Colonel and Mrs. George Peery Gross were the original owners of the home. Colonel Gross enlisted in the Civil War when just a teenager and, by the time of the Spanish American War, had been promoted to Colonel. According to sources the Peery's were "well known in
social circles." Mrs. Gross was the former Miss Martha Vincil of St. Louis. They never had any children of their own but raised a nephew, Harry Miller, who served under the Colonel as a lieutenant in one of the companies in his father's regiment. See a picture of Colonel Gross at the end of this post.