Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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OLIVER, Henry Kemble, musician, born in Bey-erly, Massachusetts, 24 November, 1800; died in Boston, Massachusetts, 10 August, 1885. He began his musical career as a boy soprano in the choir of Park street church, Boston, in 1810. He was graduated at Dartmouth in 1818 and taught till 1844. He was adjutant-general of Massachusetts militia from 1844 till 1848, then agent for a manufacturing company of Lawrence, Massachusetts, till 1858, mayor of that city in 1859, and from 1861 till 1865 treasurer of the state of Massachusetts. He returned to Salem, was elected mayor of that city, and in 1880 removed to Boston. While a teacher in Salem and during his residence in Lawrence he was organist and director of the choirs in various churches. He organized a Mozart association, which gave concerts in 1826-'7, and in 1832 a glee club that existed for twenty years. In 1832 he composed a melody that Lowell Mason in 1835 published in his "Boston Academy Collection" under the name of " Federal Street." It became very popular as a hymn-tune, and was followed by "Harmony Grove," "Morning," "Walnut Grove,"" Elkton," "Vesper," "Hudson," "Beacon Street," and other sacred airs, together with motets, many chants, and a Te Deum. "Merton," one of his most widely sung melodies, was composed during the preaching of the sermon and rendered at its close by his choir in the North church of Salem in 1843. At the World's peace jubilee in Boston, 25 June, 1872, he conducted chorus of 20,000 voices in his choral "Federal Street," set to his own words, "Hail, Gentle Peace." He received the degree of Mus. D. from Dartmouth in 1883. He published the " National Lyre' in conjunction with Samuel P. Tuckerman (Boston, 1849), and two volumes of his own compositions, entitled "Collection of Church Music" (1860) and " Original Hymn-Tunes" (1875), also lectures on the monitorial system and other educational topics, and an "Address at the Dedication of the Broad Street School" (Salem, 1856).
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