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 During this time he wrote a number of unpublished hymn tunes and anthems.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 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. All over the World
  3. Alone with God
  4. Anaheim
  5. Annetta
  6. Are You Coming to the Feast?
  7. At the Mercy Seat
  8. Bangkok
  9. Beautiful Hills of Rest
  10. Beautiful Robes
  11. Beautiful Sabbath
  12. Becontree
  13. Bells of Eternity, The
  14. Beneath His Sheltering Wings
  15. Blackfriars
  16. Blessed Be the Name
  17. Blessèd Old Story of Love
  18. Blessing in Prayer, A
  19. Braintree
  20. Buda
  21. Buried with Christ
  22. By Grace I Will
  23. Calling for You
  24. Calvary’s Stream Is Flowing
  25. Christ Is Risen
  26. City Beyond, The
  27. Close to Thy Cross, O Christ
  28. Closer Walk with Thee
  29. Come, for All Things Are Ready
  30. Come, Lord, and Let Thy Pow’r
  31. Comforter Has Come, The
  32. Coming Home
  33. Companionship with Jesus
  34. Cozumel
  35. Cradle Song
  36. Crispus
  37. Darmstadt
  38. Dear Jesus, Canst Thou Help Me?
  39. Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd
  40. Deeper Yet
  41. Dortmund
  42. Every Word I Believe
  43. Famous Eagle
  44. Farmington
  45. Father All Holy
  46. Freedom in Jesus
  47. Friesen
  48. Full Surrender
  49. Gathering Out of Tears
  50. Gibraltar
  51. Giggleswick
  52. Give Me Thy Heart
  53. Glory in My Soul
  54. Glory to God, Hallelujah
  55. Go, Study the Bible
  56. God So Loved the World
  57. God’s Word
  58. Golden Bells, The
  59. Greenwell
  60. Hainault
  61. Hallelujah! Amen!
  62. Happy Crowning Day, The
  63. Hear and Answer Prayer
  64. He Came to Save Me
  65. He Died for Thee
  66. He Hideth My Soul
  67. He Is All in All to Me
  68. Healing at the Fountain
  69. Healing Touch, The
  70. He’ll Come and Tarry Not
  71. His Blood
  72. His Grace Aboundeth More
  73. Home at Last
  74. Hounslow
  75. House Springs
  76. I Hope to Meet You All in Glory
  77. I Shall Be No Stranger There
  78. I’ll Bear It, Lord, for Thee
  79. In Bethany
  80. In the Book Which Thou Art Keeping
  81. In the Twinkling of an Eye
  82. Indianapolis
  83. Jacksonville
  84. Jesus Comes
  85. Jesus Only
  86. Jesus Understands!
  87. Jesus Will Listen to Me
  88. Just a Little Sunshine
  89. Kansas City
  90. Keep in the Line
  91. Keep Me Ever Close to Thee
  92. Kirkpatrick
  93. Lake Mead
  94. Landås
  95. Lead Me to Calvary
  96. Let the Light Stream In
  97. Let Us Sing of His Love
  98. Liberia
  99. Like an Army We Are Marching
  100. Like as a Father
  101. Lilliard
  102. Listen to the Blessèd Invitation
  103. Lo! the Golden Fields Are Smiling
  104. Lord, I’m Coming Home
  105. Made Whole
  106. Marching on to Victory
  107. Maui
  108. Meet in the Morning
  109. Meet Me There
  110. Mercy Is Boundless and Free
  111. Minnewaska
  112. Moline
  113. More Faith in Jesus
  114. Music and Love
  115. My Heart’s Dear Home
  116. My Light and Song
  117. My Savior Face to Face
  118. No King but Christ
  119. O to Abide in Jesus
  120. O to Be Like Thee!
  121. Oh, for a Heart Whiter Than Snow
  122. Old Fountain, The
  123. On the Cross of Calvary
  124. Only His Love
  125. Open Bible for the World, An
  126. Orlando
  127. Praise Jehovah
  128. Praise Ye the Lord
  129. Promise Way, The
  130. Raleigh
  131. Redeemed
  132. River of Life, The
  133. Royal Fountain, The
  134. Salvation
  135. Sands
  136. Saved to the Uttermost
  137. Saxony
  138. Say! Will You Meet Me There?
  139. Sing, My Soul!
  140. Sing unto God
  141. Singing I Go
  142. Sometime
  143. Speeding Onward
  144. Stepping in the Light
  145. Still Out of Christ
  146. Take the Life-Boat
  147. Tell It Over Again
  148. Ten Thousand Thanks to Jesus
  149. There’s a Blessing for Me
  150. Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, Alone
  151. ’Tis Burning in My Soul
  152. ’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
  153. Toledo
  154. Triumphs of Faith, The
  155. True Shepherd, The
  156. Turn a New Leaf for Me
  157. ’Twill All Be Right at Last
  158. Under the Blood
  159. Valley of Rest
  160. Very Friend I Need, The
  161. Very Same Jesus, The
  162. Wait, and Murmur Not
  163. Waiting for You and Me
  164. Washed in the Blood of My Redeemer
  165. Watch and Pray
  166. Watchman, Blow the Gospel Trumpet
  167. We Have an Anchor
  168. We Walk by Faith
  169. Welcome for Me
  170. What Will It Matter?
  171. When Love Shines In
  172. When the Bridegroom Comes
  173. When the Curtains Are Lifted
  174. Where Is My Soul Tonight?
  175. Wingate
  176. Wonderful Redeemer
  177. You May Have the Joy-Bells