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Mount Hermon School 1840 - 1924
Founder of Queen's Hill School 11th March 1895

Miss Knowles was born in New Jersey in 1840 and died at the sanitarium in Castile New York, March28, 1924. She was from a family prominent in New York Methodism, contemporary of Dr. James Buckley, a classmate of her brothers in college.

Thirty-five years of her life was spent in India with only three short furloughs. At the time of her retirement in 1917, an article of appreciation appeared in the Woman's Missionary Friend with the heading, 'A Pathfinder", in recognition of her career as the founder of our two schools in the Himalayas : Wellesley, Nainital; and Queen's Hill for Anglo-Indian Girls, Darjeeling.

The founding of Queen's Hill was on Miss Knowles' own initiative. The first five years of her second term were spent in the Calcutta Girls' School. Having become familiar with conditions in Bengal, she realized the same need of a girls school in the mountains here as there had been in North India and proposed that instead of going home for her next furlough she would go to Darjeeling and start a school. The plan met the approval of the mission authorities on the field and also of the ladies at home, who, however, could promise no financial aid. After weeks of heart searching and prayer often "with strong crying and tears", the final decision was made. She stepped out by faith on God's promises, borrowed one thousand rupees for necessary furnishings, paid the rent of a building out of her missionary salary, and on March 11th, 1895, opened the school with thirteen pupils. For the next twenty years, except for two short periods when on furlough, Miss Knowles continued as Principal of the school giving herself unsteadily to it, withholding nothing that would conduce to the well-being of the pupils and staff, physically, mentally and spiritually. She possessed gifts of mind and heart that easily won the confidence of parents and the school had a steady growth from the first among a class of people able to pay substantial fees, thus very soon becoming practically self-supporting.

Scattered over many parts of India and Great Britain are those who have received from Miss Knowles not only a good education through the schools but a lasting appreciation of the highest ideals of life and service.