Lee F. Haslam is general superintendent of the W. R. Pickering Lumber Company’s operations wherever situated and has headquarters at Pickering, La. He is a young man in years but old in experience, and is an organizer.
Great corporations, companies and individual operators – all institutions, in fact, which employ high class men – must either appropriate them or make them; that is, must take them from some other institution of kindred character, through inducements of larger salaries, or must find them in embryo and cultivate them, and allow and induce them to grow into the character of man necessary for the work.
Mr. Haslam is a combination of these two methods as regards his acquisition by the W. R. Pickering Lumber Company.
He has that rare attribute of knowing men, their capabilities and where to find and how to secure them for this work after they shall have been found.
It was that attribute more than anything else that determined W. A. Pickering to the “appropriation” of Mr. Haslam from railroad work, with the definite purpose in the beginning of seeing him grow into the position he holds.
Mr. Haslam was born August 31, 1872, in St. Louis, Mo. The first ten years of his life, or up to August 31, 1882, were spent in St. Louis. At that juncture in this career his parents moved to Kansas City, where they lived until 1888, and then moved back to St. Louis. During these years in St. Louis and Kansas City young Haslam had the advantage of common school and academical training.
In 1888 he entered the employ of the Nelson Morris Packing Company, of East St. Louis, where he remained one year. In 1889 he engaged with the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad Company, in the auditor’s office. In 1890, at the age of 18, he entered the train service of the St. Louis & San Francisco as a passenger brakeman and served three years in that capacity. In 1893 he became baggage master in the service of the same company.
In 1896 Mr. Haslam left the train service and went to work as checking clerk in the freight house of the St. Louis & San Francisco at Monet, Mo. In 1897 he was made warehouse foreman at Monet, where he remained until January 1, 1899.
Through many of his railroading years he had been a close friend of William A. Pickering and it was Mr. Pickering who persuaded him to come to Pickering, La., to work into something that would give him a better chance to develop and to put to use his native and acquired ability in the management of men.
He began at Pickering January 1, 1899, as timekeeper; stepped up from that position to the one of the bookkeeper; became after that assistant superintendent of the plant at Pickering and, January 1, 1896, was made general superintendent, his present occupation.