Knobloch MemorialProspect Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC
8 July 2000
L – R. Amelia Knobloch, Alma Knobloch, Carl A. Hannen
Pauline Hannen and Joseph Hannen.
Knobolch & Hannen Story
Amalie Knobloch, her husband and daughters, Fanny, Pauline, and Alma, moved to the United States in 1859 from Germany, and eventually settled in Washington, DC. Pauline was the first to learn of the Baha’i Faith and soon taught her sisters and mother. They all became very active Baha’is.
“Mrs. Knobloch and her family consistently visited and hosted Americans of African descent, thus illustrating the quality of racial unity that is central to the Bahá’í teachings…it is a reminder [for us] to further explore the rare and specific guidance from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to honor and inspire the early champions of racial unity in the Bahá’í Faith.”
Washington, DC – Early 1900s
The Knobloch Legacy. “An eloquent testimony was written on the life of Mrs. Amalie Knobloch in the April 1910 issue of Star of the West*, a national Baha’i newsletter. It announced in three paragraphs the location of the ‘Institution of Baha’i Sunday Schools’ which Amalie’s daughter, Pauline, had introduced to North America, and the [racial] integrated Community Feast which she herself had personally labored for together with her family, considered as true pioneers of this work in North America. Finally, a visitation tablet received from ‘Abdu’l-Baha which all Baha’is who visit Washington are to read to ensure that her legacy based on her understanding [and] demonstrated efforts of the ‘Oneness of God’ and the ‘Oneness of Mankind’, and the importance of raising a family to serve the Baha’i Faith live on forever.”
The following Tablet revealed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is to be read when visiting the grave of Amalie Knobloch:
He is God! O, thou Pure Spirit, Amalie Knobloch! Although thou didst soar away from this terrestrial world, yet thou didst enter into the immeasurable, illumined Universe of the Almighty. While in this life thou didst hear the Divine Call, beheld the light of Truth, became alive by the Breaths of the Holy Spirit, tasted the sweetness of the Love of God, became the Maid-Servant of the Lord of Hosts and the object of the Bounties of His Highness the Desired one. Thou didst lead the erring ones into the Path of Truth and bestowed a portion of the Heavenly Food to those who are deprived. Thou didst consecrate the days of thy existence to the Service of His Highness the Clement and spent thy time in the diffusion of the Fragrances of the Paradise of Abha. There are many souls perfumed and many spirits illumined through thy services!
O, thou divine, beloved Maid-Servant! Although thou didst disappear from the mortal eyes, yet thou didst train and educate thy daughters, each of whom has arisen to serve the Kingdom like unto thee and is engaged in the guidance of the souls. In the Assembly of wisdom they are the lighted candles; they sacrifice their lives in the Path of God; they are gardening in thy orchard and irrigating thy rose-garden. Happy is thy condition, for thou art enjoying Eternal Life in the Kingdom of Everlasting Glory and hast left in this world kind and loving Remembrances.
Happy are those souls who visit thy luminous resting-place and through thy commemoration receive and acquire spiritual Powers!
Pauline Amalie Knobloch-Hannen (1874-1939). She was praised by ‘Abdu’l-Baha for her teaching efforts. Not only did she bring her 2 sisters, mother and her husband into the faith but also her relatives the Barnitz family of Washington D.C. as well; in addition, she introduced the Faith to Louis Gregory and Mrs. Pocahontas Pope, both among the first to become Baha’i in America.
Fanny Almine Knobloch (1859-1949) helped to establish the Bahá’í Faith in South Africa. She visited the Orange Free State and the Transvaal, spent time in Cape Town, and made side trips to Mozambique and Rhodesia. She returned to the US in 1926 and then went back to Capetown in 1928 for two more years. In the 1930s she made several teaching trips in the southern and central United States.
Above photo: 6th from left, Carol Coley (blue tie); to his left, his sister, Quida Coley and their mother, Francis Coley. Second from right: Richard Bond, husband of Barbra J. Eaton-Bond. All members of the Washington, DC Baha’i community. Others in the photo are identified in the ‘Judy Moe Document’ listed below.
On Thursday, June 29, 2000, the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’i’s of Washington, DC by email invited recipients to attend “…a unique event that will pay tribute to a distinguished Baha’i family of Washington DC, the Knobloch family.”
Date: 8 July 2000 Time: 3:30 pm
Location: Prospect Hills Cemetery, Washington, DC
Temperature: 75° Rain: 0%
Sunny: Yes Wind: 2mph
*HISTORY. Baha’i News, Vol. 1 Chicago, (April 9, 1910) Jalal No. 2. Jos. H. Hannen. “The Visiting Tablet revealed by Abdul-Baha for Mrs. Amalie Knobloch has been read over her grave by a large number of the Bahais of Washington on different occasions. March 13, Mr. Roy C. Wilhelm was accompanied to the tomb by a party of the young people; March 27 Mr. and Mrs. Kinney, Dr. Fareed and Mrs. Getsinger were visitors, with the Sunday School children completing the party. The obedience of the friends to this Command to read the Visiting Tablet is notable and a great blessing attends this act.”
The early Knobloch & Hannen family members are buried in a plot at Prospect Hill Cemetery, located just north of Rhode Island Avenue and North Capitol Street in Washington, DC. It was expected that about twenty of the descendants will arrive to hold a commemorative ceremony starting at 11 AM on 8 July 2000. The Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Washington, DC sent out invitations for all to attend, and later to come for a light lunch at the Baha’i Center to meet the descendants of this outstanding family.
The Knobloch Memorial brochure was expanded to include documented references to information and events related to the remarkable service performed by the Knobloch & Hannen family members. It is intended to assist those who desire to acquire a deeper understanding of the impact and extent of services rendered by the family members to advance the Cause of Baha’u’llah. Access PDF file below.
Judy Moe, a Hannen descendant, provided much of the information used to commemorate and document this event. She and I exchanged photographs and she later compiled and arranged materials for presentation. Find name identity and additional information contained in the two pdf files listed below.
There is a wealth of information available from various sources about the early Baha’i teaching efforts of members of the Knobloch and Hannen families. Unfortunately, very little information has been discovered or revealed about most of those whom they taught and much less about the efforts put forth by those new believers to expand the Faith. However, to guide the reader in exploring possibilities we provide a few links below. Be aware that you may possibly discover what may appear to be misinformation, conflicting details, or just plain mistakes in that being recounted. This may be disconcerting but should be expected due to the time period in question, possible lack of quality in notetaking and diverse understandings, perspectives, and memories of those involved. Much substantial Baha’i history will forever be lost, but conjecture must not be the medium through which these gaps are filled. Objective, continuous and dedicated scholarship are required to research, analyze and render Baha’i history from its inception and growth and development throughout the ages. Find additional reading below.
Find A Grave
Location of cemeteries, graves and burial plots of Knobloch & Hannen family members.
At the left is Anita Ioas Chapman, daughter of Hand of the Cause, Leroy Ioas and his wife Sylvia. Sylvia Ioas was a member of the International Baha’i Council, the forerunner of the Universal House of Justice.
Note: Background information relating to those listed above will be made available at a later time.
L/R. Quida Coley (former pioneer to Paraguay), Iranian lady, Barbara J. Eaton-Bond (member of the Local Spiritual Assembly of Washington, DC), and Tehmenia Irani Parsons (her parents are buried at prospect Hill Cemetery).
Photo. Prospect Hill Cemetery (PHC Website)
Photo. Knobloch/Hannen (Internet)
Photo. Washington, DC Early 1900s (Creative Commons)
Photo. Pauline Knobloch & Husband (Baha’i Media Bank)
Photo. Fannie Knobloch (Baha’i Media Bank)
Photo. Group photos (bottom two) duplicates from: ‘Judy Moe Document’
Photo. Others by Terry Randolph (ObeisanceBaha Archives)
Judy Moe Document. Prepared by Judy Moe (Hannen descendant)
Prospect Hill Cemetery
Prospect Hill Cemetery, also known as the German Cemetery, is a historic German-American cemetery founded in 1858 and located at 2201 North Capitol Street in Washington, D.C.
Prospect Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC
Washington Baha'i Center
Read more about Baha’i teaching and community consolidation efforts and those involved.
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