About Franklin Pryor (5) "Frank" Sterling
Frank Prior Sterling was an oilman and one of nine founders of the Humble Oil & Refining Company of Houston, Texas in 1917. Humble was one of the best oil & gas finding companies in the history of petroleum exploration. Humble merged with Standard Oil of New Jersey to form Exxon, Inc., (now ExxonMobil). Frank Sterling, who was a post-production expert, became a Vice President of Humble in 1921.
Frank Sterling's brother Ross was the first president of Humble who later went on to be Governor of Texas. Frank, Ross and his other brothers grew up on Double Bayou in Chambers County, Texas. They were ambitious men who built a sail boat to carry vegetables to Galveston for sale. Frank and Ross had a sister Florence Sterling who worked at Humble and became Corporate Secretary.
Frank Sterling married Isla Randa Carroll of Temple, Texas. Frank and Isla had one child, a daughter, Carroll Sterling. In the early 1930s, Carroll Sterling married Bert F. Winston. They had two children: Isla Sterling Winston and Bert Winston. After divorcing Bert Winston in the 1940s, Carrol Sterling married John Cowan who later died in a plane crash around 1950. Carroll Sterling Cowan then married Harris Masterson III with whom she built Rienzi. Upon their deaths Rienzi was formally given to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. In 1957, Carroll Sterling Masterson's daughter Isla Carroll Winston married businessman Thomas Radcliffe Reckling III. Isla Carroll Reckling and family still maintain a strong interest in Rienzi and its operational affairs. Thomas and Isla Reckling have eight children and numerous grand children.
In 1925, Frank and Isla Sterling built a house on Lot 5 (1505 South Blvd.) in the fashionable Broadacres subdivision. The Sterling Mansion was donated to the Museum of Fine Arts in 1948, but was then sold to Gus Wortham in 1951. Lyndall Wortham bequeathed the house to the University of Houston on her death in July 1980, to be used as a residence for the University President.