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 During this time he wrote a number of unpublished hymn tunes and anthems.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. 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. I Hope to Meet You All in Glory
  90. I Shall Be No Stranger There
  91. I’ll Bear It, Lord, for Thee
  92. In Bethany
  93. In the Book Which Thou Art Keeping
  94. In the Twinkling of an Eye
  95. Indianapolis
  96. Jacksonville
  97. Jesus Comes
  98. Jesus Only
  99. Jesus Understands!
  100. Jesus Will Listen to Me
  101. Just a Little Sunshine
  102. Kansas City
  103. Keep in the Line
  104. Keep Me Ever Close to Thee
  105. Kirkpatrick
  106. Lake Mead
  107. Landås
  108. Lead Me to Calvary
  109. Let the Light Stream In
  110. Let Us Sing of His Love
  111. Liberia
  112. Like an Army We Are Marching
  113. Like as a Father
  114. Lilliard
  115. Listen to the Blessèd Invitation
  116. Lo! the Golden Fields Are Smiling
  117. Lord, I’m Coming Home
  118. Love of Jesus (Hewitt), The
  119. Loyola
  120. Made Whole
  121. Marching on to Victory
  122. Maui
  123. Meet in the Morning
  124. Meet Me There
  125. Melo
  126. Mercy Is Boundless and Free
  127. Minnewaska
  128. Moline
  129. More Faith in Jesus
  130. Music and Love
  131. My Heart’s Dear Home
  132. My Light and Song
  133. My Savior Face to Face
  134. No King but Christ
  135. None Can Help Like Jesus
  136. O to Abide in Jesus
  137. O to Be Like Thee!
  138. Oh, for a Heart Whiter Than Snow
  139. Old Fountain, The
  140. On the Cross of Calvary
  141. Only Believe
  142. Only His Love
  143. Open Bible for the World, An
  144. Orlando
  145. Praise Jehovah
  146. Praise Ye the Lord
  147. Promise Way, The
  148. Promised Land (Gill), The
  149. Raleigh
  150. Redeemed
  151. River of Life, The
  152. Riverside
  153. Royal Fountain, The
  154. Salvation
  155. Salvation’s Story
  156. Sands
  157. Save Me Now
  158. Save One
  159. Saved to the Uttermost
  160. Saxony
  161. Say! Will You Meet Me There?
  162. Sheltered
  163. Sing, My Soul!
  164. Sing unto God
  165. Singing I Go
  166. Sochi
  167. Sometime
  168. Speeding Onward
  169. Stepping in the Light
  170. Still Out of Christ
  171. Take the Life-Boat
  172. Tell It Over Again
  173. Ten Thousand Thanks to Jesus
  174. There’s a Blessing for Me
  175. There’s Power in Jesus’ Blood
  176. They Shall Be Comforted
  177. Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, Alone
  178. ’Tis Burning in My Soul
  179. ’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
  180. Toledo
  181. Triumphs of Faith, The
  182. True Shepherd, The
  183. Turn a New Leaf for Me
  184. ’Twill All Be Right at Last
  185. Under the Blood
  186. Valley of Rest
  187. Very Friend I Need, The
  188. Very Same Jesus, The
  189. Vienne
  190. Wait, and Murmur Not
  191. Waiting for You and Me
  192. Washed in the Blood of My Redeemer
  193. Watch and Pray
  194. Watchman, Blow the Gospel Trumpet
  195. We Have an Anchor
  196. We Walk by Faith
  197. Welcome for Me
  198. What Jesus Is to Me
  199. What Will It Matter?
  200. When Love Shines In
  201. When the Bridegroom Comes
  202. When the Curtains Are Lifted
  203. Where Is My Soul Tonight?
  204. Wingate
  205. Wonderful Redeemer
  206. You May Have the Joy-Bells