1840–1908
'portrait

August 28, 1840, Edinburg, Pennsylvania.

August 13, 1908, Brooklyn, New York.

Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York.

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Ira was the son of David Ira Sankey and Mary Leeper, and husband of Frances Victoria Edwards.

As a young man, he served in the American civil war. He often helped the unit chaplain and led his fellow soldiers in hymn singing. After the war, he joined the Internal Revenue Service, and also worked with the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). He became well known as a Gospel singer, and eventually came to the attention of evangelist Dwight Lyman Moody. The two men met at a YMCA convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, in June, 1870. Some months later, Sankey attended his first evangelistic meeting with Moody, and resigned from government service shortly thereafter.

In October 1871, Sankey and Moody were in the middle of a revival meeting when the Great Chicago Fire began. The two men barely escaped the conflagration with their lives. Sankey ended up watching the city burn from a rowboat far out on Lake Michigan.

Sankey composed about 1,200 songs in his lifetime. He was blind from glaucoma the last five years of his life, and no doubt found a kindred spirit in his blind friend and music making partner Fanny Crosby. His works include:

  1. For Me! For Me!
  2. King Is Coming, The
  3. O Christian Youth, Arise!
  4. Out of the Shadow-Land
  1. Aachen
  2. Able to Deliver
  3. Adana
  4. Algarve
  5. Army of Endeavor
  6. Awake and Watch
  7. Azariah
  8. Barbuda
  9. Be Ye Strong in the Lord
  10. Behold the Wondrous Love
  11. Believe and Obey
  12. Bermuda
  13. Blessèd Redeemer
  14. Bountiful Harvest
  15. Bring in the Children
  16. Buenos Aires
  17. C’est Encore Temps
  18. Christian’s Good Night, The
  19. Cleansing Fountain, The
  20. Clephane
  21. Come Home, My Child
  22. Come, Oh Come, with Thy Broken Heart
  23. Come, Prodigal, Come
  24. Crewdson
  25. Daniel
  26. Denpasar
  27. Descend, O Flame
  28. Douglas
  29. Eindhoven
  30. Esrom
  31. Faith Is the Victory
  32. Fisherman’s Wharf
  33. Gather in the Sheaves
  34. Grace, ’Tis a Charming Sound
  35. Grand Is the Song
  36. Grasmere
  37. Graz
  38. Great Jehovah, Mighty Lord
  39. Habana
  40. Hanoi
  41. Handwriting on the Wall, The
  42. Harbor Bell, The
  43. Have You Sought?
  44. He Who Safely Keepeth
  45. Hear Us, O Savior!
  46. Help Me
  47. Houston
  48. How Can I Keep from Singing?
  49. I Am Praying for You
  50. I Am Redeemed
  51. I Know He Is Mine
  52. It Is Finished!
  53. It Passeth Knowledge
  54. Jesse
  55. Jesus, I Will Trust Thee
  56. Kathmandu
  57. Kawasaki
  58. Kilauea
  59. King Is Coming, The
  60. Lattimore
  61. Lecce
  62. Let the Blessèd Savior In
  63. Let Us Walk in the Light
  64. Light After Darkness
  65. Little Steps
  66. Little While, A
  67. Łódź
  68. Lord Is King!, The
  69. Los Padres
  70. Lucca
  71. Mace
  72. Malé
  73. Marlborough
  74. Marley
  75. Matagorda
  76. Minas Gerais
  77. Mirjana
  78. Model Church, The
  79. Morelos
  80. Mountain
  81. My Ship Is Coming In
  82. Never Say Goodbye
  83. Newcastle
  84. Ninety and Nine, The
  85. Not Far from the Kingdom
  86. Not Now, My Child
  87. O Blessèd Be the Lord
  88. O Brother, Life’s Journey Beginning
  89. O Beautiful Sea
  90. O Believe Him
  91. O Child of God
  92. O Serve the Lord
  93. O Songs of the Beautiful
  94. O, What a Savior
  95. O Zion! Lovely Zion!
  96. Oaxaca
  97. O’er Land and Sea
  98. Only Remembered
  99. Only to Know
  100. Onward, Soldiers
  101. Onward Will We Go
  102. Onward, Upward
  103. Ostrava
  104. Over the Beautiful River
  105. Precious Blessings
  106. Precious Words
  107. Resurrection Morn
  108. Samsun
  109. San Marcos
  110. San Mateo
  111. Sankey
  112. Send the Gospel Light
  113. Send Us Showers of Blessing
  114. Seward
  115. Shadow of the Rock, The
  116. Shelter in the Time of Storm, A
  117. Sheppard
  118. Shine On, O Star!
  119. Shipton
  120. Simeon
  121. Soldier of the Cross, A
  122. Song of Heaven and Homeland, A
  123. Sonoma
  124. Stacy
  125. Staffordshire
  126. Steiner
  127. Story Must Be Told, The
  128. Story That Never Grows Old, The
  129. Substitution
  130. Take Me as I Am
  131. Tarragona
  132. Tell It Out
  133. There Are Lonely Hearts to Cherish
  134. There Is a Paradise of Rest
  135. There’ll Be No Dark Valley
  136. They That Be Wise
  137. This Is Our Endeavor
  138. Through the Valley and the Shadow
  139. Thy Hand Upholdeth Me
  140. Tirana
  141. To Arms! To Arms! Ye Soldiers!
  142. To Be There
  143. Topeka
  144. Trim Thy Lamp
  145. Trust
  146. Trusting Jesus
  147. Under His Wings
  148. Valdez
  149. Vallejo
  150. Waiting for Thy Coming
  151. We Will Follow Thee
  152. Welcome! Wanderer, Welcome!
  153. What a Gathering
  154. When My Weary Hands Are Folded
  155. When the King Shall Come!
  156. When the Mists Have Rolled Away
  157. Where the Savior Leads
  158. Whoever Will, Whoever Will
  159. Whosoever Shall Call
  160. Wonderful Word
  161. Yet There Is Room

illustration
Great Chicago Fire, 1871