Arthur Abner Luther was born on June 26, 1891, in Fairview, Pennsylvania, to Elba Jabez Luther and his wife Minnie Bayle Luther.
On June 1, 1900, “Abner” was nine years old and had gone to school for eight months. His parents were farmers and had been married for eleven years. He was the oldest and had a brother that was five years old and twin brother and sister who were three years old. The family lived with his grandparents and helped them with the farm.
As a boy he had a great desire to be a missionary, but that never materialized. He then wanted to compose a song for all to sing; but his tries failed.
On Oct. 24, 1916, he married Irena Louese Lehnies. Together they were granted four children: Robert, John, Carl, and Anne.
In 1918, he was a clergyman in Clarksville, New York. He was of medium height and slender, with blue eyes and brown hair.
On Jan. 1, 1920, Arthur was a preacher and 28 years old. Irene was 22. They had a little boy, Robert, who was a year and a half. They were living at 95 Cherry Street in Blendon, Ohio.
On Nov. 22, 1922, he won The Citizen All-Ohio Short Story Contest and $100. To read this funny story of the origin of music and "Oh Hi Ah," use this link: Cave Man Stuff.
As he grew older he became involved with the Dr. O.E. Williams Evangelistic team, which would go to the most remote places to preach the gospel.
On Apr. 1, 1930, Arthur was pastor of a Congregational Church in Erie, Pennsylvania, and staying with his brother and family at 713 East 9th Street.
Rev. Luther pastored a Congregational Church in North Collins, New York. He made several improvements, having the auditorium redecorated, and an electronic pipe organ installed. He was an accomplished musician.
Arthur suffered a stroke in 1956 and lived to be sixty-nine years old, passing away on Jan 30, 1960. He had a wonderful sense of humor, and has been blessed with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren!
Listen to Arthur Luther sing and play the organ with his wife Irene!
Among the hymns he wrote were:
Daughter Anne by telephone to Pastor Clinton Macomber, Mar 6, 2011, generously offered extra details (her father's eyes were greenish, and not so blue; date of death; news of his children; his stroke; his keen sense of humor, etc.).
Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 1990), p. 215.
Alfred B. Smith, Al Smith’s Treasury of Hymn Histories (Greenville, South Carolina: Better Music Publications, 1985), pp. 219-220.
Ethelyn Weller, North Collins Remembers: A Comprehensive History of North Collins and Vicinity (Gowanda, New York: Niagara Frontier Pub. Co., 1941), chapter 15.
“RRiefstahl” Riefstahl Family Tree. www.ancestry.com (Provo, Utah: The Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.). Original photo on site has been recolored and reworked by Pastor Clinton Macomber in Sep. 2010, revised to greener eyes, Mar. 2011.
Ancestry.com. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Allegany County, New York; Roll 1711954; Draft Board: 0. “Arthur Abner Luther.”
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Census Place: Fairview, Erie, Pennsylvania; Roll T623_ 1408; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 103.
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Census Place: Blendon, Franklin, Ohio; Roll T625_1379; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 2; Image: 613.
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002. Census Place: Erie, Erie, Pennsylvania; Roll 2036; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 39; Image: 47.0.