Shaker Museum

Neale, Emma Jane (1843-1943)

Birth date
07/10/1843
Death date
11/28/1943
Biography

Sister Emma Neale came to live at the East Family of Mount Lebanon in 1855. In 1861, she moved to the Church Family, where she lived for the next seven decades. In 1886 she was appointed an office deaconess, and in 1901 became a trustee of the Mount Lebanon community. As a trustee, she held responsibility for mitigating the community's declining financial fortunes; fortunately for the Shakers, she was a skilled businessperson. She managed the production of fancy goods made by the sisters and, in 1901, formed E. J. Neale & Co. which produced the popular Shaker cloaks. In 1930, she conducted the sale of the Church Family property to the founders of the Darrow School, and moved to Ann Lee Cottage, where she continued to sell cloaks and fancy goods. In addition to keeping the Church Family going, she helped Dr. Charles Adams of the New York State Museum and John S. Williams of the Shaker Museum and Library to acquire many Shaker-made and Shaker-owned objects for their respective institutions, ensuring the preservation of those objects for posterity. In 1940, she moved to the North Family and died there in 1943. 

See blog post on Sister Emma Neale's cloak workshop: https://shakerml.org/cloak-cutting-counter/

 

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Shaker Museum Neale, Emma Jane (1843-1943). https://shakermuseum.us/people/?id=4739. Accessed on November 26, 2022

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