June 18, 1840, Mönchdorf, Kurhessen, Germany.

April 13, 1927, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

East Harrisburg Cemetery, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.


Orphaned in childhood, Kurzenknabe spent part of his early years in Kassel, Germany, attending public and industrial schools. In 1854, he sailed from Bremen for America. He eventually attended a seminary in Pennsylvania, later studied music under William Bradbury, and was associated for a short time with George Root.

Kurzenknabe traveled extensively throughout the American northeast, and lived at various times in Hagerstown and Baltimore, Maryland; York, Philadelphia, Sunbury, Mercersburg, McConnellsburg, and Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; Camden and Moorestown, New Jersey; New York City; and in Boston and Dedham, Massachusetts. He finally settled in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he wrote songs, taught music, ran a piano and music store, and attended St. John’s Reformed Church. In 1894, he became president of the Pennsylvania State Music Teachers’ Association. His works include:

  1. Beautiful Land of the Blest
  2. Coming to the Savior’s Cross
  3. Hallelujah! Bless His Name!
  4. Hark, the Heralds from the Sky
  5. Hark to the Bells
  6. Music of Heaven, The
  7. Praise Him
  8. Wait, Patiently Wait
  9. What a Gathering That Will Be
  1. Beautiful Star
  2. Carol His Natal Day
  3. Ezurum
  4. Fairlop
  5. Farringdon
  6. Follow Thou Me
  7. Gates Ajar
  8. Glad New Song, The
  9. I’m Not Alone
  10. Lead Me In
  11. Loving Little Ones, The
  12. Only a Veil
  13. ’Tis Sweet to Pray
  14. We May Sing Sweet Songs in Heaven