Friday, March 07, 2014

T. W. Loftin

Loftin, Thomas Willard (June 8, 1874—December 25, 1967) was born in Alabama to Thomas Green Loftin and Mary Frances Trant. Thomas Willard Loftin married Viola Zora Marshall (1870—1940) about 1893 and they had 9 children. He married second Rosa Lee Clark (1905—1973). Loftin had moved to Florida by 1918 and worked as a barber in DeFuniak Springs, Florida – according to the 1920 and 1930 censuses. Thomas, Viola, and Rosa are buried in the Magnolia Cemetery, DeFuniak Springs, Walton County, Florida. Loftin had connections to all three revisers of the Sacred Harp. Two of his tunes – Sorrowing Soul and Praise His Name – were published in Cooper’s 1902 edition of The Sacred Harp. Loftin served on the J. L. White revision committee and several of his songs are included in the White book (The Sacred Harp, 4th edition with supplement): Praise Our GodGone to Rest, Alone, and Heavenly Grace, as well as an arrangement of The Hebrew Children. Another of his compositions – The Wondrous Cross – is presented in J. S. James's Union Harp and History of Songs. Of him James wrote: "Professor Lofton (sic) of Alabama, the author of the above tune, is a fine director of music, has a splendid voice, and composes music with ease. He is a great lover of the old sacred songs. At the present time, 1909, he is engaged with Prof. J. L. White in revising the 'Sacred Harp,' which will be distributed in a few months." (Union Harp, p. 185) Loftin served on the 1927 Cooper book revision committee. The arrangement of Heavenly Grace is slightly different in the Cooper and White books.
            109a     Sorrowing Soul (arranged; removed 1907)
            393a     Praise His Name (removed 1907)
    527       Heavenly Grace
    557       Jordan's Banks
    571       Land of Rest (removed 1992)

1 comment:

R. L. Vaughn said...

I believe I have identified T. W. Loftin's second wife as Rosa Lee Clark (rather than Rosa Lee). A Rosa Lee Clark married a T. W. Loftin in 1942 in Walton County, Florida. She was probably the daughter of James R. and Ala Clark of Covington County in Alabama. Mrs. T. W. Loftin of DeFuniak Springs is listed as Clark's daughter in the newspaper obituary posted at Find-A-Grave.

The obituary also states that "Mr. Clark was a resident of Covington County for many years and was chairman of the Covington County Sacred Harp Association for a number of years."