In the early 19th century, the region was a huge and abundant forest that was still virgin. Coming from New Hampshire, nine American pioneers explored the area of Stanstead-Est in order to settle their families there. Among the "9 partners" were Cass members who were John's ancestors, born in 1819.

The Cass family is very important to this part of the country. They were several dozens to be born and to grow in the small hamlet, going to the school which, besides, took their name and still houses Stanstead-Est's municipal office. The conveniences were originally reduced to the bare minimum.

During a few years, the pioneers had to go to the United States through the forest to have their wheat grinded in order to get the necessary flour to make bread. But with the development of the hamlet, a mill, a store, and even a post office were erected. After many efforts from the businessmen and mostly the MP Colby, the train went at the other end of the county from 1870, allowing the small community to have a bigger market to sell and to buy their things (cattle and other everyday life objects). There was after that a station in Stanstead for the train that linked Montreal to Boston until the 1980s. John Cass harvested his land until 1904. During his tough life has a pioneer, he lost two of his children in infancy as well as his first wife.