Born: April 26, 1834, Sherburne, New York.
Died: November 15, 1907, Yonkers, New York.
Buried: Black Creek Cemetery, New Hudson, New York.
Horatio was the son of Anson B. Palmer, and husband of Lucia A. Chapman.
Palmer’s mother died when he was three years old. At age seven, he began singing in the church choir directed by his father. Horatio attended the Rushford Academy in New York, then taught there (1855–65), becoming the Academy’s music director, and organizing a cornet band there.
Palmer later moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he was choir director at the Second Baptist Church. In addition, he published the magazine Concordia.
He moved back to New York in 1873, and set up the Church Choral Union in 1881. The organization eventually grew to 20,000 singers, and performed in locations such as Madison Square Garden in New York City (where it fielded a 4,000 member choir). Palmer went on to organize similar groups in New York state, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC.
In 1877, the Summer School of Music at Chautauqua, New York, was established, and Palmer led it for 14 years. He also conducted annual music festivals in Cortland, New York, and directed the choir at the Broome Street Tabernacle in New York City for 11 years.