Edwin F. Parry Sr.

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Edwin Francis Parry Sr.jpg

Edwin F. Parry Sr. was the author or composer of numerous musical works for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He composed “Oh, Holy Words of Truth and Love” (#271) and “Hail to the Brightness of Zion’s Glad Morning” (#42), both of which were included in the 1985 Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He was born on June 11, 1860, in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory. He was the son of John Parry and Harriet Parry. His father died in 1868, so he was largely raised by his single mother. He worked for the Juvenile Instructor office where he learned the printing business.

In 1877, he was required to set music type so consequently took lessons on the organ to acquire a knowledge of music. In 1881, he bought a piano and continued practicing. He was part of a brass band that played at dances and other venues.

In addition to setting music type, he read proof, contributed prose, poetry, and music to the Juvenile Instructor. He also worked as a bookkeeper. In 1887, he left that company and worked for a magazine his brother had started, called Parry’s Monthly Magazine, where he stayed until May 1890. He then went back to the Juvenile Instructor. He later was commissioned to write and publish Jubilee History of the Latter-day Saints Sunday Schools, and wrote small books entitled Sketches of Missionary Life, Simple Bible Stories, Book of Mormon Stories, City of Saints, Dialogues and Recitations, Moral Stories, and Lives of Our Leaders.

He joined the Tabernacle Choir in October 1890 and sang with the choir and a 60-member male choir that sang at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. He was also on the executive committee for the Eisteddfod or Welsh musical festival held in Salt Lake City in October 1895.

While serving on a mission to Britain, he was assistant editor of the Millennial Star. He served from 1896 to 1898.

He married Margaret Smith, a daughter of President George A. Smith, and they had six children, four of whom died in infancy. After the death of his wife in 1913, he married Ethel K. Turnbaugh and they had two children. He died on September 18, 1935.