Clara Fiske was born near Chicago in 1841. As a young child she was very musical and was able to attend the first music institute in Chicago led by C.M. Cady. In 1861, she married Henry Clay Scott and she began to write her own songs, some of which were published by Horatio Palmer.
Clara was the first woman to publish her own volume of songs in 1882. Her most famous hymn,“Open My Eyes That I May See,” was published in 1895. Clara was inspired to write this hymn by the scripture passage from Psalm 119:18: “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from your law.”
Two years after this song was published, Clara was visiting in the Mississippi River town of Dubuque, Iowa. She was riding in a horse-drawn carriage when something spooked the horse and it raced down the street out of control. Clara was thrown from the carriage and killed at the age of 55.
Listen to this beautiful hymn here: