James Austin Butterfield (1837-1891) was born in Hertfordshire, England. His father, a cellist, made him a tiny 8-inch violin and taught him to play. By age 4, he could play plain psalmody by sight and, at age 6, played in the chapel orchestra with his father. He soon started playing in the local Harmonic Society. Although efforts were made to have him be a chorister at Westminster Abbey, his parents would not consent. He continued to study violin and voice and became deputy leader of the Harmonic Society. His parents did not want him to pursue music as a profession, so he emigrated to the United States by himself in 1856. He lived in Chicago and taught violin and singing schools in the region. He went to Florida and established the Tampa Musical Academy. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he relocated to Indianapolis, Indiana, and established the monthly music Journal “The Musical Visitor.” He returned to Chicago and taught voice and harmony, held musical conventions, directed the Centenary Methodist Episcopal Choir, and conducted the Chicago Mendelssohn Society. In 1880 he went to Norwich, Connecticut, as director of the Norwich School of Vocal Art. He returned to Chicago to his previous position at Centenary Church in 1888. He was also the second president of the Music Teachers National Association. He died in Chicago. He composed anthems, piano pieces, some unpublished orchestral works, a number of comic operas, song books for conventions and singing schools, and many songs. His best-known composition is “When You and I Were Young, Maggie,” first published in 1866 (lyrics by George W. Johnson).
All are mixed chorus unless noted; some contain divisi.