Born: August 21, 1852, Otterville, Illinois.
Died: November 17, 1911, Denver, Colorado, in a buggy accident.
Buried: Parkview Cemetery, Hastings, Nebraska.
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.