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