This entry describes an original installation of a new pipe organ.
Identified by Timothy E. Conyers, based on information from Church history booklet: "The Trinity Lutheran Church, 1857-1982, 125 Years of Grace" Union City, Ind./Ohio, June 6, 1982; Personal knowledge of Evelyn Key, church organist for over 70 years..
-- The Lutheran congregation began meeting regularly as early as 1854. The early German founders sang without any instrument until they purchased a reed organ in 1876. The records are incomplete and contradictory as to the cost, which is reported as $230 or $350 or $133. This was quite a sum in those days, especially for a new pioneering community.
When a new brick edifice was built on Plum Street, the reed organ was placed in the balcony. The first choir, organized by Rev. Boehme in 1868, also sat in the balcony. Around the turn of the century the building was remodeled. Both the organ and choir were moved to the main floor and placed to the right of the altar. The choir seating faced the rear of the building.
In 1913, the congregation purchased its first pipe organ for $2,000.00. This organ was built by Votteler-Hettche, contained seven ranks, operated by means of tubular pneumatic action, and has its pipes still working as part of the present instrument. The case with a facade of exposed pipes was placed to the right of the altar in the same location as the old reed organ. It was installed in February 1914 by Charles Boncha. The dedicatory recital was given March 22, 1914 by Miss Katharine Lehman. An interesting side note about the financing of this instrument is that members of the congregation were asked to donate a penny for each year of their age to the cause.
During the 1930's the choir rostrum was enlarged with theatre seats being added. The choir was turned slightly to face the center of the nave instead of the rear.
In 1959 the Vottler-Hettche organ was rebuilt by E. J. Beilharz of Lima Pipe Organ Company of Elida, Ohio.