Born: August 30, 1820, Sheffield, Massachusetts.
Died: August 6, 1895, Bailey Island, Maine.
Buried: Harmony Vale Cemetery, North Reading, Massachusetts.
George was the son of Frederick F. Root and Sarah Flint, husband of Mary Olive Woodman, and father of Frederick Woodman Root.
His musical talents were evident at an early age, and by the time he was 13, he was proud that he could play a tune on as many instruments as his age.
In 1838, Root moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where he studied under George Webb. In 1845, he moved to New York City, playing the organ at the Church of the Strangers, and teaching music at the Abbott Institute for Young Ladies.
In 1850, he toured Europe for a year. Afterward, he started working with Lowell Mason, at Boston’s Academy of Music.
In 1851, Root began composing. In 1859, he began work at his brother’s company, Root and Cady, in Chicago, Illinois. In 1872, the University of Chicago awarded him an honorary Doctor of Music degree.
Some of Root’s best known secular songs are The Battle Cry of Freedom; Just Before the Battle, Mother; The Old Folks Are Gone; A Hundred Years Ago; Old Potomac Shore; Rosalie, the Prairie Flower; The Vacant Chair; Hazel Dell and There’s Music in the Air.