The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 2505

Builder Identification

1852-58 and 1862 in St. Louis; old opus nos. 21-28 and 47-49. Also Chicago, 1863-64; old opus nos. 50-61.

Additional Notes

  • From the OHS PC Database, derived from A Guide to North America Organ Builders by David H. Fox (Organ Historical Society, 1991). Updated and revised using information from Bynum Petty, OHS Archivist, and author, Henry Pilcher's Sons: Opus List and Historical Sketch, (OHS Press 2014) --
     
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    Partnership of Henry {Jr.} and William Pilcher in St. Louis, MO, 1852-1858.

    The Pilcher family came to America beginning in 1832 with the arrival of the senior Henry Pilcher. His wife and sons soon followed. Henry ran his own shop in Newark NJ, then worked for Henry Erben in New York City for ten years before returning to Newark. His sons learned the craft from their father.

    In 1852, Pilcher's sons Henry [II] and William decided to head west and settled in St. Louis, Missouri where they established the first Pilcher firm, H. & W. Pilcher Organ Co., in St. Louis Missouri in 1852. The firm rapidly expanded into a musical conclomerate, not simply building organs, but also selling pianos, other musical instruments, sheet music, and even publishing music. After the death of his wife, the senior Henry moved to St. Louis and joined his sons in a new partnership, H. Pilcher & Sons. After Henry Sr. retired in 1858, the brothers continued on, first under William, the under Henry [II], then again under both by 1862.

    Although St. Louis had relative quiet during the Civil War, there was an incident in 1863 when Confederate sympathizers killed some of the Union troops stationed there.The Pilcher brothers decided to pack up shop again and move to safer ground in Chicago where they established Pilcher Brothers.

Database Entries

There are 32 entries in the database that describe organs by H. & W. Pilcher Organ Co.


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