Berean Bible Heritage Church
January 18, 2018; 11:41 pm
Jerusalem Time

Horatio Richmond Palmer

by Pastor Clinton Macomber

Horatio Palmer

Horatio Richmond Palmer was born on April 26, 1834 in Sherburne, New York to Anson B. Palmer and Abby Knapp Palmer.

Abby, his mother died when he was three.

He learned about music from his father and started singing in the church choir that his father conducted when only seven. He then pursued learning languages, music and physics in New York, Berlin and Florence.

He married Lucia A. Chapman, an author in 1855.

He started and was in charge of the Church Choral Union of New York for seven years. This grew to 20,000 members. He organized similar groups in other states.

For 14 years he was dean of the Chautauqua Choir.

He earned a Music Doctorate degree from Chicago University in 1881.

His hymns include:


Palmer conducted musical societies and wrote over 50 music textbooks and works on music. He was known as an expert in Music theory. He also gave lectures on astronomy and other subjects.

His books include:

  • Rudimental Class-Teaching, 1867
  • Elements of Musical Composition, 1867
  • Theory of Music, 1875
  • Musical Catechism, 1880
  • Vocal Modulator, 1883
  • Brief Statements of Musical Notation, 1883
  • Pronouncing Pocket Dictionary, 1885
  • Piano Primer, 1885

Mr. Palmer was a Baptist who spent his life teaching music and leading Baptist choirs. He died November 15, 1907.


Appletons’ Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson and John Fiske. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1900.

Ernest K. Emurian. Living Stories of Famous Hymns (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1955), p. 83.

Dave Hoist. The Cyber Hymnal (1996) Horatio Palmer.

Wilbur Konkel. Living Hymn Stories (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers, 1982), p. 111.

Albert Nelson Marquis; editor John W. Leonard. Who’s Who in America. 1903-1905. (Chicago, A.N. Marquis & Company: 1903). “Nelson, Horotio.”

K.W. Osbeck. Amazing Grace (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1990), p. 84.

W.J. Limmer Sheppard. Great Hymns and their Stories (London: The Religious Tract Society, N.D.) pp. 120, 150, 151.

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