Eben Eugene Rexford was born on July 16, 1848 in Johnsburgh New York.
As a young boy, Rexford showed prodigious talent for words and at the age of 14, his first verses was published in the New York Ledger.
In1855, Rexford’s family moved to the town of Ellington, Wisconsin. He received his early education in the Meager county schools and attended Lawrence College in Appleton, WI. Rexford began writing hymns and secular pieces at the age of 17, his most well known was “Silver Thread Among the Gold”, which was later given music by Hart P. Danks.
In 1887, Rexford had his first book from poem published, entitled Brother and Lover. This was followed with another poem Grandmother’s Garden and a story John Fielding and His Enemy in 1888.
In 1890, Rexford married Harriet Bauman Harsh and served as the town clerk of Bovina for many years. During Grover Cleveland’s first administration, Rexford was appointed postmaster of Shiocton, WI.
Rexford composed several hymns including “By and By”, “How You Will Love Him!”, “Little Sunbeams”, “O Do Some Good Deed Every Day” and “O Where are the Reapers?” and he worked with composers such as Ira Sankey, Edwin Excell, Charles Gabriel and Billy Sunday. However it is his collaboration with Danks and their product, “Silver Threads Among the Gold” that remains one of the great compositions in American Popular Music.
Eben E. Rexford died on October 18, 1916 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.