Her maiden name was Elizabeth Paxton. She was the daughter of a successful attorney in Independence, Missouri, where she grew up with Bess Wallace, who later became the wife of President Harry S. Truman. Neal homesteaded on Casper Mountain in 1929 with her young daughters, Mary and Jean Ogilbee. Neal started all the fun with her wonderful stories which she incorporated into her first Midsummers eve Celebration on June 21, 1929. She said the Scandinavian countries had observed the Summer Solstice for centuries and she intended to introduce the custom on Casper Mountain. This event is celebrated every year on the same day, June 21st.