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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 (122)AsInstancessort icon
The Christmas bells are ringing, Are ringing soft and lowLanta Wilson Smith (Author)1
We're a band of happy childrenLanta Wilson Smith (Author)1
Where he leads me I will follow (Smith)Lanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Where he leads me I will follow, E'en though rough the path beforeLou W. Wilson (Author)2
Father, we know thy tender handLanta Wilson (Author)2
While Easter bells are ringingLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Fern von der Herde fand einst michLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
While the shepherds in the midnightLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Beyond our dearest dreams of joyLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
For true and faithful ChristiansLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
You all look astonished to see farmer JonesLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Friends of temperance, while we laborLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
You have seen the hosts of SatanMrs. Lanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
You've read what our LordLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
O dear little birdMrs. Lanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Christ came as a ransom for allL. W. S. (Author)2
O how beautiful the coming of the heraldsLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Jesus will save you nowLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Tell me once more about JesusL. W. S. (Arranger)2
There's a time of joy for the faithful soulsLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
O what can I do for my Savior todayLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
His Spirit like an incense sweetLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Through all my life, the hand of God has led meLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Paa vor jord, hvor sorgerLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Through the gloom of a grief worn spiritLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
On the rocks where the cruel breakersLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
I en värld, där sorgerL. W. Smith (Author)2
'Tis faith in God that only canLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
I know that thou art able, LordL. W. S. (Author)2
To you and to me comes the Lord's commandLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
What blessings of life you can shareLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
You've wandered far in the fieldsLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Unto him that overcometh, There is promised a rewardL. W. S. (Author)2
Ring with joy and gladnessLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Walking all the way with JesusLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
As sweeps the sudden stormMrs. Lanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
We are here with songs of gladnessLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Sent by God's eternal loveLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Sinner, while in careless pleasureLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
There are golden sheaves to gatherLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
We are pilgrims, though we're smallLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
I've a letter from my Father in my handLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
I watch our army's onward marchLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
A sacred love twines aroundLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
We gather today with parentsLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
A tone pealed through the solemn nightLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
We gather today with teachersMiss Lizzie Wilson (Author)2
Stand firmly, Christian soldierLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
We know not what awaits usMrs. Lanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Step by step, we're marching onwardLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
We'll take the world for JesusLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Thanks be to God for his goodnessLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
If you feel the Spirit comingLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Thanks to the Lord, for he hath redeemedLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
In der Welt hienieden, wo die Sorge weiltLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Before me rolls life's restlessLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
In times of deepest gloomL. W. S. (Author)2
The battle-cry is sounding That tells a foe is nearLinda Wilson Smith (Author)2
When the gloomy shadows gather round your wayLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
The joy of the Lord is my strength (Smith)Lanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
In times of deepest gloom When the heart grows faint Beneath some threat'ning woeLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
God sends a tender messageLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
The merry, merry Christmas bellsLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Jesus is always the same true FriendMrs. Lanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Brother have you grown disheartenedLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
God plans for his children a mission belowLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Come and join the royal army on the king's highwayLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
There is a name whereby we may be savedLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
You are launching your boatLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
When we falter faint and wearyLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Are you working for the glory of your King?Lanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
When your heart sinksLanta Wilson Smith (Author)2
Lo how the wrath of the wind and the seaLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
When your wearied footsteps falterLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
There is hope for the penitent oneLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
There is a sunny side to every path belowLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
There's a call for the reapers to comeLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
O daugher of Zion, awaken to dutyLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
Give me some work to doMrs. Lanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
O, sing to me a song of faithLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
There's a voice that whispersLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
How gentle falls the dew of nightLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
Out in the desert of sin Jesus found meL. W. S. (Author)3
I love to sing about Jesus, when allLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
A fisher-boy went sailing outLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
Wrecked where the foaming breakersLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
I never can doubtLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
I've heard the call ringing far and wideLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
Is there a sin that is tempting you sorelyL. W. S. (Author)3
God sends to all this solemn, earnest warningL. W. S. (Author)3
Bright, beautiful morning, Fair, glorious dayLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
When softly fades the sunset lightLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
There are pathways dark and lonely, where the sunshine never gleamsLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
When the weary day is endingLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
Countless the perils that threaten todayLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
Like the birds and blossomsLanta Wilson Smith (Author)3
Far out on the cold, barren mountainLanta Wilson Smith (Author)4
A bugle note of triumphLanta Wilson Smith (Author)4
There's a home in my heart for JesusLanta Wilson Smith (Author)4
He shall be as the light of the morningLanta Wilson Smith (Author)4
Hear the shout and song of the gatheringLanta Wilson Smith (Author)4
I know that afar in God's boundless realmLanta Wilson Smith (Author)4
Somewhere is waiting a blessed workLanta Wilson Smith (Author)4
If you feel a love for sinnersLanta Wilson Smith (Author)4
Are you looking forward to someLanta Wilson Smith (Author)4
When deep in sin and follyLanta Wilson Smith (Author)4
When the hosts of sin are marchingLanta Wilson Smith (Author)4
When Jesus lived upon the earthLanta Wilson Smith (Author)4
Precious words of JesusLanta Wilson Smith (Author)4
My friend, do you know that the tempter of soulsLanta Wilson Smith (Author)5
If any little word of mine, May make a life theL. W. S. (Author)5
The world must be taken for the LordLanta Wilson Smith (Author)5
When the tempest rages high, Cling to the RockLanta Wilson Smith (Author)5
Have you ever done your best for JesusLanta Wilson Smith (Author)6
There's a joy that brightensLanta Wilson Smith (Author)6
When some great sorrow, like a mighty riverL. W. S. (Author)6
When the jewels of earth shall be gatheredL. W. Smith (Author)7
There are wrecks along the shoreL. W. Smith (Author)8
I was wandering in a wilderness of deep despair and sinLanta Wilson Smith (Author)10
You're longing to work for the MasterLanta Wilson Smith (Author)13
I'm glad the golden sunlightLanta Wilson (Author)16
In a world where sorrowLanta Wilson Smith (Author)71