Today in history, 1873, the steamship Ville du Havre was struck by an iron sailing vessel while crossing the Atlantic. 246 people died, including the four daughters of Chicago lawyer Horatio Spafford. His wife Anna survived. Just two years earlier their four-year-old son died of scarlet fever, and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 financially ruined him.

spaffordhymnWhile sailing the Atlantic to reunite with his wife after the death of their girls, he penned the beloved hymn, It Is Well with My Soul (the original manuscript is pictured to the right).

Here is Mars Hill on his life: