1852–1911

Introduction

portrait

Born: Au­gust 21, 1852, Ot­ter­ville, Il­li­nois.

Died: No­vem­ber 17, 1911, Den­ver, Col­o­ra­do, in a bug­gy ac­ci­dent.

Buried: Park­view Ce­me­te­ry, Hast­ings, Ne­bras­ka.

Biography

Flora was the daugh­ter of Ed­win Ben­ja­min Brown Ham­il­ton and Mary Ann Hil­dreth Chand­ler, and wife of E. Tay­lor Cas­sel.

She spent most of her child­hood in White Hall, Il­li­nois, where her fa­ther was pas­tor of the Bap­tist church. She was quite mu­sic­al from child­hood, and could sing and ac­com­pa­ny her­self as a small girl.

At age 16, Cas­sel went to live with her mo­ther’s sis­ter, Mrs. Tit­comb, in Brook­lyn, New York.

She ev­ent­u­al­ly went to the Ma­ple­wood In­sti­tute in Pitts­field, Mas­sa­chu­setts, to stu­dy pi­a­no, har­mo­ny, and com­po­si­tion un­der Dr. B. C. Blodg­ett, and voice un­der Pro­fess­or J. I. La­lor.

She gra­du­at­ed in 1873, and got a teach­ing po­si­tion the next fall at Shurt­leff Col­lege in Upper Al­ton, Il­li­nois.

While there, she mar­ried Tay­lor Ca­ssel. She con­tin­ued teach­ing col­lege for a year or more, then they moved to Ne­bras­ka.

In Ed­gar, Ne­bras­ka, a Wo­men’s Chris­tian Tem­per­ance Un­ion (WCTU) branch was or­gan­ized, with Cas­sel head­ing it. Her WCTU song book, White Rib­bon Vi­bra­tions, was pub­lished in 1890.

Its in­i­tial song, Around the World, words and mu­sic by Ca­ssel, was a fa­vo­rite of Em­ma Wil­lard. Soon af­te­rward, Ed­win Ex­cell, Ed­mund Lo­renz and oth­ers began pub­lish­ing Cas­sel’s Gos­pel songs.

In 1893, Cas­sel took ad­van­tage of an op­en­ing to go in­to the pi­a­no and or­gan bu­si­ness, and con­tin­ued in that line for near­ly 10 years. Af­ter­ward, her fa­mi­ly moved to Col­o­ra­do, buy­ing a farm near Den­ver.

Publications

Sources

Music