Doane, William Howard
- Mel R. Wilhoit
(b Preston, CT, Feb 3, 1832; d South Orange, NJ, Dec 24, 1915). American composer and compiler of Sunday school and gospel hymnbooks. He was also a successful manufacturer of woodworking machinery as well as an inventor, receiving over 70 patents. He was well trained in music, and conducted the Norwich (CT) Harmonic Society from 1852 to 1854. In c1862 Doane began to compose melodies for Sunday school hymns, producing over 1000 tunes to texts by Fanny Crosby, and as many more to other authors’ texts. He also collaborated with Robert Lowry in compiling many popular Sunday school collections such as Silver Spray (1867), Songs of Devotion (1868), Pure Gold (1871), and Brightest and Best (1875). He was musical editor for The Baptist Hymnal (1883) and composed popular Christmas (“Santa Claus”) cantatas. His best-known tunes include those of the hymns “Jesus, keep me near the cross” (...