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Hymnal Writers, Compilers and Publishers

Their Illinois Connection


Aaron Prince Aten, graduated 1860 from Abingdon College in Abingdon, Illinois ministered at both Monmouth, Illinois and Abingdon, Illinois and served as Professor of Belles Lettres for six years at Abingdon College.


Virgil and Blanche Kerr Brock, a husband-and-wife team, wrote many gospel songs. She was educated at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, Illinois. They wrote "Beyond the Sunset" in response to witnessing a spectacular sunset while staying as guests of the Rodeheaver School of Music at Winona Lake, Indiana. Other hymns include "He's a Wonderful Saviour to Me," written shortly after their wedding in 1914, and "Sing and Smile and Pray."


Portrait of Alexander Campbell

Alexander Campbell (born on September 12, 1788, died on March 4, 1866). Although best remembered for his role as preacher, reformer, and editor, he was also one of the primary leaders in hymnal production in the 1830s, 40s and 50s. His Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs was first published in 1828, and continued through 45 or more editions during his lifetime. After 1835 his hymnal included selections by other leaders of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Barton Warren Stone, Walter Scott and J. T. Johnson all collaborated with him. After 1864, sales and distribution of this hymnal were assigned to the American Christian Missionary Society which published it under the new title, The Christian Hymn-book.

It is noteworthy, that during his lifetime, Campbell refused to allow musical notation to appear in his hymnbook, notation not appearing in it until the 1871 edition. He was a man of strongly-held opinions about church music. He felt that notation appearing on the same page with lyrics would detract from worship. He was opposed to trained choirs, musical instruments and music for the sake of "entertainment" within worship. He was opposed to "singing schools" as he felt it improper for non-Christians to sing hymns and that worship songs were improper for the atmosphere of levity found in the secular singing schools. It should be noted that his views did not represent the rest of the members and leaders of the Stone-Campbell Movement as competing hymnals (with notation and including advanced numbers for choirs and specials) were published and sold before, during and after publication of his hymnal.

For more information on Alexander Campbell's life, see one of the many excellent works written about his life, notably The Memoirs of Alexander Campbell, by Robert Richardson, and the novel The Fool of God, by Louis Cochrane.


Thomas Curtis Clark (born on January 8,1877) author of over sixty hymns, studied at University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois 1901-02 and served on the editorial staff of the Christian Century in Chicago, Illinois 1912-48. Won first prize in the 1943 Hymn Society of America nation-wide contest with his "Thou Father of Us All."


Christopher Columbus Cline (born on November 21, 1848, died on December 14, 1920) was a compiler of many song books, including Popular Hymns (three volumes). His son, McGarvey Cline, resided in LeRoy, Illinois.


A. P. Cobb (born in 1854, died in 1923) grew up in Decatur, Illinois and graduated from Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois in 1875. He ministered through the years at Washburn, Illinois, Petersburg, Illinois, Normal, Illinois, Des Moines Iowa, Covington, Kentucky, and Springfield, Illinois.


James Vincent Coombs (born in 1849) graduated in 1882 from Chicago University in Chicago, Illinois became an Evangelist in 1888.


Leonard Daugherty (born on March 29,1859, died on May 5, 1951) named in honor of Silas White Leonard, was musical editor for the Christian Standard for many years; he compiled Voice of Praise, American Standard School Singer, Beautiful Songs of Zion and Crowns of Beauty.


Simpson Ely (born on June 6,1849 in DeWitt County, Illinois) baptized at age twelve and began preaching at age twenty-one. He graduated from Oskaloosa College (Oskaloosa, Iowa) in 1875.


Isaac Errett (born on January 2, 1820, died in December 1888) Founding editor of the Christian Standard (1866-present), he persuaded Alexander Campbell to turn over the copyright and printing plates of the Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs to the Board of the American Christian Missionary Society at the 1864 meeting of the general convention. Their first edition of the new hymnbook, retitled, The Christian Hymn-book, was published in 1865. Errett, W.T. Moore, Amos Sutton Hayden, and W.K. Pendleton were responsible for the final selection of hymns included in this work.


Augustus Damon Fillmore (born on September 7, 1823, died in June 1870). A resident of Paris, Illinois for many years, he was not a minister, although he filled pulpits often during his life. A talented musician and the father of seven, he spent his life writing and publishing music books. His first book, The Christian Psalmist was published in 1847 when he was twenty-four. This hymnal went through eighteen editions, selling over half a million copies. This, and all of his future publications included musical notation, some of them containing up to three different arrangements of notation. Other publications included: The Concordia, Harp of Zion, Christian Psaltery, The Temperance Musician, The Polyphonic or Juvenile Choralist, and a monthly magazine entitled, The Musician and General Intelligencer. He collaborated with Silas White Leonard on many of these publications and, along with Leonard were two of the outstanding leaders of the singing school movement in their day. His children later founded the publishing firm - The Fillmore Brothers Music House in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Charles Millard Fillmore (born in 1860) Born in Paris, Illinois, educated by his eldest brother, James Henry, and influenced by Jessie Brown Pounds to enter the ministry, he worked his way through ministerial training at Butler University (Indianapolis,Indiana) by teaching music and supply preaching at various pulpits. He wrote his first hymn in 1883 and wrote hundreds more during his life. Perhaps his most famous hymn was "Tell Mother I'll be There," which was written after reading of the death of President McKinley's mother.


James Henry Fillmore (born in 1849, died in 1936) The eldest of the seven children of Augustus Damon and Hannah Fillmore, he assumed the responsibilities of head of the family following his father's death in 1870 while he was only twenty-one. He kept the large family together and insured that all his bothers and sisters were educated. He established the Fillmore Brothers Music House in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1874. He was probably the most prolific hymn writer of the Stone-Campbell Movement, with thousands of compositions to his credit. Probably his best known hymn is "The Beautiful Garden of Prayer" and his best known invitation hymn is "I am Resolved". He was responsible for producing at least forty different hymnals in addition to printing literally thousands of songs in sheet music versions.


William E. M. Hackleman (born on February 28, 1868, died in an automobile accident while travelling to the Illinois State Convention in Springfield, Illinois on October 2, 1927) Taught vocal music from the age of fifteen, became a full-time music evangelist in 1892. Organized the Hackleman Music Company in Indianapolis in 1896. Published The Gospel Call, Silver and Gold, and Twentieth Century Songs, as well as dozens of other less well-known hymnals. He led the song services at the Centennial Convention in 1909 at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for an estimated crowd of 30,000.


George F. Hall (born on September 23, 1864) ministered at both Decatur, Illinois, and Chicago, Illinois. He began "Work of Faith" at the Bush Temple of Music at Chicago, Illinois in 1902.


James Edward Hawes (born in Vermillion County, Illinois on August 18, 1862) was nicknamed "the preacher" while growing up because of his exceptional moral life.


Amos Sutton Hayden (born on September 17, 1813, died on September 8, 1880) Author and compiler of many sacred music books including: An Introduction to Sacred Music (1834), this book was the first among disciples to contain musical notation, The Christian Melodeon(1849), The Hymnist (1860), The Christian Hymn and Tune Book (1870), which was published by Root and Cady, Chicago, Illinois. He was one of the committee members actively involved in selecting hymns for the American Christian Missionary Society's The Christian Hymn-book, which was a revision of Campbell's Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Hayden was one of the leading opponents against the introduction of musical instruments into houses of worship.


Silas White Leonard (born in 1814, died on November 6, 1870) Collaborated with Walter Scott in 1839 to produce Christian Psalms and Hymns. Collaborated with Augustus Damon Fillmore in 1847 to produce The Christian Psalmist. This hymnal went through eighteen editions, selling over half a million copies. He collaborated with Fillmore on many other publications and, along with Fillmore were two of the outstanding leaders of the singing school movement in their day. Their publications all featured musical notation, sometimes containing up to three different systems of notation. Lived near Centralia, Illinois from 1856 until his death in 1870.


Daniel Robertson Lucas (born on January 14, 1840 in Boone County, Illinois, died November 3, 1907) authored sixty hymns and compiled one hymnal, Apostolic Hymns and Songs.


Walter Stillman Martin (born in 1842, died in 1935) educated at Harvard, he served on Standard Publishing's staff and taught at Atlantic Christian College (Wilson, North Carolina); he assisted in the production of the Christian Hymnal. He wrote many hymns and songs, his best-known include: "God will take care of you," "One of God's Days," "Going Home," and "The Old-fashioned Way."


Mrs. Cleo Canon Milligan (born on June 27, 1890 in Lincoln, Illinois) educated at Lincoln College in Lincoln, Illinois, Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois and Milliken College in Decatur, Illinois, at the request of the Christian Board of Publication, she helped edit the hymnal Christian Worship.


Robert Moffett (born on November 9,1835) grew up in Carroll County, Illinois, graduated in 1859 from Bethany College (Bethany, West Virginia), and spent over thirty years serving churches in Illinois and Ohio. He also served as corresponding secretary of the Ohio Christian Missionary Society.


Tullius Clinton O'Kane (born on March 10, 1830 in Delaware, Ohio) compiled many hymnals including: Fresh Leaves, Dew Drops of Sacred Song, Jasper & Gold, Dew of Hermon, Songs of Praises, Forward Songs and Hymns.


Mrs. Ina Duley Ogdon (born near Rossville, Illinois) began hymn-writing in the early years of her marriage while teaching school at Cherryville, Illinois.


Chauncey R. Piety (born on July 10, 1885 in Clark County, Illinois), primarily a lyric writer, his first song was published by Hackleman Music Company in 1914.


Mrs. Jessie Brown Pounds (born on August 31, 1861, died on March 3, 1921) wrote over 800 hymns and songs during her lifetime. Her first nationally-famous song was "Anywhere with Jesus I Can Safely Go". "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere" was the first song she wrote after her marriage to John Pounds in 1896. Other well-known songs to her credit include: "The Touch of His Hand on Mine," "I Know that My Redeemer Liveth," and "The Way of the Cross Leads Home."


Portrait of Walter Scott

Walter Scott (born on October 31,1796, died on April 23,1861). Originally hired as evangelist for the Mahoning Baptist Association, Scott worked closely with Alexander Campbell in spreading the Stone-Campbell Movement. He collaborated with Alexander Campbell to publish the 1834 edition of Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, and collaborated with Silas White Leonard to produce Christian Psalms and Hymns (1839) the first Restoration Movement hymnal to combine tunes and words.


Charles Reign Scoville (born in 1869) Entered full-time evangelistic efforts in 1901, married Arlene Dux of Chicago, Illinois, teamed up with DeLoss Smith (his pianist and song leader) for many years, founding with him a joint publishing company for sacred music in 1906 (Scoville-Smith Publishing House in Chicago, Illinois). He wrote many hymns, including "Christ is King (1905)." His publishing ventures sold more than four million hymnals from 1906-1920.


Knowles Shaw (born on October 13, 1834, died on June 7, 1878) An accomplished violinist, he played at dances until convicted of the frivolity of such pursuits and turned to music ministry. During his life he produced five complete hymnals for the churches of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Golden Gate, Gospel Trumpet, The Morning Star, Shining Pearls, and Sparkling Jewels. Probably his most popular gospel-song was "Bringing in the Sheaves."


DeLoss Smith (died c.1938) worked extensively with Charles Reign Scoville for many years, serving both as song evangelist and pianist. Together they jointly founded the Scoville-Smith Publishing House in Chicago, Illinois in 1906.


Portrait of Barton Stone

Barton Warren Stone (born on December 24, 1772, died in 1844). In collaboration with Thomas Adams, this evangelist and reformer published a hymnal in 1829, The Christian Hymn Book, which competed for several years with Campbell's Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs. In 1832 he collaborated with J. T. Johnson to produce The Christian Hymn Book. In 1834 Stone moved to Jacksonville, Illinois to avoid the pro-slavery society of Kentucky. Alexander Campbell argued convincingly that two hymnbooks among the brethren of the Stone-Campbell Movement would cause confusion; hence, in 1835 Barton Warren Stone, Walter Scott, and J.T. Johnson joined forces and added new selections with Alexander Campbell to produce a new version of Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs.


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