When Jospeh P. Webster (1819-1875) came into Dr. Samuel Fillmore Bennett’s (1836-1898) office one day looking a bit depressed. Bennett asked ‘What’s the trouble now?’ ‘Oh, nothing,’ Webster replied, ‘Everything will be alright by and by.’
Bennett then turned back to his desk where he mused “By and by.” Thinking to himself, he said, “The sweet by and by,” that would make a good hymn.”
Webster, a musician by trade, hummed out a melody and in a few minutes Bennett had completed three verses and a chorus. With the help of Webster and some friends, who were also present, the hymn was set it to music almost on the spot. After one of the other men played the melody on a violin a few times. The small group of men sang the new hymn in Webster’s office for the first time.
“In The Sweet Bye and Bye” was popularized by The Salvation Army and has often been sung at Army funeral services.