1840–1908
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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. Fort Collins
  34. Gather in the Sheaves
  35. Grace, ’Tis a Charming Sound
  36. Grand Is the Song
  37. Grasmere
  38. Graz
  39. Great Jehovah, Mighty Lord
  40. Habana
  41. Hanoi
  42. Handwriting on the Wall, The
  43. Harbor Bell, The
  44. Have You Sought?
  45. He Who Safely Keepeth
  46. Hear Us, O Savior!
  47. Help Me
  48. Houston
  49. How Can I Keep from Singing?
  50. I Am Praying for You
  51. I Am Redeemed
  52. I Know He Is Mine
  53. It Is Finished!
  54. It Passeth Knowledge
  55. Jesse
  56. Jesus, I Will Trust Thee
  57. Kathmandu
  58. Kawasaki
  59. Kilauea
  60. King Is Coming, The
  61. Lattimore
  62. Lecce
  63. Let the Blessèd Savior In
  64. Let Us Walk in the Light
  65. Light After Darkness
  66. Little Steps
  67. Little While, A
  68. Łódź
  69. Lord Is King!, The
  70. Los Padres
  71. Lucca
  72. Mace
  73. Malé
  74. Marlborough
  75. Marley
  76. Matagorda
  77. Minas Gerais
  78. Mirjana
  79. Model Church, The
  80. Morelos
  81. Mountain
  82. My Ship Is Coming In
  83. Never Say Goodbye
  84. Newcastle
  85. Ninety and Nine, The
  86. Not Far from the Kingdom
  87. Not Now, My Child
  88. O Blessèd Be the Lord
  89. O Brother, Life’s Journey Beginning
  90. O Beautiful Sea
  91. O Believe Him
  92. O Child of God
  93. O Serve the Lord
  94. O Songs of the Beautiful
  95. O, What a Savior
  96. O Zion! Lovely Zion!
  97. Oaxaca
  98. O’er Land and Sea
  99. Only Remembered
  100. Only to Know
  101. Onward, Soldiers
  102. Onward Will We Go
  103. Onward, Upward
  104. Ostrava
  105. Over the Beautiful River
  106. Precious Blessings
  107. Precious Words
  108. Resurrection Morn
  109. Samsun
  110. San Marcos
  111. San Mateo
  112. Sankey
  113. Send the Gospel Light
  114. Send Us Showers of Blessing
  115. Seward
  116. Shadow of the Rock, The
  117. Shelter in the Time of Storm, A
  118. Sheppard
  119. Shine On, O Star!
  120. Shipton
  121. Simeon
  122. Soldier of the Cross, A
  123. Song of Heaven and Homeland, A
  124. Sonoma
  125. Stacy
  126. Staffordshire
  127. Steiner
  128. Story Must Be Told, The
  129. Story That Never Grows Old, The
  130. Substitution
  131. Take Me as I Am
  132. Tarragona
  133. Tell It Out
  134. There Are Lonely Hearts to Cherish
  135. There Is a Paradise of Rest
  136. There’ll Be No Dark Valley
  137. They That Be Wise
  138. This Is Our Endeavor
  139. Through the Valley and the Shadow
  140. Thy Hand Upholdeth Me
  141. Tirana
  142. To Arms! To Arms! Ye Soldiers!
  143. To Be There
  144. Topeka
  145. Trim Thy Lamp
  146. Trust
  147. Trusting Jesus
  148. Under His Wings
  149. Valdez
  150. Vallejo
  151. Waiting for Thy Coming
  152. We Will Follow Thee
  153. Welcome! Wanderer, Welcome!
  154. What a Gathering
  155. When My Weary Hands Are Folded
  156. When the King Shall Come!
  157. When the Mists Have Rolled Away
  158. Where the Savior Leads
  159. Whoever Will, Whoever Will
  160. Whosoever Shall Call
  161. Wonderful Word
  162. Yet There Is Room

illustration
Great Chicago Fire, 1871