1819–1875
portrait

February 18 , 1819, Man­ches­ter, New Hamp­shire.

January 18, 1875, Elk­horn, Wis­con­sin.

Hazel Ridge Cemetery, Elk­horn, Wis­con­sin.

Webster composed and performed popular music. He studied with Low­ell Ma­son and was active musically in New York, New Jer­sey and Con­nec­ti­cut, and directed a quartet company called the Eu­ter­pe­ans.

In 1851, he moved to Mad­i­son, In­di­a­na, followed by Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois (1855); Ra­cine, Wis­con­sin (1856); and finally Elk­horn, Wis­con­sin (1857).

Webster wrote over a thousand ballads and many hymns. His most famous secular song was his 1857 Lorena (words by Hen­ry D. L. Web­ster). In its day, it was said to have been second in popularity only to Ste­phen Fos­ter’s Su­wan­ee Riv­er, and was sung by thousands of soldiers on both sides of the Amer­i­can civil war. An in­stru­ment­al version appears in the 1939 film Gone with the Wind, when Scar­lett O’Ha­ra is manning the stall at the charity dance in her mourn­ing outfit. The tune also made an appearance in two John Ford films: The Search­ers, 1956, arranged by Max Stein­er, and The Horse Sol­diers, 1959, arranged by David But­tolph.

Webster’s works include:

  1. In the Sweet By and By

where to get a better photo of Webster