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 During this time he wrote a number of unpublished hymn tunes and anthems.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