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 During this time he wrote a number of unpublished hymn tunes and anthems.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. He Never Will Forsake Me
  78. Healing at the Fountain
  79. Healing Touch, The
  80. He’ll Come Again
  81. He’ll Come and Tarry Not
  82. His Blood
  83. His Grace Aboundeth More
  84. Home at Last
  85. Hounslow
  86. House Springs
  87. I Hope to Meet You All in Glory
  88. I Shall Be No Stranger There
  89. I’ll Bear It, Lord, for Thee
  90. In Bethany
  91. In the Book Which Thou Art Keeping
  92. In the Twinkling of an Eye
  93. Indianapolis
  94. Jacksonville
  95. Jesus Comes
  96. Jesus Only
  97. Jesus Understands!
  98. Jesus Will Listen to Me
  99. Just a Little Sunshine
  100. Kansas City
  101. Keep in the Line
  102. Keep Me Ever Close to Thee
  103. Kirkpatrick
  104. Lake Mead
  105. Landås
  106. Lead Me to Calvary
  107. Let the Light Stream In
  108. Let Us Sing of His Love
  109. Liberia
  110. Like an Army We Are Marching
  111. Like as a Father
  112. Lilliard
  113. Listen to the Blessèd Invitation
  114. Lo! the Golden Fields Are Smiling
  115. Lord, I’m Coming Home
  116. Love of Jesus (Hewitt), The
  117. Loyola
  118. Made Whole
  119. Marching on to Victory
  120. Maui
  121. Meet in the Morning
  122. Meet Me There
  123. Melo
  124. Mercy Is Boundless and Free
  125. Minnewaska
  126. Moline
  127. More Faith in Jesus
  128. Music and Love
  129. My Heart’s Dear Home
  130. My Light and Song
  131. My Savior Face to Face
  132. No King but Christ
  133. None Can Help Like Jesus
  134. O to Abide in Jesus
  135. O to Be Like Thee!
  136. Oh, for a Heart Whiter Than Snow
  137. Old Fountain, The
  138. On the Cross of Calvary
  139. Only Believe
  140. Only His Love
  141. Open Bible for the World, An
  142. Orlando
  143. Praise Jehovah
  144. Praise Ye the Lord
  145. Promise Way, The
  146. Promised Land (Gill), The
  147. Raleigh
  148. Redeemed
  149. River of Life, The
  150. Riverside
  151. Royal Fountain, The
  152. Salvation
  153. Salvation’s Story
  154. Sands
  155. Save Me Now
  156. Save One
  157. Saved to the Uttermost
  158. Saxony
  159. Say! Will You Meet Me There?
  160. Sheltered
  161. Sing, My Soul!
  162. Sing unto God
  163. Singing I Go
  164. Sochi
  165. Sometime
  166. Speeding Onward
  167. Stepping in the Light
  168. Still Out of Christ
  169. Take the Life-Boat
  170. Tell It Over Again
  171. Ten Thousand Thanks to Jesus
  172. There’s a Blessing for Me
  173. There’s Power in Jesus’ Blood
  174. They Shall Be Comforted
  175. Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, Alone
  176. ’Tis Burning in My Soul
  177. ’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
  178. Toledo
  179. Triumphs of Faith, The
  180. True Shepherd, The
  181. Turn a New Leaf for Me
  182. ’Twill All Be Right at Last
  183. Under the Blood
  184. Valley of Rest
  185. Very Friend I Need, The
  186. Very Same Jesus, The
  187. Vienne
  188. Wait, and Murmur Not
  189. Waiting for You and Me
  190. Washed in the Blood of My Redeemer
  191. Watch and Pray
  192. Watchman, Blow the Gospel Trumpet
  193. We Have an Anchor
  194. We Walk by Faith
  195. Welcome for Me
  196. What Jesus Is to Me
  197. What Will It Matter?
  198. When Love Shines In
  199. When the Bridegroom Comes
  200. When the Curtains Are Lifted
  201. Where Is My Soul Tonight?
  202. Wingate
  203. Wonderful Redeemer
  204. You May Have the Joy-Bells