georgia Justice Handbook”, still widely used by J.P.s over the entire state, giving complete forms for all Justice Court procedures.
Coming to Charlton County in 1917, shortly after the death of the late Colonel W.M. Olliff, Judge McQueen has practiced law here continuously since that time, for many years the only lawyer in the county. Soon after coming here he was named County Attorney, having served continuously in that capacity since 1917 and also as Folkston’s City Attorney except for a brief interval.
Shortly after his arrival here he took over the duties as clerk of the local Draft Board of Charlton County, serving in this exacting position without pay for several months until he volunteered for induction into the armed forces. He then served as clerk of Battery B, 26th C.A.C. at Fort Screven, Ga., until the end of the war. During his service in the armed forces he fell victim to the influenza epidemic resulting in chronic bronchitis, which later caused the loss of his right leg by amputation in 1929. This was made necessary because of a blood clot from the bronchial ailment from which he still suffers. In spite of this severe handicap Judge McQueen has successfully carried on his law practice and other activities neither asking or expecting favors because of his condition.
Resuming his law practice after the close of the war, Judge McQueen was named Solicitor of the County Court of Charlton upon its creation in 1925. He served in that capacity for several years, being named as Judge of the court a short while before it was abolished in the early 1930s because of the mistaken impression that it was an expense to the county.
For several years, 1927-1932, Judge McQueen edited and published a weekly newspaper, the Folkston Progress, in this city. He also has been a frequent contributor to magazines and in addition to his Justice Handbook, has authored three successful books, “History of the Okefenokee Swamp”, “Clubfoot of the Okefenokee” and “History of Charlton County. He was appointed County Historian by the Grand Jury in 1929 under an act of the state legislature. His books on the Okefenokee have been widely read and have contributed greatly to the popularity of the area as a scenic wonderland.
He was elected Judge of the Charlton County Court of Ordinary in 1936, where he served three successive terms in that capacity, beginning January 1, 1937. Upon his retirement from the Ordinary’s office at the end of 1948, he opened a law office in the Wade Building in association with his son, William A. McQueen, where the firm of McQueen & McQueen now carries on a general practice. He has also developed Queensdale, a new residential subdivision in Folkston. During his long practice here he has served as local council for the Southern Railroad.
One of the proudest achievements of his long career as an attorney here, Judge McQueen says is the fact that he has not missed attending a single session of Charlton County Superior Court in all that time. In order to keep his record clear he obtained leave from his army duties to attend court during his military service. He has also missed attending but few sessions of the Board of County Commissioners as county attorney.