1831-1899

November 27, 1831, Annville Township, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania.

January 7, 1899, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Harrisburg Cemetery, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Ellenberger was the second son and fifth child of Samuel and Sarah Boltz Ellenberger, and husband of Margaret Sheridan. Educated in the public schools, at an early he showed a strong interest in and talent for vocal music. Converted at age 9, by age 12 he began leading singing in the Sunday school, and by age 19 was in charge of the church choir.

Ellenberger was apprenticed to learn the trade of cabinet making, which he subsequently followed, and moved to Harrisburg in 1854 as a journeyman. He enlisted as a private in Company A, 201st Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, and served until the end of the American civil war. He then returned to Harrisburg, where he established himself in the furniture business, where he worked until about 1870.

He then began to make the pursuit of music the main effort in his life. He composed and published many selections, and made a name for himself in local music circles. He was elected instructor of music in the public schools of Harrisburg in 1873, and held that post until music instruction was discontinued. He then had charge of music at Ripon College, Wisconsin (1884-87), and in 1891 was elected superintendent of music in the Harrisburg schools.

Ellenberger was a member of the Locust Street Methodist Episcopal Church (later known as Grace Methodist Episcopal), from 1855 until his death. He held various offices, and served for 40 years as a class leader.

Ellenberger’s works include:

  1. Almost a Christian, What a Sight
  2. Crimson Stream, The
  1. Angels Rejoiced and Sweetly Sung
  2. How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds
  3. I Stand Beside the Crimson Stream
  4. My Times Are in Thy Hand
  5. O Praise the Lord, I’m Saved

where to get a portrait-style photo of Ellenberger