Third Generation: 1930-1995


Gladys Mather married Ferdinand Wallace Beard. The couple soon moved into a home in Yountville owned by Ferd’s family. Gladys Mather Beard came to own the St. Helena Ranch for a period longer than any other member of the family, namely, for 63 years. The old winery finally succumbed to the elements. In 1973 a wind storm blew over a large tree onto the building causing it to collapse. According to historian Irene Haynes, the Fulton Cellar was the oldest standing winery in Napa Valley at the time. A photo of the building taken a few months prior to the damaging wind storm shows Gladys standing next to the cellar, a building at that time that appeared to have seen its days.


Shortly after Gladys acquiring the Ranch, she became the Postmaster of the Yountville Post Office from which she retired 42 years later. Her husband ran the day to day details of the Ranch, he managed other rental properties the couple came to own in Yountville, and he operated a small insurance business in the valley. In the late 1940s Gladys and Ferd acquired a 120 acre parcel in Yountville, a third of which was planted to vineyard. The couple had a son named Edgar Darrel Beard. When Edgar was 10 years old, Gladys took in her nephew Fulton I Mather, Jr. who was then just 16 month old. Both son Edgar and nephew Fulton served their terms working in the vineyard in St. Helena. Several years later, first Ferd then Gladys passed away. Before passing, Gladys gave a small portion of the St. Helena property to her grandson, Ed Beard Jr. The Yountville properties and insurance business went to Gladys’s son, Edgar Beard and his wife Janice (Langer) Beard. Their other child, Linda, manages today St. Helena Insurance as Vice President. The remainder of the St. Helena property went to Fulton I. Mather who, together with his wife Erma L. Mather, is the current owner of the David Fulton Winery.