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 During this time he wrote a number of unpublished hymn tunes and anthems.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. Grace Is Free
  60. Grand Old Story of Salvation, The
  61. Greenwell
  62. Gujarat
  63. Hainault
  64. Hallelujah! Amen!
  65. Happy Crowning Day, The
  66. Hear and Answer Prayer
  67. He Came to Save Me
  68. He Died for Thee
  69. He Hideth My Soul
  70. He Is All in All to Me
  71. Healing at the Fountain
  72. Healing Touch, The
  73. He’ll Come and Tarry Not
  74. His Blood
  75. His Grace Aboundeth More
  76. Home at Last
  77. Hounslow
  78. House Springs
  79. I Hope to Meet You All in Glory
  80. I Shall Be No Stranger There
  81. I’ll Bear It, Lord, for Thee
  82. In Bethany
  83. In the Book Which Thou Art Keeping
  84. In the Twinkling of an Eye
  85. Indianapolis
  86. Jacksonville
  87. Jesus Comes
  88. Jesus Only
  89. Jesus Understands!
  90. Jesus Will Listen to Me
  91. Just a Little Sunshine
  92. Kansas City
  93. Keep in the Line
  94. Keep Me Ever Close to Thee
  95. Kirkpatrick
  96. Lake Mead
  97. Landås
  98. Lead Me to Calvary
  99. Let the Light Stream In
  100. Let Us Sing of His Love
  101. Liberia
  102. Like an Army We Are Marching
  103. Like as a Father
  104. Lilliard
  105. Listen to the Blessèd Invitation
  106. Lo! the Golden Fields Are Smiling
  107. Lord, I’m Coming Home
  108. Made Whole
  109. Marching on to Victory
  110. Maui
  111. Meet in the Morning
  112. Meet Me There
  113. Mercy Is Boundless and Free
  114. Minnewaska
  115. Moline
  116. More Faith in Jesus
  117. Music and Love
  118. My Heart’s Dear Home
  119. My Light and Song
  120. My Savior Face to Face
  121. No King but Christ
  122. O to Abide in Jesus
  123. O to Be Like Thee!
  124. Oh, for a Heart Whiter Than Snow
  125. Old Fountain, The
  126. On the Cross of Calvary
  127. Only Believe
  128. Only His Love
  129. Open Bible for the World, An
  130. Orlando
  131. Praise Jehovah
  132. Praise Ye the Lord
  133. Promise Way, The
  134. Raleigh
  135. Redeemed
  136. River of Life, The
  137. Royal Fountain, The
  138. Salvation
  139. Sands
  140. Saved to the Uttermost
  141. Saxony
  142. Say! Will You Meet Me There?
  143. Sing, My Soul!
  144. Sing unto God
  145. Singing I Go
  146. Sometime
  147. Speeding Onward
  148. Stepping in the Light
  149. Still Out of Christ
  150. Take the Life-Boat
  151. Tell It Over Again
  152. Ten Thousand Thanks to Jesus
  153. There’s a Blessing for Me
  154. Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, Alone
  155. ’Tis Burning in My Soul
  156. ’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
  157. Toledo
  158. Triumphs of Faith, The
  159. True Shepherd, The
  160. Turn a New Leaf for Me
  161. ’Twill All Be Right at Last
  162. Under the Blood
  163. Valley of Rest
  164. Very Friend I Need, The
  165. Very Same Jesus, The
  166. Vienne
  167. Wait, and Murmur Not
  168. Waiting for You and Me
  169. Washed in the Blood of My Redeemer
  170. Watch and Pray
  171. Watchman, Blow the Gospel Trumpet
  172. We Have an Anchor
  173. We Walk by Faith
  174. Welcome for Me
  175. What Will It Matter?
  176. When Love Shines In
  177. When the Bridegroom Comes
  178. When the Curtains Are Lifted
  179. Where Is My Soul Tonight?
  180. Wingate
  181. Wonderful Redeemer
  182. You May Have the Joy-Bells