Steffe, William John 1.aug.1835-11.mar.1911 USA Pennsylvania, Philadelphia - Philadelphia
no composer, claimant composer only, 18.dec.1836 baptized as Wilhelm at the German Reformed Church in Philadelphia, 1861 residing at the home of his parents 204 North 2nd Street and employed as assayer at 23 South 3rd Street, 1863-1871 residing at 136 North 15th Street and employed as salesman at North 13th Street corner Filbert Street, 1873-1911 risiding at 3426 Sansom Street, 1873-1882 employed as manager by J Reynolds & Son heating stove works, 1884-1900 as insurance agent employed at 914 Walnut Street, 220 Philadelphia Bank Building and 421 Chestnut Street, an active Mason for all his life and in 1892 secretary of the Masonic Home in Philadelphia, buried at Westminster Cemetery Montgomery county, after 1870 when newspapers tried to locate the composer of the 'Battle hymn of the republic' he was the most successful of several claimants but he was unable to locate the original written score when a journalist inquired him 1885 in Philadelphia ; son of stove patternmaker/shoes shopkeeper Jacob Steffe (Philadelphia 1802-1882 Philadelphia, bur Laurel Hill Cemetery) and Elisabeth (Philadelphia 1797-b1870 Philadelphia) ; brothers sigarmaker George (Philadelphia 1834-), sigarmaker/shoes shopkeeper as J. Steffe & Son Edward (Philadelphia 1842-) and clerk Walker Steffe (Philadelphia 1846-10.nov.1878 Philadelphia) ; 26.sep.1861 at the First Independent Church in Philadelphia he married Matilda Patton (Philadelphia 26.sep.1836-8.feb.1910 Philadelphia, at 3426 Sansom) ; eldest son William Patton (Philadelphia 11.jun.1863-9.feb.1898 Philadelphia)

[the myth spread about him: born c1830 in South Carolina, died c1890, organist and choirmaster in Charleston South Carolina and at the South Carolina Methodist camp meeting festival, composer of Sunday school hymns, his Sunday school hymn 'Say brothers' became a favorite military marching song and achieved immortality with the words by Julia Ward Howe]

Title Parts

[L] Battle hymn of the republic
words Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910) written December 1861, published 14jan1862
to the music of "Say, brothers, will you meet us" first published and copyrighted by G. S. Scofield, New York City 27nov1858
which in turn is on the tune of the decades older traditional Glory hallelujah
the song with different words became popular as "John Brown's Body" published 16jul1861
Robert Shaw Chorale, RCA Victor SO / Robert Shaw. RCA 63888

2004-03-22 00:36:54