George C. Hugg

GEORGE C. HUGG, son of the late John and Elizabeth Hugg, was born May 23, 1848, near Haddonfield, N. J. His earlier years were spent on a farm, and he received his education in the public schools. Being naturally musical, alone and unaided, he studied harmony and composition, and made fine progress. When only twelve years of age he became choirmaster of the Presbyterian Church at Berlin, N. J. He studied and practiced diligently at every opportunity, and when fourteen years old, his first song was published, entitled "Walk in the Light," and it became very popular, which greatly encouraged the young author.

Mr. Hugg was quite a prolific composer, and his compositions number over two thousand; eighteen books of revival and Sunday-school music, and about ninety song services for special occasions, such as Christmas, Easter, Children's Day, etc. Many of his songs have been reprinted in other books and translated into several different languages; thus they are sung largely over the world and are instrumental in leading many from the way of sin into Christ's Kingdom.

In 1891, Mr. Hugg was married to Miss Annie E. Ketchum, of Scullville, N. J., a lady of culture and intelligence, and a strong helper in her husband's publishing business.

Mr. Hugg had a rich baritone voice of wide range which enabled him to succeed both as a soloist and leader; he was also a good speaker, and did much Christian work in various places. He was for a number of years choirmaster of Tabernacle Presbyterian Church and Sunday-school, and Broad and Arch Street M. E. Church, Sunday-school, all of Philadelphia. He was closely connected with, and took active part in, Harper Memorial Presbyterian Church and Sundayschool, 29th Street and Susquehanna Avenue, same city. For over sixteen years he also held different offices, such as elder, deacon, trustee and assistant Sunday-school superintendent. Among the books published by Mr. Hugg we mention the following : "The Crowning Triumph," "Exalted Praise," "Temperance Light," "Bible Gems," "Golden Rays," "The Helper," "Laus Deo and Sacred Duets," "Sunlight in Sacred Song," "Rich in Blessing," "Heavens Echo," "On Wings of Song," "Echo and Blessing Combined," "Light in the Yalley," "Songs of the Mercy-Seat," "Fairer than Day," "Corn in Egypt," and "The Royal Proclamation of Song."

Some of his most popular and widely known gospel songs are : " No, Not One," "Scatter Precious Seed," "Round the Pier," "We'll Never Say Good-Bye," "I Expect to Get to Heaven by the Same Old Way," "Take Off the Old Coat," "Beautiful Land of the Jasper Walls," "The Fire is Burning," "The Blood Upon the Door," "Anchored," "Jesus Never Leaves the Ship," "The Isle of Somewhere," "Gathering On the Hilltops of Glory," and "Satisfied." His only child inspired him to write one of his most beautiful hymns, which he entitled '' Father Holds the Hand," and dedicated it to his "Evangeline."

Over one hundred thousand copies each of "Rich in Blessing" and "Light in the Valley" were sold. Two hundred and fifty thousand copies of Easter services were sold by a New York house in one season. Mr. Hugg was quite a successful composer and publisher in his line of work in Philadelphia. He was well known throughout New Jersey, Philadelphia, Central Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland Methodist Episcopal Conferences, being associated with the musical part of a number of their different campmeetings.

Mr. Hugg died October 13, 1907. A great worker in the vineyard of gospel song is gone, but many of his songs will live on and do good. Mrs. Hugg conducts the publishing business since the death of her husband. May success crown her every effort. She resides in Philadelphia. The gospel in song is one of the most effectual means of the age.

Source: Biography of Gospel Song and Hymn Writers by J. H. Hall; 1914