John Richard Saunders
- Born: 12 Feb 1862, Somerton, Nansemond Co., VA
- Marriage: Ella Day Smith on 2 Jan 1883 in Nansemond Co., VA
- Died: 10 Aug 1908, Nansemond Co., VA at age 46
- Buried: St. John's Cemetery, Pensacola, Escambia Co., Florida
[from Saunders Bible pub in Gates County Bible Records Vol 2]
Children of John & Ella Saunders:
1. May Ella Saunders 29 Nov 1883 - 15 Dec 1883
2. Dudley Rosser Saunders 20 June 1885 -
3. Richard Burwell Saunders 25 Dec 1888 -
4. Aubrey Burton Saunders 17 June 1892 -
5. Mary Ida Saunders 31 May 1897 -
John Richard Saunders (1862-1908)
Outstanding Business Leader of Pensacola
John Richard Saunders, was born Feb. 12, 1862, in Somerton, Va., and received his education there. When he was 23 years old, he moved to Georgia where he learned the sawmill and naval stores business. He came to Pensacola in 1899 and organized the West Coast Naval Stores Company which was later merged into the Consolidated Naval Stores Co.
With the vast forests of pine trees, West Florida was at the forefront in the production of turpentine, lumber and naval stores. By World War I Pensacola's port was third in the world market. Naval stores were products from timber that were an essential part of wooden ship stores such as tar, pitch, masts and spars.
In 1905 he established a stock company, J. R. Saunders Co., dealing with turpentine and rosin. He established branch offices and yards in New Orleans, San Francisco, and two inland ports in Illinois. With others, Saunders founded the German-American Lumber Co. with a sawmill at Millview, on Perdido Bay. He was president of several businesses including the Saunders Grocery Co., Export Lumber Co., Saunders Mill Co., Southern Brick Co. and the Pensacola, St. Andrews and Gulf Steamship Co (owner of the Tarpon). Saunders was a director in the American National Bank and a vice president of the Escambia Land and Manufacturing Co. Saunders acquired large holdings of real estate in the area.
Early in 1883, Saunders and Ella Day Smith were married in Nansemond County, Va. They were parents of four children - a daughter and three sons.
He was an active member of Pensacola's Methodist Church on Palafox and Garden and was building chairman for the "new" First Methodist Church on Wright Street. He was considered by many to be one of the most outstanding citizens of Pensacola. Saunders died Aug. 9, 1908, unexpectedly at the age of 46, before the church building was completed. The Saunders family contributed the magnificent "Saunders' window" in memory of John Richard and Ella Day Saunders. They were buried in St. John's Cemetery 2 North Section 19.
The 1900 Federal Census for Pensacola, Escambia Co., Florida, District 25, page 385, dated June 4, 1900 records J. R. (Feb 1862 - VA/NC/NC) and Ella D. (Feb 1854 - VA/NC/NC) Saunders with children Dudley R. (June 1883 - VA), Richard B. (June 1888 - GA), Aubrey B. (June 1892 - GA), and Mary I. (May 1897 - GA) living at 901 Palafox. Also in the household is cousin Sallie Riddick (Nov 1877 - SC/NC/VA). J. R. [John Richard] is a Dealer in a Naval Store.
The 1910 Federal Census for Pensacola, Escambia Co., Florida, District 21, page 385, dated June 4, 1910 records Richard B. Saunders (21 - GA/NY/NY) with his wife Mrs. R. B. Saunders (20 - NY/NY/NY) and son J. R. Saunders (6 mos). Also in the household is Richard B.'s sister, Mary Ida Saunders (13 - GA/NY/NY) living at 97 North Palafox Street. Richard is President of the Naval Stores Company.
The 1920 Federal Census for Pensacola, Escambia Co., Florida, District 34, page 30A, dated January 6, 1920 records Dr. Aubrey Saunders (27 - VA/US/US) with his wife Hazel M. (28 - FL/Mass/FL) and children Aubrey B. (5 - FL), Barbara M. (3 8/12 - Missouri), and Dorothy W. (1 8/12 - FL) living at 1514 North Ninth Avenue Aubrey is a Physician Osteopath.
The 1920 Federal Census for Pensacola, Escambia Co., Florida, District 22, page 68A, dated January 13, 1920 records R. B. Saunders (31 - GA/VA/VA) with his wife Hildah (29 - NY/Canada/Canada) and children Richard (10 - FL), Read
John married Ella Day Smith on 2 Jan 1883 in Nansemond Co., VA. (Ella Day Smith was born on 7 Feb 1854 in Somerton, Nansemond Co., VA, died on 15 Jul 1909 in Pensacola, Escambia Co., Florida and was buried in St. John's Cemetery, Pensacola, Escambia Co., Florida.)