James C Steele (c. 1910)

19 March 2022

This is James C Steele of Statesville, NC, formerly Musician in the 4th North Carolina Infantry band and a veteran of the Maryland Campaign of 1862. This picture is from his 1921 book Sketches of the Civil War, online thanks to a joint venture of the State Library and the State Archives of North Carolina.

By the time this photograph was taken, he was a successful inventor and businessman producing equipment used to make bricks and other clay products. Here’s a piece from the industry journal The Clay Worker of January 1901 featuring Henry Oscar Steele (1874-1942), one of his four sons, all of whom took over the business on James’ retirement in 1912.

Still called J.C. Steele & Company, the firm is in much the same business today under the management of the 5th generation of Steeles. The home he built across the street in Statesville in 1877 is still there, too. Recently restored by the Siegrists, it’s a beautiful event venue.

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