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 During this time he wrote a number of unpublished hymn tunes and anthems.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 the 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. Beautiful Hills of Rest
  9. Beautiful Robes
  10. Beautiful Sabbath
  11. Becontree
  12. Bells of Eternity, The
  13. Beneath His Sheltering Wings
  14. Blackfriars
  15. Blessed Be the Name
  16. Blessèd Old Story of Love
  17. Blessing in Prayer, A
  18. Braintree
  19. Buda
  20. Buried with Christ
  21. By Grace I Will
  22. Calling for You
  23. Calvary’s Stream Is Flowing
  24. City Beyond, The
  25. Close to Thy Cross, O Christ
  26. Come, for All Things Are Ready
  27. Come, Lord, and Let Thy Pow’r
  28. Comforter Has Come, The
  29. Cozumel
  30. Cradle Song
  31. Crispus
  32. Darmstadt
  33. Dear Jesus, Canst Thou Help Me?
  34. Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd
  35. Deeper Yet
  36. Every Word I Believe
  37. Famous Eagle
  38. Farmington
  39. Father All Holy
  40. Freedom in Jesus
  41. Friesen
  42. Gathering Out of Tears
  43. Gibraltar
  44. Giggleswick
  45. Give Me Thy Heart
  46. Glory in My Soul
  47. Glory to God, Hallelujah
  48. Go, Study the Bible
  49. God So Loved the World
  50. God’s Word
  51. Golden Bells, The
  52. Greenwell
  53. Hainault
  54. Hallelujah! Amen!
  55. Happy Crowning Day, The
  56. Hear and Answer Prayer
  57. He Came to Save Me
  58. He Died for Thee
  59. He Hideth My Soul
  60. He Is All in All to Me
  61. Healing at the Fountain
  62. Healing Touch, The
  63. He’ll Come and Tarry Not
  64. His Blood
  65. His Grace Aboundeth More
  66. Home at Last
  67. Hounslow
  68. I Hope to Meet You All in Glory
  69. I Shall Be No Stranger There
  70. I’ll Bear It, Lord, for Thee
  71. In Bethany
  72. In the Book Which Thou Art Keeping
  73. In the Twinkling of an Eye
  74. Indianapolis
  75. Jacksonville
  76. Jesus Comes
  77. Jesus Only
  78. Jesus Understands!
  79. Jesus Will Listen to Me
  80. Just a Little Sunshine
  81. Kansas City
  82. Keep in the Line
  83. Keep Me Ever Close to Thee
  84. Kirkpatrick
  85. Lake Mead
  86. Landås
  87. Lead Me to Calvary
  88. Let the Light Stream In
  89. Let Us Sing of His Love
  90. Like an Army We Are Marching
  91. Like as a Father
  92. Lilliard
  93. Listen to the Blessèd Invitation
  94. Lo! the Golden Fields Are Smiling
  95. Lord, I’m Coming Home
  96. Made Whole
  97. Maui
  98. Meet in the Morning
  99. Meet Me There
  100. Mercy Is Boundless and Free
  101. Minnewaska
  102. Moline
  103. Music and Love
  104. My Heart’s Dear Home
  105. My Light and Song
  106. My Savior Face to Face
  107. No King but Christ
  108. O to Abide in Jesus
  109. O to Be Like Thee!
  110. Oh, for a Heart Whiter Than Snow
  111. Old Fountain, The
  112. On the Cross of Calvary
  113. Only His Love
  114. Open Bible for the World, An
  115. Orlando
  116. Praise Jehovah
  117. Praise Ye the Lord
  118. Promise Way, The
  119. Raleigh
  120. Redeemed
  121. River of Life, The
  122. Royal Fountain, The
  123. Salvation
  124. Sands
  125. Saved to the Uttermost
  126. Saxony
  127. Sing, My Soul!
  128. Sing unto God
  129. Singing I Go
  130. Sometime
  131. Speeding Onward
  132. Stepping in the Light
  133. Still Out of Christ
  134. Take the Life-Boat
  135. Tell It Over Again
  136. Ten Thousand Thanks to Jesus
  137. There’s a Blessing for Me
  138. Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, Alone
  139. ’Tis Burning in My Soul
  140. ’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
  141. Triumphs of Faith, The
  142. True Shepherd, The
  143. Turn a New Leaf for Me
  144. ’Twill All Be Right at Last
  145. Under the Blood
  146. Very Friend I Need, The
  147. Very Same Jesus, The
  148. Wait, and Murmur Not
  149. Washed in the Blood of My Redeemer
  150. Watch and Pray
  151. Watchman, Blow the Gospel Trumpet
  152. We Have an Anchor
  153. We Walk by Faith
  154. Welcome for Me
  155. What Will It Matter?
  156. When Love Shines In
  157. When the Bridegroom Comes
  158. When the Curtains Are Lifted
  159. Wingate
  160. Wonderful Redeemer
  161. You May Have the Joy-Bells