Born: December 13, 1851, Uniontown, Ohio.
Died: June 10, 1921, Wesley Hospital, Chicago, Illinois. He was on an evangelism tour with Gypsy Smith at the time of his death.
Buried: Oak Woods Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois.
Edwin was the son of Joshua J. Excell, a German Reformed Church pastor, and Emily O. Hess, and husband of Eliza Jane Bell (married 1871).
He started his working life as a bricklayer and plasterer. His love of music called, though, and he went to Chicago, Illinois, to study under George Root.
Excell later founded singing schools at various locations in America, and expanded into the religious field, working with evangelist Sam Jones for two decades.
Excell worked at a music publishing house in Chicago, and wrote over 2,000 Gospel songs.