Florence Zmeskal

Full name

Florence Mattoon Zmeskal

Presence on Earth



Academy period alum

Florence Zmeskal, née Florence Mattoon, was a student at Shimer College during the late Academy period. She is listed as a member of the class of 1934.

Zmeskal was a daughter of prominent American Baha'i Edwin Mattoon, and the family traveled with their daughters to see Abdu'l-Baha near the end of his life. In 1938, Florence Zmeskal was serving as director of the Baha'i Youth Conference.[1]

She married Otto Zmeskal, a fellow Baha'i and professor of chemistry, and served for many years as secretary of the Toledo Baha'i congregation.


  • by Annamarie Honnold in Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 123:
    After the war, pilgrimages were resumed. Among the last of those fortunate pilgrims to visit ‘Abdu’l-Bahá were the members of the Edwin Mattoon family. In their great longing to reach His side, they had asked if they might come from the United States ‘if only for a day‘. Permission was granted. With their two little daughters, Florence (Zmeskal) and Annamarie (Baker), the latter only three months old, they joyously set sail. They were asked to take a part of an automobile so that the Master’s – sent by American friends – might be repaired. Somehow they managed that, too. Annie Mattoon remembered later that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said to them, ‘You must never forget Christ.’ With this encouragement, they included visits to the Holy Places of Christianity. “Today, also, Bahá’ís frequently make the ‘wider pilgrimage‘.)
  • by Jack Lessenberry in "Area Baha'is Tell of Persecution in Iran, Fear for Relatives There", Toledo Blade, 1981-07-11:
    "It's so wonderful to have the Iranians here. They are lovely people," Florence Zmeskal, a longtime Toledo resident and secretary of the Toledo Baha'i assembly, said. Her husband, Dr. Otto Zmeskal, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Toledo, officiates at Baha'i weddings in the Toledo area.

This page is part of the Shimer College Wiki, an independent documentation project. Shimer College, the Great Books college of Chicago, is not responsible for its content.

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