Pratt Remmel

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Pratt Cates Remmel (October 26, 1915 - May 14, 1991) was an insurance executive and the first Republican mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas, since Reconstruction. In 1951 he defeated Democratic incumbent Sam M. Wassell to win his first two-year term. In 1953 he won again, defeating challenger ??? Kerr. In 1954 he ran against Orval Faubus for governor of the state, garnering 37 percent of the vote. He was defeated in his reelection bid as mayor by Woodrow Wilson Mann, in part because of a violent strike against the Capitol Transit Company by the drivers and mechanics of local Division 704 of the Amalgamated Association of Street, Electric Railway, and Motor Coach Employees of America.

Remmel was born to former Arkansas Republican state chairman Augustus Caleb "Gus" Remmel and Arkansas Republican national committeewoman Ellen Lucy "Nell" Cates on October 26, 1915. Remmel's father died when he was five years old. He graduated from Little Rock High School in 1933, and went on to receive a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Virginia. Remmel served as a U.S. Navy pilot and flight instructor in World War II, and rose to the rank of lieutenant.

Remmel married Catherine Couch. Catherine Couch's father was Harvey Couch Sr., the founder of Arkansas Power & Light and director of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. Lake Catherine near Hot Springs, Arkansas, is named for Remmel's wife.

In 1940 he began a career in Republican politics, serving variously as the chairman of the Pulaski County Republican Executive Committee, treasurer of the Republican State Central Committee, finance director of the Arkansas Republican Party, chairman of the Young Republicans of Arkansas, and vice-chairman of the Young Republicans National Federation. Remmel was a delegate to the Republican National Conventions of 1952 and 1956.

Pratt Remmel Park and Pratt Remmel Road in Little Rock are named in his honor. Remmel died on May 14, 1991, and is interred at Little Rock's Oakland Cemetery.

Pratt Remmel Jr. is the founder of local Dunbar Garden and director of the Arkansas Ecology Center.


  • Sid McMath, Promises Kept: A Memoir (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2003), 282.

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