Our Early Residents
Published by the Board of Trustees--to be updated if more information is available
Frank Gladney Family - 5057 Westminster Place
Lucianna Gladney Ross - 5057 Westminster Place
Katherine Gladney Wells and Ben H. Wells - 5115 Westminster Place
Frank Gladney and his wife, Katherine, lived at 5057 Westminster Place with their four children. Frank, a graduate of Columbia University School of Law, was a partner in a St. Louis law firm before becoming one of the three founders of the Seven-Up Company where he served as secretary-treasurer until his death in 1961. In 1937, he presented a check to the Columbia University Alumni Federation as repayment for scholarship funds he had received plus interest so that they may endow a dormitory room to a needy law student.
Katherine was active in the Central Presbyterian Church before her death in 1938 at the age of 56.
The Gladneys had two sons, Franklin, who died at the age of twelve, and Graves, who studied art in London before pursuing a career as a commercial artist in New York. He returned to St Louis in 1949 and joined the staff of Washington University’s School of Fine Arts.
The Gladney daughters also have had a significant impact on St. Louis. Katherine and her husband, Ben H. Wells, a high school English teacher, lived at 5115 Westminster. Two years after marrying, Ben joined the Seven-Up Company writing copy for advertising. He became president of Seven-Up in 1965 and served as Chairman of the Board. Katherine is known as an avid supporter of the arts in St. Louis. She was an award winning composer and the author of two books on the St. Louis Symphony.
Lucianna Gladney Ross, who inherited the house at 5057 from her father, worked for three years in the society editor’s department of the Post-Dispatch. She was married to Walter Ross and had three children before their divorce. Lucianna is best known for her efforts in the historic preservation of the Jefferson County town of Kimmswick, near her family’s summer home. She has been a consultant to the St. Louis Landmarks Association Board; a commissioner on the St Louis Art Museum Board; and a member of the Missouri Botanical Garden Board. In 1977, Lucianna was named a Woman of Achievement for Historic Preservation by the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
The Gladneys have been contributing members of the St. Louis legal, business, arts, and historic preservation communities. For two generations and in two houses, Westminster Place was the place they called home.
Judge Leroy Valiant Family - 5032 Westminster Place
Gould’s Saint Louis Blue Book, a precursor to the telephone directory, was a registry of those living in Saint Louis in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It contained listings by name and by street, as well as advertising for local businesses. According to Gould’s, the first residents to reside on the 5000-5100 block of Westminster Place were Judge and Mrs. Leroy B. Valiant and their three sons who moved into their home at 5032 Westminster in 1896.
Judge Valiant was born in Moulton, Alabama, in 1838. A graduate of the University of Mississippi and Cumberland University Law School, he began his practice of law in Greenville, Mississippi in 1859. Two years later, he joined the Confederate Army as a Captain where he assumed command of his regiment at the battle of Shiloh after all its field officers had been killed or wounded.
After moving to St. Louis in 1875, Valiant soon gained the respect of the St. Louis bar. From 1886-1898, he served as an elected Judge to the Circuit Court where he had a record entitling him to a permanent place in the History of the Bench and Bar of Missouri. He was considered by his peers to be lucid, logical, and an excellent judge of human nature, as well as possessing a comprehensive and analytic mind.
Mrs. Valiant, the former Theodosia Taylor Worthington, was the daughter of Judge Isaac Worthington and a member of one of the most prominent and influential families in Mississippi at that time.