This song was written in 1949 by Ira F. Stanphill. He was born on February 14, 1914. He was a very gifted musician. By the age of 10 he was playing the piano, organ, ukulele, and the accordion. He was singing and composing by the time he reached 17. He participated in revival crusades, prayer meetings, and ten campaigns. He graduated from the Junior College in Chillicothe, Missouri, and later was made an honorary Ph.D. from Hyles-Anderson College in Indiana. He preached and sung all over America and 40 other countries. He was inducted into the GMA Hall of Fame in 1981 and published his autobiography, This Side of Heaven, in 1983. He wrote over 550 gospel songs throughout his life. Rev. Stanphill departed this world on December 30, 1993 and is buried in Johnson County Chapel and Memorial Gardens in Overland Park, Johnson County, Kansas
A story told by evangelist Bro. Gene Martin, who was preaching at Bethel Temple Assembly of God Church in Oak Cliff, Texas. Inspired the pastor, Rev. Albert Ott to make the suggestion to Bro. Stanphill to write a song about the mansion that waits for us over there in heaven and he immediately wrote the lyrics and sang the song that very night. Unfortunately, Bro. Gene Martin was not present that night this favorite hymn was born.
This is the way his story was told. One day a wealthy man facing bankruptcy took a drive through the rural part of the country. As he passed one particular house it caught his attention. It was needing a paint job and repairs of all kinds. The broken window glasses were replaced with oil paper. Many shingles as well as part of the roof were missing which made him wonder how the house was even still standing. A young girl about the age of 8 or 9 and poorly dressed was playing in the front yard. The man was compelled to stop and talk to the young girl. In their conversation, he mentioned how sorry he was that she lived in such a poor surrounding. The little girl excitely asked him, "Why haven't you heard? My daddy just inherited a fortune and he's building us a mansion just over that hill over there. Don't know when it will be done, but I won't have to live in this house forever.
I'm satisfied with just a cottage below
A little silver and a little gold.
But in that city where the ransomed will shine
I want a gold one thats silver lined.
I've got a mansion just over the hilltop
In that bright land where we'll never grow old
And someday yonder, we will never more wander
But walk on streets that are pure as gold.
Though often tempted, tormented, and tested
And like the prophet, my pillows a stone
And though I find here no permanent dwelling
I know He'll give me a mansion my own.
Don't think me poor or deserted or lonely
I'm not discouraged I'm heaven bound
I'm but a pilgram in search of the city.
I want a mansion, a harp, and a crown.
Other songs he wrote that I love:
Room at the Cross for You copyright 1946
I Know Who Holds Tomorrow copyright 1950
Suppertime copyright 1950
Southern Gospel History webpage
posts made from different people on Name that Hymn.com
Baxter, pp. 19-21
Osbeck, pp. 231-2
Reynolds, p. 434
Update: March 7, 2014 So far out of all of my posts about songs this has received the most hits 1159 to be exact the others have not even hit 1000 mark yet.