Saunders Norvell Remington Arms Head
September 7, 1924
Former St. Louis Wholesale Hardware Dealer President of $15,000,000 Corporation.
Special to the Post-Dispatch.
New York, Sept. 7 – Saunders Norvell, former St. Louis wholesale hardware dealer, has been elected president and a director of the Remington Arms Co., succeeding J.B. Smiley, who resigned because of ill health. He also was made a director of the Remington Cash Register Co. and of all other subsidiaries of the Remington Arms Co.
The Remington Arms Co., with a capitalization of $15,000,000, has its offices in New York and in Wilmington, Del., and had manufacturing plants at Bridgeport, Conn., Ilion, N.Y., and in England. It manufactures arms, ammunition, cutlery and cash registers, and employs 6500 persons.
Saunders Norvell, now 63 years old, lived in St. Louis up to 1914, and was a forceful and picturesque figure in the business community. He turned his hand not only to large-scale business, but to art and to letters. As a youth, he drew cartoons, when such drawings rarely appeared in daily newspapers, and submitted some of them to Joseph Pulitzer, then the active publisher of the Post-Dispatch. Mr. Pulitzer liked the pictures, and several of them were printed and paid for. One day Norvell, needing money, called at the office in advance of the regular pay-day and asked to be paid for his last cartoon. Mr. Pulitzer, as Norvell afterward related, ordered him paid, and then dismissed him with the comment, “You’re not an artist, you’re a bill collector.”
In 1881 he went to work for the Simmons Hardware Co., where he remained until 1901, being successively stock clerk, salesman, sales manager and vice president. He left Simmons to become president of the Norvell-Shapleigh Hardware Co., and headed that company until 1910.
While head of Norvell-Shapleigh, Norvell wrote a column of “Thots” attributed to a teamster, which were printed in the company’s house organ, and were widely quoted because of their practical philosophy. Later, Norvell exercised his gifts as a writer in the editorship of the Hardware Reporter, which he bough and conducted for several years.
Defeated for Mayoral Nomination.
Norvell was elected to the City Council on the Democratic ticket. In 1913, he sought the Democratic nomination for Mayor, and had the backing of businessmen and several of the party leaders, but was defeated in the primary by Dr. John H. Simon, who was later defeated by Henry W. Kiel, then elected Mayor for the first time.
The year after this experience, Norvell removed to New York, where he purchased an interest in a firm of manufacturing chemists and drug jobbers. A few months after he made this move, the European war began, and certain chemical products skyrocketed in price, to the great profit of Norvell and his associates.
Mrs. Norvell is a daughter of Leonard Matthews of 5447 Cabanne avenue, a retired businessman now nearly 99 years old. Their daughter, then Miss Lucy Norvell, now Mrs. G. Prather Knapp, was Veiled Prophet Queen in 1909.