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 During this time he wrote a number of unpublished hymn tunes and anthems.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