Samuel A. Ward

Samuel Augustus Ward (December 28, 1848 – September 28, 1903) was an American organist and composer. Born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of a shoemaker, he studied under several teachers in New York and became an organist at Grace Episcopal Church in his home town in 1880. He married Virginia Ward in 1871, with whom he had four daughters.

He is remembered for the 1882 tune "Materna", which he intended as a setting for the hymn "O Mother Dear, Jerusalem". This was published ten years later, in 1892. In 1903, after Ward had died, the tune was first combined by a publisher with the Katharine Lee Bates poem "America", itself first published in 1895, to create the patriotic song "America the Beautiful." The first book with the combination was published in 1910. Ward never met Bates.

Ward was founder and first director of the Orpheus Club of Newark, where he died on September 28, 1903. He is buried in Newark‘s Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Ward was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.

Birth and Death Data: Born December 28, 1847 (Newark), Died September 28, 1903 (Newark)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1911 - 1941

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-10019 10-in. 3/1/1911 O Mother dear Jerusalem Peerless Quartet Male vocal quartet, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-23186 10-in. 10/2/1919 America the beautiful Victor Band Band composer  
Victor BVE-28678 10-in. 3/11/1927 America the beautiful Shannon Quartet Male vocal quartet, with celeste and orchestra composer  
Victor B-28678 10-in. 10/19/1923 America the beautiful Shannon Quartet Male vocal quartet, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-30016 10-in. 4/24/1924 America the beautiful Louise Homer Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-38065 10-in. 6/13/1927 America the beautiful Mark Andrews Pipe organ solo composer  
Victor BVE-49433 10-in. 6/21/1929 America Ralph Crane Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor BS-048772 10-in. 4/11/1940 America the beautiful Emile Coté ; Victor Chapel Choir Mixed vocal chorus, with organ composer  
Victor BS-056491 10-in. 10/15/1940 America the beautiful The Old Timer's Orchestra Male vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor BS-068669 10-in. 12/17/1941 America, the beautiful Lucy Monroe ; Charles O'Connell Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 38379 10-in. 10/25/1912 Oh, Mother dear, Jerusalem Henry Burr ; Frank Croxton Male vocal duet, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 38575 10-in. 1/21/1913 O Mother dear Jerusalem Grace Kerns ; Clara Moister ; Beulah Gaylord Young Female vocal trio, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 77455 10-in. 10/27/1917 America the beautiful Paulist Choristers of Chicago Male vocal chorus, with piano composer  
Columbia W144681 10-in. 9/16/1927 America the beautiful Columbia Mixed Chorus Mixed vocal chorus, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 90146 10-in. between 1918 and 1925 America the beautiful Columbia Band Band composer  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Ward, Samuel A.," accessed September 29, 2023,

Ward, Samuel A.. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from

"Ward, Samuel A.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 29 September 2023.

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