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

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