February 27, 1838, Duncannon, Pennsylvania.

September 20, 1921, Pelham Court Hotel, Germantown, Pennsylvania.

West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.

Annie F. Bourne.


Son of a school teacher and musician, Kirkpatrick grew up in a musical atmosphere. In 1854, he went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to study music and learn a trade; he spent over three years as a carpenter. But he was more interested in music than mechanics, devoting all his leisure time to its study. His ambition at the time was to become a violinist.

In 1855, Kirkpatrick joined the Wharton Street Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, and from then on devoted himself mostly to sacred music, giving his services to the choir and Sunday school. As there were few church organs in that day, his violin and cello were in constant demand for choir rehearsals, singing societies, and church programs. During this time he wrote a number of unpublished hymn tunes and anthems.

Kirkpatrick married Susanna Doak in 1861, and had three children with her, including hymnist May D. Kirkpatrick. Following Susanna’s death, he married Sarah Lankford Kellog Bourne in 1893. After Sarah died in 1917, he married Lizzie Sweney, widow of John R. Sweney.

In 1861, at the start of the American civil war, Kirkpatrick enlisted in the army as a Fife Major. He was discharged the next year, apparently because of the act of Congress ending regimental bands.

Kirkpatrick studied vocal music under Professor T. Bishop, then a leading oratorio and ballad singer. He became a member of the Harmonia and Handel and Haydn Sacred Music Societies, where he heard the greatest singers of the day and became familiar with the principal choral works of the great composers. Kirkpatrick’s first published composition was When the Spark of Life Is Waning, which appeared around 1858 in the Musical Pioneer in New York. He went on to publish about 50 hymn collections, including:

  1. Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?
  1. Albuquerque
  2. Akolo
  3. All over the World
  4. Alone with God
  5. Anaheim
  6. Annetta
  7. Are You Coming to the Feast?
  8. At the Mercy Seat
  9. Bangkok
  10. Beautiful Hills of Rest
  11. Beautiful Robes
  12. Beautiful Sabbath
  13. Becontree
  14. Bells of Eternity, The
  15. Beneath His Sheltering Wings
  16. Best of All
  17. Blackfriars
  18. Blessed Be the Name
  19. Blessèd Old Story of Love
  20. Blessing in Prayer, A
  21. Braintree
  22. Buda
  23. Buried with Christ
  24. By Grace I Will
  25. Calling for You
  26. Calvary’s Stream Is Flowing
  27. Carradale
  28. Christ Is Risen
  29. City Beyond, The
  30. Close to Thy Cross, O Christ
  31. Closer Walk with Thee
  32. Come, for All Things Are Ready
  33. Come, Lord, and Let Thy Pow’r
  34. Comforter Has Come, The
  35. Coming Home
  36. Companionship with Jesus
  37. Cozumel
  38. Cradle Song
  39. Crispus
  40. Cuddalore
  41. Darmstadt
  42. Dear Jesus, Canst Thou Help Me?
  43. Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd
  44. Deeper Yet
  45. Dortmund
  46. Every Word I Believe
  47. Fall River
  48. Famous Eagle
  49. Farmington
  50. Father All Holy
  51. For Christ and the Church
  52. Freedom in Jesus
  53. Friesen
  54. Full Surrender
  55. Gathering Out of Tears
  56. Gdynia
  57. Gentle Shepherd, Save Me Now
  58. Gibraltar
  59. Giggleswick
  60. Give Me Thy Heart
  61. Give to Jesus Glory
  62. Glory in My Soul
  63. Glory to God, Hallelujah
  64. Go, Study the Bible
  65. God So Loved the World
  66. God’s Word
  67. Golden Bells, The
  68. Grace Is Free
  69. Grand Old Story of Salvation, The
  70. Gujarat
  71. Hainault
  72. Hallelujah! Amen!
  73. Happy Crowning Day, The
  74. Hear and Answer Prayer
  75. He Came to Save Me
  76. He Died for Thee
  77. He Hideth My Soul
  78. He Is All in All to Me
  79. He Never Will Forsake Me
  80. Healing at the Fountain
  81. Healing Touch, The
  82. He’ll Come Again
  83. He’ll Come and Tarry Not
  84. His Blood
  85. His Grace Aboundeth More
  86. Home at Last
  87. Hounslow
  88. House Springs
  89. How Should We Spend Our Time?
  90. I Hope to Meet You All in Glory
  91. I Shall Be No Stranger There
  92. I’ll Bear It, Lord, for Thee
  93. In Bethany
  94. In the Book Which Thou Art Keeping
  95. In the Twinkling of an Eye
  96. Indianapolis
  97. Jacksonville
  98. Jesus Comes
  99. Jesus Only
  100. Jesus Understands!
  101. Jesus Will Listen to Me
  102. Just a Little Sunshine
  103. Kansas City
  104. Keep in the Line
  105. Keep Me Ever Close to Thee
  106. Kirkpatrick
  107. Lake Mead
  108. Landås
  109. Lead Me to Calvary
  110. Let the Light Stream In
  111. Let Us Sing of His Love
  112. Liberia
  113. Like an Army We Are Marching
  114. Like as a Father
  115. Lilliard
  116. Listen to the Blessèd Invitation
  117. Lo! the Golden Fields Are Smiling
  118. Lord, I’m Coming Home
  119. Love of Jesus (Hewitt), The
  120. Loyola
  121. Made Whole
  122. Marching on to Victory
  123. Maui
  124. Meet in the Morning
  125. Meet Me There
  126. Melo
  127. Mercy Is Boundless and Free
  128. Minnewaska
  129. Moline
  130. More Faith in Jesus
  131. Music and Love
  132. My Heart’s Dear Home
  133. My Light and Song
  134. My Savior Face to Face
  135. No King but Christ
  136. None Can Help Like Jesus
  137. O to Abide in Jesus
  138. O to Be Like Thee!
  139. Oh, for a Heart Whiter Than Snow
  140. Old Fountain, The
  141. On the Cross of Calvary
  142. Only Believe
  143. Only His Love
  144. Open Bible for the World, An
  145. Orlando
  146. Over and Over (arranger)
  147. Praise Jehovah
  148. Praise Ye the Lord
  149. Promise Way, The
  150. Promised Land (Gill), The
  151. Raleigh
  152. Redeemed
  153. River of Life, The
  154. Riverside
  155. Royal Fountain, The
  156. Salvation
  157. Salvation’s Story
  158. Sands
  159. Save Me Now
  160. Save One
  161. Saved to the Uttermost
  162. Saxony
  163. Say! Will You Meet Me There?
  164. Sheltered
  165. Sing, My Soul!
  166. Sing unto God
  167. Singing I Go
  168. Sochi
  169. Sometime
  170. Speeding Onward
  171. Stepping in the Light
  172. Still Out of Christ
  173. Take the Life-Boat
  174. Tell It Over Again
  175. Ten Thousand Thanks to Jesus
  176. There’s a Blessing for Me
  177. There’s Power in Jesus’ Blood
  178. They Shall Be Comforted
  179. Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, Alone
  180. ’Tis Burning in My Soul
  181. ’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
  182. Toledo
  183. Triumphs of Faith, The
  184. True Shepherd, The
  185. Turn a New Leaf for Me
  186. ’Twill All Be Right at Last
  187. Under the Blood
  188. Valley of Rest
  189. Very Friend I Need, The
  190. Very Same Jesus, The
  191. Vienne
  192. Wait, and Murmur Not
  193. Waiting for You and Me
  194. Washed in the Blood of My Redeemer
  195. Watch and Pray
  196. Watchman, Blow the Gospel Trumpet
  197. We Have an Anchor
  198. We Walk by Faith
  199. Welcome for Me
  200. What Jesus Is to Me
  201. What Will It Matter?
  202. When Love Shines In
  203. When the Bridegroom Comes
  204. When the Curtains Are Lifted
  205. Where Is My Soul Tonight?
  206. Wingate
  207. Wonderful Redeemer
  208. You May Have the Joy-Bells