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 During this time he wrote a number of unpublished hymn tunes and anthems.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. Carradale
  26. Christ Is Risen
  27. City Beyond, The
  28. Close to Thy Cross, O Christ
  29. Closer Walk with Thee
  30. Come, for All Things Are Ready
  31. Come, Lord, and Let Thy Pow’r
  32. Comforter Has Come, The
  33. Coming Home
  34. Companionship with Jesus
  35. Cozumel
  36. Cradle Song
  37. Crispus
  38. Darmstadt
  39. Dear Jesus, Canst Thou Help Me?
  40. Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd
  41. Deeper Yet
  42. Dortmund
  43. Every Word I Believe
  44. Fall River
  45. Famous Eagle
  46. Farmington
  47. Father All Holy
  48. For Christ and the Church
  49. Freedom in Jesus
  50. Friesen
  51. Full Surrender
  52. Gathering Out of Tears
  53. Gibraltar
  54. Giggleswick
  55. Give Me Thy Heart
  56. Glory in My Soul
  57. Glory to God, Hallelujah
  58. Go, Study the Bible
  59. God So Loved the World
  60. God’s Word
  61. Golden Bells, The
  62. Grace Is Free
  63. Grand Old Story of Salvation, The
  64. Gujarat
  65. Hainault
  66. Hallelujah! Amen!
  67. Happy Crowning Day, The
  68. Hear and Answer Prayer
  69. He Came to Save Me
  70. He Died for Thee
  71. He Hideth My Soul
  72. He Is All in All to Me
  73. Healing at the Fountain
  74. Healing Touch, The
  75. He’ll Come and Tarry Not
  76. His Blood
  77. His Grace Aboundeth More
  78. Home at Last
  79. Hounslow
  80. House Springs
  81. I Hope to Meet You All in Glory
  82. I Shall Be No Stranger There
  83. I’ll Bear It, Lord, for Thee
  84. In Bethany
  85. In the Book Which Thou Art Keeping
  86. In the Twinkling of an Eye
  87. Indianapolis
  88. Jacksonville
  89. Jesus Comes
  90. Jesus Only
  91. Jesus Understands!
  92. Jesus Will Listen to Me
  93. Just a Little Sunshine
  94. Kansas City
  95. Keep in the Line
  96. Keep Me Ever Close to Thee
  97. Kirkpatrick
  98. Lake Mead
  99. Landås
  100. Lead Me to Calvary
  101. Let the Light Stream In
  102. Let Us Sing of His Love
  103. Liberia
  104. Like an Army We Are Marching
  105. Like as a Father
  106. Lilliard
  107. Listen to the Blessèd Invitation
  108. Lo! the Golden Fields Are Smiling
  109. Lord, I’m Coming Home
  110. Made Whole
  111. Marching on to Victory
  112. Maui
  113. Meet in the Morning
  114. Meet Me There
  115. Mercy Is Boundless and Free
  116. Minnewaska
  117. Moline
  118. More Faith in Jesus
  119. Music and Love
  120. My Heart’s Dear Home
  121. My Light and Song
  122. My Savior Face to Face
  123. No King but Christ
  124. None Can Help Like Jesus
  125. O to Abide in Jesus
  126. O to Be Like Thee!
  127. Oh, for a Heart Whiter Than Snow
  128. Old Fountain, The
  129. On the Cross of Calvary
  130. Only Believe
  131. Only His Love
  132. Open Bible for the World, An
  133. Orlando
  134. Praise Jehovah
  135. Praise Ye the Lord
  136. Promise Way, The
  137. Raleigh
  138. Redeemed
  139. River of Life, The
  140. Royal Fountain, The
  141. Salvation
  142. Salvation’s Story
  143. Sands
  144. Save One
  145. Saved to the Uttermost
  146. Saxony
  147. Say! Will You Meet Me There?
  148. Sing, My Soul!
  149. Sing unto God
  150. Singing I Go
  151. Sometime
  152. Speeding Onward
  153. Stepping in the Light
  154. Still Out of Christ
  155. Take the Life-Boat
  156. Tell It Over Again
  157. Ten Thousand Thanks to Jesus
  158. There’s a Blessing for Me
  159. There’s Power in Jesus’ Blood
  160. Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, Alone
  161. ’Tis Burning in My Soul
  162. ’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
  163. Toledo
  164. Triumphs of Faith, The
  165. True Shepherd, The
  166. Turn a New Leaf for Me
  167. ’Twill All Be Right at Last
  168. Under the Blood
  169. Valley of Rest
  170. Very Friend I Need, The
  171. Very Same Jesus, The
  172. Vienne
  173. Wait, and Murmur Not
  174. Waiting for You and Me
  175. Washed in the Blood of My Redeemer
  176. Watch and Pray
  177. Watchman, Blow the Gospel Trumpet
  178. We Have an Anchor
  179. We Walk by Faith
  180. Welcome for Me
  181. What Will It Matter?
  182. When Love Shines In
  183. When the Bridegroom Comes
  184. When the Curtains Are Lifted
  185. Where Is My Soul Tonight?
  186. Wingate
  187. Wonderful Redeemer
  188. You May Have the Joy-Bells