Born: March 13, 1840, Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts.

Died: De­cem­ber 15, 1923, Ro­ches­ter, New York.

Buried: Mount Hope Ce­me­te­ry, Ro­ches­ter, New York.


William was the son of Ez­ra Stiles Gan­nett and An­na Lin­zee Til­den, and hus­band of Ma­ry Thorn Lew­is.

He was ed­u­cat­ed at Har­vard Un­i­ver­si­ty (BA 1860, MA 1863).

After the Am­er­i­can ci­vil war, he spent three years work­ing with freed slaves in Port Roy­al, South Ca­ro­li­na. Af­ter­ward, he toured Eur­ope (1865–56), then re­turned to Har­vard, gra­du­at­ed from its Di­vi­ni­ty School, and be­came a Un­i­tar­i­an min­is­ter in 1868.

He served in Mil­wau­kee, Wis­con­sin (1868–70); East Lex­ing­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts (1871–72); St. Paul, Min­ne­so­ta (1877–83); Hins­dale, Il­li­nois (1887–88); and Ro­ches­ter, New York (1889–1908).

He was al­so a lead­er in the wo­men’s suf­frage move­ment, found­ed the Boys Ev­en­ing Home as­so­ci­a­tion, and was ac­tive in ma­ny oth­er caus­es. He helped ed­it Un­i­ty Hymns and Chor­als, 1880.

His other works in­clude:

  1. Bring, O Morn, Thy Mu­sic
  2. Clear in Me­mo­ry’s Si­lent Reach­es
  3. Fairer Grows the Earth Each Mo­ment
  4. From Heart to Heart, from Creed to Creed
  5. God Hides Him­self With­in the Love
  6. God Laid His Rocks in Cours­es
  7. God Ploughed One Day with an Earth­quake
  8. He Hides With­in the Lily
  9. I Hear It Oft­en in the Dark
  10. I Read of Ma­ny Man­sions
  11. It Sounds Along the Ag­es
  12. Little House of Life, A
  13. Lord Is in His Ho­ly Place, The
  14. Morning Hangs Its Sig­nal, The
  15. Now Sing We a Song for the Har­vest
  16. O God With­in, So Close to Me
  17. O Heart of All the Shin­ing Day
  18. O Peace, Thy Touch Is Like Moon
  19. Once More the Call to Who Will Hear
  20. One Mo­ment on the Scaf­fold
  21. Only Ten Miles from the Ci­ty
  22. Praise to God and Thanks We Bring
  23. Praise to God, Your Prais­es Bring
  24. Silvery Tide, Called Sun­ny Side, A
  25. Sleep, My Lit­tle Je­sus
  26. Softly, Soft­ly, Lit­tle Child­ren
  27. Somewhere in the World
  28. To Clois­ters of the Spir­it
  29. Truth Is the Voice of God, The
  30. What Will the Vi­o­lets Be?
  31. When the Night Is Still and Far
  32. Where Did Yes­ter­day’s Sun­set Go?