Pipe Organ Database

a project of the organ historical society

Schaefer Organ Company View Extant Instruments View Instruments

Distinction:

Schleisingerville (now Slinger), Wisconsin, 1920–at least 1984.
Classification: Service Person

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October 16, 2015:

From Organ Database Builders editor Stephen Hall, Oct 16, 2015. -

"The industry owes its birth to the individual skill and initiative of the founding Schaefer [Bernard]. Following the pursuits of his avocation in Germany, the elder Schaefer established the original plant with the idea of supplying the local market with clocks. Eventually the business grew, and the profits which were received from the sale of some small mechanical organs proved to be consistently larger and more reliable than those which could be derived from the manufacture and sale of clocks."

Source:

  • Arthur H. Doerr, Factors· Influencing the Location of Non-indigenous Industries in Slinger, Wisconsin - A Case Study (University of Oklahoma, Norman OK, 1951).

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 29, 2019.

October 16, 2015:

From Organ Database Builders editor Stephen Hall, Oct 16, 2015. -

Bernard Schaefer immigrated to the United States in 1873 from Germany. He was a clockmaker who set up shop in Schleisingerville (now Slinger), Wisconsin. He built his first pipe organ for the Catholic church in Slinger, Wisconsin, in 1875 in partnership with friend and fellow immigrant Valentin Fischer. They were paid in potatoes and flour by the farm families in the parish. He continued building organs until he retired in 1907, but again entered the business with three of his sons in 1912, his oldest son, John continued the business in the interim period. The new endevour was known as B. Schaefer & Sons Co. with John, Theodore, and Joseph being the sons.

After John's death, Theodore and Joseph continued the business. In 1920, they reorganized as Schaefer Organ Co. with Theodore as president, Joseph secretary-treasurer, and a friend, John F. Mayer, as vice-president. For a brief period in 1924 they merged with another firm in Milwalkee to form Weickhardt-Schaefer Organ company with the Milwaulkee firm operating as a branch location, but the arrangement was short-lived, and the firm again became Schaefer. Theodore later sold his interest to Joseph. Joseph continued the firm with his sons and two nephews (sons of his brother John).

Source:

  • Special Correspondent [sic] "Organ builder Paid in Goods", The Milwaukee Journal, March 8, 1970, online at Google Newspapers, accessed Oct 16, 2015, "https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1499&dat=19300308&id=hLMWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=xSEEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5808,1050049&hl=en".

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on October 28, 2019.

October 30, 2004:

From the OHS PC Database, derived from A Guide to North American Organbuilders, by David H. Fox (Richmond, Va.: Organ Historical Society, 1991). —

Schaefer Organ Company succeeded B. Schaefer & Sons; it was incorporated by Joseph A. and Theodore Schaefer in Schleisingerville (now Slinger), Wisconsin, in 1920. The company was briefly known as Weickhardt-Schaefer, 1924/1925, before reverting to the previous name. It became a service firm around 1969; active in 1984.

Staff: Jerome B. Meyer; Albert Schaefer; Joseph Schaefer; Bernard J. Schaefer.

Sources:

  • The Cypher Newsletter (Greater St. Louis Chapter of the Organ Historical Society). 9/10:7.
  • The Diapason August 1925, 25.
  • David L. Junchen, Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ, vol. 2 (Pasadena: Showcase Publications, 1989), 588.
  • Organ Handbook 1984 (Richmond, Va., Organ Historical Society), 29.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on October 28, 2019.

Database Specs:

  • 34 Organs
  • 3 Divisions
  • 2 Consoles

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