Lanta Wilson Smith

Short Name: Lanta Wilson Smith
Full Name: Smith, Lanta Wilson, 1856-1939
Birth Year: 1856
Death Year: 1939

Lanta Wilson Smith was born July 19, 1856 at Castine, Maine, and died October 19, 1939 at Taunton, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of a Methodist minister, William J. Wilson, and his wife Sedelia Follett. Her father belonged to the Maine, and later the East Maine Conferences from 1846 until 1866, when he with his family traveled in a covered wagon to the west, where he served as minister in Nebraska and Dakota. Later he returned to New England and founded out his sixty-four years in the ministry at an appointment in Hingham, Massachusetts. From her early childhood Lanta sang and played the organ in church and Sunday school wherever her father was located. When seventeen she attended Bucksport Seminary, Maine, where she received some instruction in music, and where she began to write stories for the church papers. When David C. Cook introduced music and hymns into his publications, Lanta began to write hymns, some of which were used by him. She received assistance from such prominent composers as T. Martin Towne and E. O. Excell. "Scatter Sunshine" [see link below] was perhaps her most popular hymn. It was set to music by Mr. Excell and became such a favorite that he wrote her, "My, my, how I wish you would write another hymn like that. It has proved such a success that I believe I will send you a draft for twenty-five dollars to let you know how much I appreciate the hymn. Possibly this will inspire you to write another equally as good." Mrs. T. M. Towne attended the Christian Endeavor Convention in Washington in 1896, and after her return she wrote Mrs. Smith: "It's wonderful how the great chorus sang your hymn "Scatter Sunshine". A missionary in Japan asked, "May I not have, in your handwriting and over your signature, your beautiful hymn "Scatter Sunshine"? The possession and care of such a kindly souvenir of yourself will often cause me to remember you with gratiude and bring to kindly remembrance the brightness your message has brought to many a life." This request was complied with. The hymn has been adopted as the official hymn of the National Sunshine Society. Shortly after the convention just referred to Mr. Towne sent her a subject - Heaven - and insisted that the last line of the chorus should be "Is Jesus high over them all?" She writes, - "To build up a verse to match a last line beginning with "Is" was something new, and he wanted it in a hurry." When he wrote back he said "Hurrah, I knew you could do it." Asa Hull was another voluminous composer for whom she wrote hymns.

In 1880 Miss Wilson married Rev. C. Hartley Smith, and for twelve years they preached and ministered in Dakota. Both were musicians, and wherever they made calls, they were ask to sing some of the beloved hymns of the church. On returning east Mr. Smith joined the New England Southern Conference, and completed thirty-seven years of preaching. Mrs. Smith wrote more than five hundred poems, articles and hymns, the greater part of this number being hymns. Her songs were written for many occasions, Children's Day, Christmas and Easter; there were also temperance hymns and three cantatas. Of one of her songs, "The saints shall have dominion in the morning", Professor Black thought she was giving the saints too much, but when she sent him a large sheet of paper filled with Bible references to the saints, he replied, "I give up. The saints are in for a pretty good time." She left her singing voice out on the prairie, but continued to write even to her eightieth year.

--, posting a scan of her biography originally published in The Choir Herald, vol.50, n.6 (March 1947): 150-151.

Texts by Lanta Wilson Smith (135)sort descendingAsAuthority LanguagesInstances
A bugle note of triumphLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English4
A fisher-boy went sailing outLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English3
A sacred love twines around our earthly homeLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
A tone pealed through the solemn nightLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Are you looking forward to some cherished timeLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English4
Are you working for the glory of your King?Lanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
As sweeps the sudden stormLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
Before me rolls life's restlessLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Beyond our dearest dreams of joyLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Bright, beautiful morning, Fair, glorious dayLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English3
Brother have you grown disheartenedLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
Christ came as a ransom for allLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
Come and join the royal army on the king's highwayLanta Wilson Smith (Author)1
Countless the perils that threaten todayL. W. S. (Author)English3
Do you know how the Father hath loved usLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English1
Du bist sehr weit von dem VaterhausLanta Wilson Smith (Author)German1
Du möchtest gern wirken für JesumLanta Wilson Smith (Author)German1
Far out on the cold, barren mountainLanta Wilson Smith (Author)4
Father, we know thy tender handLanta Wilson (Author)2
Fern von der Herde fand einst mich mein heilandLanta Wilson Smith (Author)German3
For true and faithful ChristiansLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Friends of temperance, while we laborLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
Give me some work to doLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English3
God plans for His children a mission belowLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
God sends a tender messageLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
God sends to all this solemn, earnest warningL. W. S. (Author)English3
Have you ever done your best for JesusMrs. Lanta W. Smith (Author)English8
He shall be as the light of the morningMrs. Lanta Wilson Smith (Author)English5
Hear the shout and song of the gathering throngLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English4
Hier, wo Gram und Schmerzen stets im Schwange gehenLanta Wilson Smith (Author)German2
His Spirit like an incense sweetLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
How gentle falls the dew of nightLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English3
I en värld, där sorgerLanta Wilson Smith (Author)Swedish2
I know not the pathway before meLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
I know that afar in God's boundless realmLanta Wilson Smith (Author)4
I know that Thou art able, LordL. W. S. (Author)English2
I love to sing about Jesus, when all are glad and gayLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English4
I never can doubt that the Savior is ableL. W. S. (Author)3
I was wandering in a wilderness of deep despair and sinLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English13
I watch our army's onward marchLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
If any little word of mine, May make a life the brighterLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English6
If you feel a love for sinnersLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English5
If you feel the Spirit comingLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
I'm glad the golden sunlightLanta Wilson (Author)English16
In a world where sorrow ever will be knownLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English81
In der Welt hienieden, wo die Sorge weiltLanta Wilson Smith (Author)German3
In times of deepest gloom When the heart grows faintLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English3
Is there a sin that is tempting you sorelyL. W. S. (Author)English4
I've a letter from my Father in my handLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
I've called, Mister, Rich, to ask for your aidLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
I've heard the call ringing far and wideLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English3
Jesus, dear Son of God, My only pleaLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
Jesus is always the same true FriendMrs. Lanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Jesus will save you nowLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Like the birds and blossomsLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English3
Lo how the wrath of the wind and the seaLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
My friend, do you know that the tempter of soulsLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English5
O dear little bird in your dainty nestLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
O, sing to me a song of faithLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English3
O what can I do for my Savior today?Lanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
O daugher of Zion, awaken to dutyL. W. S. (Author)English3
O how beautiful the coming of the heralds of the KingLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
On a clear and frosty morningLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
On the rocks where the cruel breakersLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Out in the desert of sin Jesus found meLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English4
Paa vor jord, hvor sorgerLanta Wilson Smith (Author)Norwegian2
Prayers for the temperance armyLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
Precious words of JesusLanta Wilson Smith (Author)4
Ring with joy and gladnessLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Sent by God's eternal loveLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
Sinner, while in careless pleasureLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
Some time ago when the world was youngLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
Somewhere is waiting a blessed workLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English4
Stand firmly, Christian soldierLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English3
Step by step, we're marching onwardLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English3
Tell me once more about JesusL. W. S. (Arranger)English2
Thanks be to God for His goodnessLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
Thanks to the Lord, for he hath redeemedLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
The battle-cry is sounding That tells a foe is nearLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
The Christmas bells are ringing, Are ringing soft and lowLanta Wilson Smith (Author)1
The joy of the Lord is my strength, My courage and hope to renewLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
The merry, merry Christmas bellsLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
The temperance army ralliesLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
The world must be taken for the LordLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English5
There are golden sheaves to gather ere the angel reapers comeLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
There are pathways dark and lonely, where the sunshine never gleamsLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English3
There are wrecks along the shoreL. W. Smith (Author)English9
There is a name whereby we may be savedLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
There is a sunny side to every path belowLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English4
There is hope for the drunkard todayLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
There is hope for the penitent oneLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
There's a call for the reapers to comeLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English4
There's a home in my heart for JesusLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English4
There's a joy that brightens every earthly dayLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English6
There's a time of joy for the faithful soulsLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
There's a voice that whispersLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English3
Through all my life, the hand of God has led meLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Through the gloom of a grief worn spiritLanta Wilson Smith (Author)1
'Tis faith in God that only canLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
To you and to me comes the Lord's commandLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
Unto him that overcometh, There is promised a rewardL. W. S. (Author)English2
Walk up to the bar, boys, its my treat todayLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
Walking all the way with JesusLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
We are here with songs of gladnessLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
We are pilgrims, though we're smallLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
We gather today with parentsLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
We gather today with teachersMiss Lizzie Wilson (Author)2
We know not what awaits usLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
We'll take the world for JesusLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
We're a band of happy children, We have learned of Jesus loveLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
What blessings of life you can shareLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
When deep in sin and follyLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English4
When Jesus lived upon the earth (Smith)Lanta Wilson Smith (Author)English4
When softly fades the sunset lightLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
When some great sorrow, like a mighty riverLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English6
When the gloomy shadows gather round your wayLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
When the hosts of sin are marchingLanta Wilson Smith (Author)5
When the jewels of earth shall be gatheredLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English8
When the tempest rages high, Cling to the Rock of AgesLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English5
When the weary day is endingLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
When we falter faint and wearyLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
When your heart sinks 'neath the burdenLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
When your wearied footsteps falterLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English3
Where He leads me I will follow, Even though rough the path beforeLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English4
While Easter bells are ringingLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
While the shepherds in the midnightLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
Wrecked where the foaming breakersLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
Ya asoma el sol brillanteLanda Wilson (Author)Spanish3
You all look astonished to see farmer JonesLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
You are launching your boat on the sea of lifeLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
You have heard it said, ProhibitionistsLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
You have seen the hosts of Satan marching to the fightMrs. Lanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
You're longing to work for the MasterLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English13
You've read what our Lord in His pilgrimage hereLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
You've wandered far in the fields of sinLanta Wilson Smith (Author)English2
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