John Francis Queeny

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

John Francis Queeny (August 17, 1859 – March 19, 1933) was an American businessman. He founded the Monsanto Chemical Works (later the Monsanto Company) in St. Louis, Missouri, on September 26, 1901, with $5,000. He named the company for his wife, Olga Mendez Monsanto.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, he attended school for 6 years until the Great Chicago Fire forced him, at the age of 12, to look for full-time employment, which he found with Tolman and King for $2.50 per week.[1]

He moved to St. Louis in 1897 to work for Meyer Brothers Drug Company, one of the largest wholesale pharmaceutical companies at the time. Two years later, he spent his life savings in purchasing a sulfur refinery; it burned down the next day. Two years after that, he founded Monsanto Chemical Works, and began producing saccharine, which he sold to Meyer Brothers. He started to turn a profit in 1905, but it was not until 1906 that he left Meyer Brothers to work for Monsanto full-time.[2]

He married Olga Mendez Monsanto with whom he had two children, one of whom was Edgar Monsanto Queeny, who would later serve as Chairman of his company. Olga Monsanto was the daughter of Morris Monsanto, a civil engineer in New York.[3] Queeny is buried at Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis.

He had 30 years' experience in the pharmaceutical industry.


  1. ^ [1] brief bio from Junior Achievement Archived February 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Shepley, Carol Ferring. "Movers and Shakers, Scalawags and Suffragettes: Tales from Bellefontaine Cemetery". Missouri History Museum: St. Louis, 2008.
  3. ^ "Moreis Monsanto", United States Census, 1880; New York City, NY; roll 895, page 392A, line 34, enumeration district 581.

External links[edit]