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Paul Kingston Dealy

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Paul Kingston Dealy

Birth
Saint John, Saint John County, New Brunswick, Canada
Death
1937 (aged 88–89)
Fairhope, Baldwin County, Alabama, USA
Burial
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA Add to Map
Plot
Section 3 Addition, Lot 20 near Peterson Ave. Exit
Memorial ID
View Source
Fairhope Museum of History, Fairhope, Alabama
The legacy of Paul Kingston Dealy, the first Baha’i in the South, is alive and well. Dealy’s story is helping spread the teachings of Baha’u'llah to residents of Fairhope, Alabama, a small city on Mobile Bay in the southernmost section of the state. Significantly, it’s also giving his descendants the complete picture of a life spent, despite severe challenges, in service to humanity. The museum had just opened a large exhibit on Dealy’s son William, who chronicled through his cartoons Fairhope life in the first half of the 20th century. Sonya Bennett, a local Baha’i who once served as a docent at the museum, asked that a cabinet be devoted to Paul Dealy and some of his artifacts. Not only was the request granted, but the museum asked Bennett to speak about Dealy and his role in the growth of the Baha’i Faith in the South. On the appointed night, the meeting room was filled to capacity and included many of the docents, the museum director, writers and artists, and 18 Baha’is from two clusters. Bennett began by introducing two of Dealy’s descendants, great granddaughter Nancye Dealy Jennings and great great granddaughter Carey Killian. “Both … said how happy it made them that their [ancestor] was being honored,” says Bennett. “Carey was especially pleased that [Dealy] had walked on foot to Bay Minette to teach an African-American community the Baha’i teachings.” Bennett had met several family members the year before when they attended a talk on Alabama’s Civil Rights Trail. At a lunch soon after, she told them that Dealy’s “legacy was great and that he was held in high esteem by Baha’is who knew of the sacrifices he had made in coming to the South, where he experienced much hardship and deprivation.” Jennings was moved to leave Dealy’s journal, his Bible, and a copy of his book, The Dawn of Knowledge and the Most Great Peace,” for Bennett to study. Using those materials, Bennett told the museum crowd how Dealy, born in 1848, declared his belief in 1897 while working in Chicago as a tax assessor; became a teacher of Baha’i classes; moved to Fairhope in 1898 to join a colony of people devoted to an alternative tax system they believed was both fair to individuals and of greater benefit to society; and took up farming. “In reading his journal, within which he had copied letters, quotes, prayers and copies of the Tablets he received from the Master, I found Paul Kingston Dealy to be a totally devoted Baha’i, always striving to grow and perfect himself through service to others,” she noted. “He was a devoted student of the Bible, and his Bible is full of beautiful handwritten comments in the margins of the fragile and very aged pages.”The audience was shown photographs of Queen Marie of Romania and famed philanthropist Phoebe Hearst, distinguished Baha’is of the time.Hearst, Bennett told them, “assisted Dealy and his family in lean years when it was impossible to grow food.” The talk concluded with a recitation of a Tablet from ‘Abdu’l-Baha addressed to Dealy that spoke of difficulties and their strengthening effect on the individual. As attendees toured the museum, “the glass cabinet housing Paul Kingston Dealy’s Baha’i journal seemed to garner as much attention as his famous son’s exhibit,” says Bennett. Also in the cabinet devoted to Paul Dealy are his journal, his Bible, the first Tablet he received from ‘Abdu’l-Baha, a replica of a type of Persian pen case used at the turn of the century, his book, a beautiful Mottahedh plate bearing the Greatest Name, and a list of the principles of the Faith. The Tablet, Bennett says, is displayed “on a silk tapestry of a pomegranate design, from Haifa, Israel.” The exhibit was on display at the museum through the end of 2011.(See also a related entry in Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha Abbas from the Bahá'í Reference Library.)
Fairhope Museum of History, Fairhope, Alabama
The legacy of Paul Kingston Dealy, the first Baha’i in the South, is alive and well. Dealy’s story is helping spread the teachings of Baha’u'llah to residents of Fairhope, Alabama, a small city on Mobile Bay in the southernmost section of the state. Significantly, it’s also giving his descendants the complete picture of a life spent, despite severe challenges, in service to humanity. The museum had just opened a large exhibit on Dealy’s son William, who chronicled through his cartoons Fairhope life in the first half of the 20th century. Sonya Bennett, a local Baha’i who once served as a docent at the museum, asked that a cabinet be devoted to Paul Dealy and some of his artifacts. Not only was the request granted, but the museum asked Bennett to speak about Dealy and his role in the growth of the Baha’i Faith in the South. On the appointed night, the meeting room was filled to capacity and included many of the docents, the museum director, writers and artists, and 18 Baha’is from two clusters. Bennett began by introducing two of Dealy’s descendants, great granddaughter Nancye Dealy Jennings and great great granddaughter Carey Killian. “Both … said how happy it made them that their [ancestor] was being honored,” says Bennett. “Carey was especially pleased that [Dealy] had walked on foot to Bay Minette to teach an African-American community the Baha’i teachings.” Bennett had met several family members the year before when they attended a talk on Alabama’s Civil Rights Trail. At a lunch soon after, she told them that Dealy’s “legacy was great and that he was held in high esteem by Baha’is who knew of the sacrifices he had made in coming to the South, where he experienced much hardship and deprivation.” Jennings was moved to leave Dealy’s journal, his Bible, and a copy of his book, The Dawn of Knowledge and the Most Great Peace,” for Bennett to study. Using those materials, Bennett told the museum crowd how Dealy, born in 1848, declared his belief in 1897 while working in Chicago as a tax assessor; became a teacher of Baha’i classes; moved to Fairhope in 1898 to join a colony of people devoted to an alternative tax system they believed was both fair to individuals and of greater benefit to society; and took up farming. “In reading his journal, within which he had copied letters, quotes, prayers and copies of the Tablets he received from the Master, I found Paul Kingston Dealy to be a totally devoted Baha’i, always striving to grow and perfect himself through service to others,” she noted. “He was a devoted student of the Bible, and his Bible is full of beautiful handwritten comments in the margins of the fragile and very aged pages.”The audience was shown photographs of Queen Marie of Romania and famed philanthropist Phoebe Hearst, distinguished Baha’is of the time.Hearst, Bennett told them, “assisted Dealy and his family in lean years when it was impossible to grow food.” The talk concluded with a recitation of a Tablet from ‘Abdu’l-Baha addressed to Dealy that spoke of difficulties and their strengthening effect on the individual. As attendees toured the museum, “the glass cabinet housing Paul Kingston Dealy’s Baha’i journal seemed to garner as much attention as his famous son’s exhibit,” says Bennett. Also in the cabinet devoted to Paul Dealy are his journal, his Bible, the first Tablet he received from ‘Abdu’l-Baha, a replica of a type of Persian pen case used at the turn of the century, his book, a beautiful Mottahedh plate bearing the Greatest Name, and a list of the principles of the Faith. The Tablet, Bennett says, is displayed “on a silk tapestry of a pomegranate design, from Haifa, Israel.” The exhibit was on display at the museum through the end of 2011.(See also a related entry in Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha Abbas from the Bahá'í Reference Library.)


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