Ralph Erskin Hudson was born on July 9, 1843 in Napoleon, Ohio.
While a child, his family moved to Pennsylvania.
When the War Between the States broke out, he immediately joined the Federal Union Army, enlisting as a private at Camp Wilkins, Pennsylvania on June 20, 1861. He was assigned to Company K of the 10th Pennsylvania Reserves (later being renamed the 39th Pennsylvania Volunteers).
He served as a nurse in the army hospital from June 1862 to February 1863 at the General Hospital, Annapolis, Maryland.
On March 4, 1863, he was married to Mary Smith of Annapolis.
He was honorably discharged without wounds from the Union Army on Jun 11, 1864, having served for three years.
In 1870 he was 28 and working as a music teacher. Mary was 29. Their house was in Raccoon, Pennsylvania, near Hookstown. They had no real estate but they did have $800 in personal assets. This would equate to about $190,000 in 2010. They had three children:
He taught music at Mount Vernon College in Alliance, Ohio for five years.
He was licensed to preach in the Methodist Episcopal Church and served in evangelistic work.
In 1880 he was 36 and living on Arch Street in Alliance, Ohio, and working as a music teacher. His wife, Mary, was 39, and keeping house. He had six children:
In 1881, he is listed as a musical composer, and each of his daughters are also listed in the Alliance city directory. They were living on the west side of Arch Street, 4th house south of Oxford. He is also listed as a real estate and loan agent with D.D. Waugh, with an office on the northwest corner of Main and Arch streets, second floor.
He had his own music publishing company in Alliance, Ohio.
He was believed strongly in prohibiting alcoholic drinks, and wrote and published several songs about the subject in The Temperance Songster, in 1886.
His hymn collections include:
His hymns include:
In 1890, he was living in Alliance, Ohio.
In 1899 he is listed in the city directory as being a publisher with his residence being 40 Plymouth, Cleveland, Ohio.
He died in Cleveland, Ohio, June 14, 1901.
Map of Ralph Hudson's Life
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View Ralph E. Hudson's in a larger map
Joseph H. Bausman, History of Beaver County Pennsylvania and Its Centennial Celebration (New York: Knickerbocker, 1904), Vol. 1, p. 537 (army enlistment as private)
Kenneth W. Osbeck, 101 More Hymn Stories (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1985), pp. 234-235.
William J. Reynolds, Companion to Baptist Hymnal (Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1976), p. 342.
Ancestry (Provo: Utah, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. 2011), www.ancestry.com accessed Mar 17, 2012.