December 24, 1951
In the history of the Baha'i Faith during the first half of the twentieth century, Roy C. Wilhelm occupied an important place. The firmness of his faith, the purity of his devotion, his self-sacrifice and his untiring activity enabled him to make a unique contribution to the establishment of the Faith in North America and indirectly, through his generous aid to Miss Martha Root, and his distribution of Baha'i literature in many languages, to its spread in other continents. Essentially humble, he carried heavy administrative responsibilities with a winning charm which endeared him to a host of friends.
Roy Wilhelm was first and foremost a man of integrity who applied the high Baha'i standards of conduct to himself before he applied them to others. Born in Zanesville, Ohio, September 17, 1875, Roy Wilhelm and his parents moved to West Englewood, New Jersey, and opened their import firm in New York City, which he actively conducted until the last few years of his life. It was on this property in West Englewood that 'Abdu'l-Baha in 1912, during His North American visit, held a unity feast for the Baha'is of the New York metropolitan area at which He announced that on that date the Faith of Baha'u'llah was truly established in America. The site of that gathering will, in the future, mark the only public Memorial which the American Baha'is are permitted to construct in reverent observance of 'Abdu'l-Baha's visit from April to December, 1912.