28th December 1847
28th September 1903
Samuel Augustus Ward was an American organist and composer. Born in Newark, New Jersey, he studied music in New York and became an organist at Grace Episcopal Church in his home town in 1880. 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. Later still, in 1910, after Ward had died, the tune was combined by a publisher with the Katharine Lee Bates poem "America," itself first published in 1895, to create the patriotic song "America the Beautiful." Ward never met Bates.