Born: Apr­il 26, 1834, Sher­burne, New York.

Died: No­vem­ber 15, 1907, Yon­kers, New York.

Buried: Black Creek Ce­me­te­ry, New Hud­son, New York.



Horatio was the son of An­son B. Pal­mer, and hus­band of Lu­cia A. Chap­man.

Palmer’s mo­ther died when he was three years old. At age se­ven, he be­gan sing­ing in the church choir di­rect­ed by his fa­ther. Ho­ra­tio at­tend­ed the Rush­ford Aca­de­my in New York, then taught there (1855–65), be­com­ing the Aca­de­my’s mu­sic di­rect­or, and or­ga­niz­ing a cor­net band there.

Palmer lat­er moved to Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois, where he was choir di­rect­or at the Se­cond Bap­tist Church. In ad­di­tion, he pub­lished the ma­g­azine Con­cor­dia.

He moved back to New York in 1873, and set up the Church Cho­ral Un­ion in 1881. The or­ga­ni­za­tion even­tu­al­ly grew to 20,000 sing­ers, and per­formed in lo­ca­tions such as Ma­di­son Square Gar­den in New York Ci­ty (where it field­ed a 4,000 mem­ber choir). Pal­mer went on to or­ga­nize si­mi­lar groups in New York state, Penn­syl­van­ia, and Wash­ing­ton, DC.

In 1877, the Sum­mer School of Music at Chau­tau­qua, New York, was es­tab­lished, and Pal­mer led it for 14 years. He al­so con­duct­ed an­nu­al mu­sic fes­ti­vals in Cort­land, New York, and di­rect­ed the choir at the Broome Street Ta­ber­na­cle in New York Ci­ty for 11 years.