Gant’s Valeteria, a dry cleaning plant and tailoring shop, took its name from proprietor Green Henry Gant. Born in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1902, Gant studied tailoring at the Hampton Institute (later Hampton University) in Hampton, Virginia, where he graduated in 1924. After teaching tailoring in public schools in Indianapolis, Gant moved to Cleveland in 1931. It is not known where Gant worked in his first three years in the city, but he provided dry cleaning in Quad Hall, a hotel at 7500 Euclid Avenue from 1934 to 1939. In the latter year he opened his own dry cleaning and tailoring business at 10026 Cedar Avenue, where it remained until moving once more to nearby 9502 Cedar in 1950. According to an ad in the Call & Post (July 29, 1944), Gant’s Valeteria offered both dry cleaning and tailoring and was “The Only Negro Enterprise of its Kind in the City.” In 1954, the business suffered a fire, and in the following year federal revenue agents seized the Gant business for unpaid withholding taxes. Thereafter, Green Gant went to work for the Richmond Bros. Co., a leading Cleveland clothing manufacturer and retailer. After being laid off in 1967, Gant began teaching tailoring to inmates at the Cleveland House of Correction (Warrensville Workhouse) and later lived in the Chesterfield, a downtown apartment building, before his death in 1975.
Green Book Details
Gant’s Valeteria appears in the Green Book from 1946 to 1949 at 10026 Cedar Ave. under the category Tailors. In the 1950-1955 editions of the Green Book, Gant’s Valeteria is listed at 9502 Cedar Ave as “Grant’s.”
- “The G. H. Gant Valeteria Service Feature.” Advertisement. Call & Post. April 27, 1939.
- “Green H. Gant” (obituary). The Plain Dealer. May 14, 1975.
- “Name Clevelander Assistant Deputy Ohio Fire Marshal.” Call & Post. January 22, 1949.
- “Services Wednesday for Green H. Gant.” Call & Post. May 17, 1975.
- “Trouble Follows Tailor to Job, but He Gives Hope to Inmates.” The Plain Dealer. February 10, 1967.
- “U.S. Grabs Another Shop Owing Withholding Tax.” Cleveland Plain Dealer. August 24, 1955.