1841 - 1897 Person Name: W. A. O. Author of "He Is Able to Deliver Thee" in Timeless Truths William A. Ogden, 1841-1897
Born: October 10, 1841, Franklin County, Ohio.
Died: October 14, 1897, Toledo, Ohio.
When Ogden was six years old, his family moved to Indiana. He began studying music in local singing schools at age 8, and could read church music fairly well by age 10. A little later, he could write a melody by hearing it sung or played. When he was 18, he became a chorister in his home church.
At the outbreak of the American civil war, Ogden enlisted in the 30th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. During the war he organized a male choir, which became well known throughout the Army of the Cumberland.
After the war, Ogden returned home and resumed his musical studies. Among his teachers were Lowell Mason, Thomas Hastings, E. E. Baily, and B. F. Baker, president of the Boston Music School. As his skills developed, Ogden issued his first song book, The Silver Song, in 1870; it became immensely popular, selling 500,000 copies. He went on to publish numerous other song books.
In addition to composing, Ogden taught at many schools in the United States and Canada. In 1887, he became superintendent of music in the public schools of Toledo, Ohio. His works include:
New Silver Songs for Sunday School (Toledo, Ohio: W. W. Whitney, 1872)
Crown of Life (Toledo, Ohio: W. W. Whitney, 1875)
Notes of Victory, with Edmund Lorenz (Dayton, Ohio: United Brethren Publishing Company, 1885)
The Way of Life (Toledo, Ohio: W. W. Whitney, 1886)
Gathered Jewels (Toledo, Ohio: W. W. Whitney, 1886)
Baptize Us Anew
He Is Able to Deliver Thee
I’ve a Message from the Lord
On a Christmas Morning
Ring Out the Bells for Christmas
Scattering Precious Seed
Seeking the Lost
Where He Leads I’ll Follow
Working, O Christ, with Thee
All Things Are Ready
Bright Forevermore, The
Bring Them In
Come to the Feast
Eye of Faith, The
Gracious Redeemer, The
More Than Conquerors
Star in the East
Steer Toward the Light
There Is Joy
Ogden, W. A., is the author of “The blessed Saviour died for me, On the Cross" (Good Friday) and of the music thereto in I. D. Sankey's Sacred Songs and Solos.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)
The DNAH Archives also has a profile of Ogden from the Portrait and biographical record of city of Toledo and Lucas and Wood counties, Ohio (1895) and a transcription of the Toledo News-Bee article of 16 October 1897 describing how the city paid tribute to Ogden at his death with resolutions, school closings, and funeral program.
W. A. Ogden