62. William Lee, Oct. 1, 1920-
m. Dorothy Fromknecht (1922- ), Feb. 6, 1940
Herbert Cass graduated from the grade school at Harbor Creek and helped his father on the farm for some time. He heard two returned missionaries, Mr. and Mrs. Ruhl, lecture on their experiences in Tibet, showing pictures and samples of native costumes. Few, if any other, white missionaries have ever operated successfully in Tibet. He attended the Christian and Missionary Alliance Training School in Nyack, New York in preparation for this work. In 1914 he went to India as an independent, paying his own way, with no guarantee of work or aid at any time. Likewise, he was free of any obligations except to his own conscience.
Upon his arrival in India he went to Darjeeling where he lived for about two years, some of the time with Mr. A. E. Shiffler, an American missionary of the Church of God, whose home had been in Altoona, Pennsylvania. He was in charge of a dairy near there on Tiger Hill for a time and otherwise earned his living by working for the mission, helping to hold meetings, distributing tracts, leaflets and Bibles, painting signs on rocks by the roadside, teaching, etc.
He went to a Baptist mission in Calcutta for a few months and later to Cooch Behar, a native state in the northern part of Bengal, where he worked with a Swedish Y. W. C. A. mission at the capitol and in the outdistricts for about six months. His time there was used much as at Darjeeling; studying the native languages and especially Tibetan, teaching, and distributing literature for the mission. He was left in charge of that mission when the Swedish missionaries took their vacation at Darjeeling.
From Cooch Behar he traveled across northern India in company with a native evangelist to a Presbyterian convention at Sialkot, in the northern Punjab. From there he worked north to Kashmir and Baltistan, staying in that region about two years.
His main idea was to get into Tibet as a missionary and his study of native languages and customs was all with that end in mind. While working in and around Kashmir he spent quite a bit of time with Mr. Robertson of the Central Asian Mission of London. With him Herbert Cass went into the N. W. Frontier Provinces and across the Himalaya range to the Indus River. They traveled up the Shigar River above Skardo and another time visited the Independent Tribes near Afghanistan. He taught school at the C. A. M. and in private families at Srinagar and at Jammu.
In his attempts to arrange for permission to enter Tibet as a missionary he made the acquaintance at various times of several high ranking officials of the government, both British and Native. His Tibetan teacher had studied under the private secretary to the Dalai Lama at Lhassa and he was acquainted with the Rajah of Dinajpur. However, none of his friends were able to procure him the necessary permit to enter Tibet and he finally returned to England in 1919, where he married the girl he had met on his way to India five years before.
Herbert Cass is a quiet, retiring person but all his neighbors know he is always to be depended upon to give his help in any emergency. For many years now he has been employed at the General Electric Company in Erie and for several years past he has worked as a buffer in the refrigerator department.
Mrs. Herbert Cass is the daughter of Thomas and Margaret Ellen (Lightbown) Birley and was baptized at the Emanuel Episcopal Church in Preston. Thomas Birley was a molder by trade and a singer and entertainer for recreation. Her father's parents were Abraham and (Taylor) Birley, her grandmother being born in Whitlow, Ireland. Her mother's parents were David and Maria (Gregson) Lightbown of Preston. Mrs. Cass' mother was a weaver in one of the many cotton mills of Lancashire and before her marriage Mrs. Cass worked as a rover in one of the mills.
Her father was a British soldier for some time and her grandfather had served with the British army in India for several years.
Soon after her arrival in America Mrs. Herbert Cass became a member of the South Harbor Creek M. E. Church in which she has been a very active worker, serving for several years as Superintendent of the Sunday School. Having an excellent soprano voice she frequently helps with special musical programs.
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