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 During this time he wrote a number of unpublished hymn tunes and anthems.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