March 13, 1840, Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts.

De­cem­ber 15, 1923, Rochester, New York.

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?