Jessie Brown Pounds was born in Hiram, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland on 31 August 1861. She was not in good health when she was a child so she was taught at home. She began to write verses for the Cleveland newspapers and religious weeklies when she was fifteen. After an editor of a collection of her verses noted that some of them would be well suited for church or Sunday School hymns, J. H. Fillmore wrote to her asking her to write some hymns for a book he was publishing. She then regularly wrote hymns for Fillmore Brothers. She worked as an editor with Standard Publishing Company in Cincinnati from 1885 to 1896, when she married Rev. John E. Pounds, who at that time was a pastor of the Central Christian Church in Indianapolis.
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