The Neel House, Headquarters of The Federated Garden Clubs of Macon, Inc., is an English Tudor Revival house commissioned in 1910 by Macon businessman Joseph N. Neel as his family home. This historic home was designed by noted Georgia architect and Macon resident Neel Reid.
Neel and his wife Blanche raised their 5 children in the house - Joseph, Jr., Roland, Blanche, Leonora, and Gladys. Several pieces of furniture that Neel Reid designed specifically for the residence, including the dining room table and chairs, a hall table and a bench, remain in the house today.
The Neel family owned the house for 47 years before selling it to the Federated Garden Clubs of Macon, Inc., in 1957, just after Mrs. Neel's death. The Federated Garden Clubs of Macon, Inc., celebrated their 50th year of ownership and careful stewardship of the property in 2007.
Joseph Norris Neel was born in 1857 near Adairsville, in
Bartow County, Georgia. As a young man, he gained retail experience in a store in Rome and came to Macon in 1886 to establish Eads, Neel &
Company, a men's clothing store, with partner John Eads. The store quickly became Joseph N. Neel Company and remained in operation for more than
100 years. The mercantile concern expanded to include clothing and accessories for women and children and featured the first elevator installed
in a Macon business. Neel's slogan was "One Price for Everybody," in reference to a new practice of prices plainly marked on each piece of
merchandise. In 1890, Joseph Neel married Blanche Hall, a Wesleyan College graduate. They were married for 60 years before Neel died in 1950.
In addition to serving as president of Joseph N. Neel Company, Neel also served as vice president of the Fourth National Bank in Macon. He was a
long time member of the Bibb County Board of Education, and he and Mrs. Neel were active members of the First Presbyterian Church.