Aldine Silliman Kieffer

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Born: 1840

Died: 1904


Aldine Silliman Kieffer was born near Miami, Missouri. He received his earlier musical training from his father, a farmer who also taught singing classes. After his father’s death, he continued studies with his mother and his grandfather Joseph Funk, the noted Mennonite musician and music publisher. At 16, he became a teacher in his grandfather’s singing schools. In the Civil War, he served in the Tenth Virginia Infantry and was a prisoner of war in Fort Delaware. After the war, he continued his work, issuing the song book Christian Harp. He taught normal schools in several states and with Ephraim Ruebush, took over the publishing company of his grandfather and, with Ruebush and John W. Howe, founded the Kieffer, Ruebush, & Company music company. They published numerous volumes of songs and the periodical the Musical Million, one of the leading tools promoting shape note music for almost a half century. It helped link teachers and students across the country, and published many songs in its pages. He died in Dayton, Virginia.

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Settings of text by Aldine Silliman Kieffer


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