M. M. Wells › Tunes

Short Name: M. M. Wells
Full Name: Wells, M. M. (Marcus Morris), 1815-1895
Birth Year: 1815
Death Year: 1895

Converted to Christianity as a youth at a mission in Buffalo, New York, Marcus Morris Wells (b. Cooperstown, NY, 1815; d. Hartwick, NY, 1895) spent most of his life near Hartwick as a farmer and maker of farm implements. He is remembered in hymnody for writing both the text and tune of "Holy Spirit, Faithful Guide." "On a Saturday afternoon, October 1858, while at work in my cornfield, the sentiment of the hymn came to me," writes Wells. "The next day, Sunday, being a very stormy day, I finished the hymn and wrote the tune for it and sent it to Prof. I. B. Woodbury." Isaac Woodbury was the editor of the New York Musical Pioneer, and the original text and tune were first published in that periodical's November 1858 issue.

Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1998


Wells, Marcus M. Concerning this author and his hymn we have no information beyond the following facts:—
Holy Spirit, faithful Guide. [Whitsuntide.] Appeared in The Sacred Lute, by T. E. Perkins, N.Y., undated [1864], p. 373, with music. Both words and music are attributed therein to M. M. Wells. The hymn has since been repeated in several English and American collections, including I. D. Sankey's Sacred Songs and Solos, 1878. It is dated 1858.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)

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