Posted on April 23, 2015
A Broadway Actress
Clara Emory (b. 1874 in San Antonio, TX) is the daughter of my gg grandfather, Campbell Dallas Emory. The photo of her was taken at the Sarony Studios in New York City, most likely around 1895. The photographer, Napoleon Sarony, was a renowned studio photographer during the late 19th century, photographing theatre actors and actresses, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Clemens, and nudes.
It appears that Clara Emory began her stage career about 1895 (at the age of 21), most likely against the wishes of her family, as stage careers for women were not considered reputable. She studied in Paris, and joined theatre stage companies that presented plays in major cities on the east coast and midwest.
A newspaper article from 1899 discloses to the public her chosen career. The article incorrectly indicates that her father is William H. Emory. He was actually her grandfather.
In 1900 she was in the play Sapho at the Wallack’s Theatre at Broadway and 30th St in New York City. The play was centered on a woman who has love affairs with men to whom she is not married to. Groups representing Victorian morality brought an indecency charge against the play, the theatre was closed until a judge ruled that they were “not the guardians of the morals of this community”, and the play continued.
It appears that Clara’s career may have ended around 1901, as there is no further evidence that it continued. She never married and died in 1918 at the age of 43.