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Emily Butler Beale

Born on 6-30-1904. She was born in Sparrows Point, MD. She later died on 11-3-2004.
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Emily Butler Beale was born in Sparrows Point , Maryland on June 30, 1904 . Her parents were John Mack and Manie Marshall Butler. When Emily was only two months old, her parents and grandparents moved to Lackawanna , New York . Her grandfather, the Rev. James Marshall founded the First Baptist Church in Lackawanna .

Emily graduated from elementary school in Lackawanna and later attended one year at Buffalo Technical High School , which at the time was a co-ed school. Her family sent her to Washington , D.C. to finish high school hoping to discourage a friendship with her husband-to-be, Joseph Beale. Her parents planned to send her to college in Washington , after she graduated from high school. However, when she returned to Lackawanna , Joseph and Emily eloped on June 30, 1924 . After the marriage ceremony, Joseph went to his home and Emily returned to her home until the two could go before her parents to confess. The family embraced Joseph and accepted the union.

The Beales moved to Buffalo in 1930. They joined the Michigan Avenue Baptist Church where Mrs. Beale's cousin, the Rev. J. Edward Nash, pastored. Mrs. Beale was a homemaker and musician. She was very active in music circles. She sang in the choir at Michigan Avenue Baptist Church and later became a choir member of First Shiloh Baptist Church and, at times, was featured as a soloist.

In the 1930s, a German voice coach, Mrs. Knowles, was impressed with the voices of a female quartet known as the Sharon Singers. Mrs. Beale was the soprano in the quartet. Mrs. Knowles prepared them for appearances in Buffalo , Western New York and Pennsylvania . The Sharon Singers received a fifteen minute spot on WBEN Radio for several months. This was a first for African-Americans.

Mrs. Beale was also a member of the Clef Club of the Buffalo Urban League. The Clef Club, founded by William L. Evans, was featured in concerts at churches and appeared in concert at Shea's Theatre in Buffalo .

Mrs. Beale was responsible for the start of the Lenten series at Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church . It was an hour service where she played the piano and sang each Wednesday during Lent. Mrs. Beale was also a great cook. Her pound cakes at church affairs and home gatherings were always a highlight of the day, as were her homemade rolls.

Mrs. Beale had two children, Mamie and Joseph John. She had seven grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and eight great great- grandchildren. Mrs. Beale passed away on November 2, 2004 at the age of 100.