Life and family
Neresheimer was born in Germany in 1847. In 1870 he emigrated to New York and by 1874 had set up shop as a diamond merchant and jeweler. His company kept an office in London. At the age of 30 he became a naturalized American citizen on May 2, 1877 in New York, having applied in 1872. About 1872 he married Minnie. They had a son Frederick (born 26 September 1876), who became a physician in New York, and a daughter Aimée Virginia Tehula Neresheimer (14 Nov 1882 - 13 Mar 1970), who married a Theosophist. Minnie died about 1910.
Around 1911 he married his second wife Emily L. Arnhold (30 Mar 1875 – 19 Sep 1955) who was born in England of German parents. She became a naturalized citizen in 1919. By 1907 they had moved to Denver and Neresheimer established himself in new forms of business. He served as president of the American Development and Investment Co and treasurer of the Denver Reservoir Irrigation Co. He was also still paying taxes on the location of his London office.
Daughter Aimée (or Amy) was born in Germany. She married Ernest Temple Hargrove on January 17, 1899 in New York. Subsequently, the Neresheimers, Ernest and Aimée moved to Colorado. Ernest and Aimée had a son, William, born in 1902, and a daughter Joan, born in 1905. By 1910, though, the couple had divorced and Aimée was married to Denver lawyer Milton Smith. She died in Houston, Texas.
Involvement with Theosophical Society
The Neresheimers became involved with Theosophy in 1889. Emil August Neresheimer became a member of the Aryan Lodge in New York on January 22, and Minnie on March 12. In 1893, after the World's Parliament of Religions, Neresheimer and his wife Minnie hosted the Society's delegation as they assembled in New York. Maude Ralston, Alexander Fullerton, Miss F. Henrietta Müller, C. J. Strauss, and Mrs. Ella Judge were listed among the party.
When the American Section split in 1895, Neresheimers were in the contingent that was loyal to Section leader William Quan Judge rather than to the international Society, so their memberships in the Adyar Society ended on April 28, 1895. During the brief period when the Theosophical Society in America and Universal Brotherhood coexisted before their merger into the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society, Neresheimer served as president of the TSA. In 1896 he and his son Frederick traveled to England with Joseph H. Fussell.
Neresheimer served as an agent of Mrs. Tingley in searching for land near San Diego, California, where the Lomaland community was later situated. By 1904 he was engaged as a music teacher at the Raja Yoga School at Point Loma. During the years 1920-1927, Neresheimer served as vice president of the Theosophical University. In 1928 he was treasurer for the Point Loma organization.
The couple eventually moved to Los Angeles, where he died on April 16, 1937. Emily lived there until September 19, 1955.
- Ashcraft, W. Michael. The Dawn of the New Cycle: Point Loma Theosophists and American Culture. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 2002.
- US Census of 1930.
- New York city directories, 1874-1889.
- London telephone directories, 1891, 1905.
- U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992.
- US Census of 1920.
- Denver city directories, 1907-1919.
- London tax record, 1910.
- Theosophical Society General Membership Register, 1875-1942 at http://tsmembers.org/. See book 1, entry 4770 (website file: 1A/49) and entry 4755 (website file: 1A/51).
- San Diego city directories.
- California Death Index, 1905-1939 and 1940-1997.