1872-1904
portrait

July 1872, Ratibor, Germany (now Racibórz, Poland).

July 15, 1904, of cerebrospinal meningitis, in the Presbyterian Hospital, New York City.

Lutheran Cemetery, Middle Village, New York.

Son of a Polish father and French mother, Benke emigrated to America at age 21. He knew no one in America, but one evening, he happened across the Bowery Mission in New York City and wandered into a service being led by a widow named Sarah J. Bird. He volunteered to play the organ, and they were so impressed they hired him, and he served as the mission’s regular organist for a number of years. He lived in Brooklyn, where he gave piano and organ lessons and composed music. He became friends with a number of people in the music business, including Fanny Crosby, who wrote words to a number of his pieces, and Ira Sankey. Dwight Moody heard about Victor, perhaps through Sankey, and asked Benke to play at his 1898 mass meeting at Cooper Union in New York City. It was said his work with Moody commended Benke for future work with the evangelist.

  1. Anchorage
  2. Benke
  3. Girded for Battle
  4. God Bless Our School Today
  5. He Has Promised
  6. How Can I Look on Calvary’s Cross?
  7. Is There Something I Can Do?
  8. Just for Today
  9. Keep on Watching
  10. On Joyful Wings
  11. Our Sunday School
  12. Sing Praise to Jesus
Benke’s full name