Photo Collection

‘Abdu’l-Bahá with Rouhieh Jones and Joseph Ioas

May 1, 1912
'Abdu'l-Baha with Rouhieh Jones and Joseph Ioas
Hotel Plaza Chicago

How it happened that Joseph had his picture taken with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in 1912

Mother said that when ‘Abdul-Bahá was here in Chicago, staying at the Plaza Hotel, she went a number of times to see Him as He would spend most of His time talking with the believers. She said on one of the days she promised Joseph that the next day she would take him along. Unfortunately, the same day he fell and cut a gash in his forehead. It was necessary to call the doctor, who took several stitches in his head. (I remember it well, because I held Joe still while the doctor took the stitches, which called for all my personal fortitude!) The doctor placed the white bandage on Joe’s head and told Mother not to let Joe take it off and also that he should be careful not to jar the skin which had been sewed.

That night Joe was saying sadly that he would not be able to see ‘Abdu’l-Bahá the next day, but Mother comforted him by saying, ‘Let’s wait and see. Maybe tomorrow you will be much better.’ This proved to be the case, so the next day they both went to see ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

They were sitting in one of the rooms of the hotel, along with some other people, waiting for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to make His appearance. When He did so, a young woman with a camera rose quickly, went over to Mrs. Getsinger and requested her to ask ‘Abdu’l-Bahá if He would allow her to take His picture with her little sister. He gave His permission, so the little girl sat down beside Him. He then motioned to Joseph, who was sitting at the opposite side of the room, to come over. Mother said to Joe, ‘I think ‘Abdu’l-Bahá wants you to go to Him.’ So she brought him to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and He placed him on His other side. Mother asked ‘Abdu’l-Bahá if she had not better take off the bandage from Joe’s head, but He said to leave it on. Joe remarked later, ‘I have a cloth on my head just like ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.’ The little girl’s name was Rouhieh Jones, and a beautiful little girl she appears to be.”
- MSS of the Ioas Family, private collection.