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from the Chronology

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1909. (In the year) The Bahá'í community of Saint Paul, Minnesota began in 1909 when Dr. Clement Woolson, who became a Bahá'í in New York City in 1899, moved to Saint Paul to establish a Bahá'í community there. Both Clement and his wife Leona were osteopathic doctors and active Bahá'ís. The Woolsons held weekly Bahá'í gatherings in their home in Saint Paul.

In 1912 Clement was a delegate to the 4th Bahá'í National Convention in Chicago and Leona was the alternate delegate representing the Bahá'ís of Saint Paul. At the end of the convention, on May 1st, 1912, they were able to attend the large gathering in Wilmette, Illinois when Abdu'l-Bahá laid the cornerstone for the House of Worship.

On September 20th, 1912, Abdu'l-Bahá spoke in the Woolson home on spiritual education. Dr. Clement Woolson was an eloquent speaker and as a result of their firesides, others were soon declaring their faith. By 1922 there were nine Bahá'ís in Saint Paul. Among those attending the gatherings at the Woolsons were the Abas, Kadrie and Hider families. These three families from Syria moved to New York in 1902 and on to Saint Paul in 1922. First Hassen Abas attended the gatherings and soon after Alex Kadrie and Kamel Hider were attending talks at the Woolson home. By 1930 or soon after all three had become Baha'is on fire with the Cause of Baha'u'llah. These were large families; Hassen Abas and his wife Madie had nine children of their own. Their daughter Gayle Abas accepted the Baha'i Faith in 1932 at the age of 19. Three years later, after Dr. Woolson's his first wife Leona died, Gayle Abas married Clement. Dr. Woolson passed away a few months later. In 1976 Gayle Woolson wrote a biography about the Abas, Kadrie and Hider families. [A Saint Paul Bahá'í Community History: The Early Years]

St. Paul,MN; USA

from the Chronology Canada

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