Pipe Organ Database

a project of the organ historical society

W. W. Kimball Co. (2014)

Originally W. W. Kimball Co. (1909)

Location:

Howe Military Academy
Alumni Drive
Howe, IN 46746 US
St. James Chapel
Organ ID: 52851

Update This Entry

Status and Condition:

  • This instrument's location type is: High Schools, Preparatory Schools, and Academies
  • The organ is unaltered from its original state.
  • The organ's condition is unknown.
We received the most recent update for this instrument's status from Database Manager on June 18, 2019.

Technical Details:

  • Chests: Information unknown or not applicable
  • 11 ranks. 3 divisions. 2 manuals.
All:
  • Position: In side chambers at the front of the room. Exposed pipes visible.
We received the most recent update for this division from Database Manager on June 18, 2019.
Main:
  • Manuals: 2
  • Divisions: 3
  • Key Action: Electrical connection from key to chest.
  • Stop Action: Electric connection between stop control and chest.
  • Has Combination Action Thumb Pistons
We received the most recent update for this console from Database Manager on June 18, 2019.
Database Manager on June 18, 2019:

Updated by Rev. Philip Morgan, who has heard or played the organ. Not info about organ but about the wood carvings. It states that \" Artist for the carvings was Anton Lang, who played the part of Christ in the Passion Play\" Yes Anton did play the part of Christ. However he was NOT the woodcarver. Anton was a Master Potter. His BROTHER George Lang was the wood carver and his \"plate\" is attached to the base of the carving above the altar in the lady Chapel. Commonly called \"Mother\'s Chapel\"...I was the priest serving there for 15 years. Please note also that the school is closing and buildings and property are being sold off.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on June 19, 2019.

Database Manager on September 22, 2015:

Updated through online information from John R Durgan. -- I was a student at Howe School starting in 1959. The organ is in fact a Kimball. It had Tubular pneumatic action. The organ was two manual.

The original console had draw knobs mounted on slanted panels on either side of the manuals. There were no couplers. At the time I was taking lessons on this organ it was in its original state. It was not in the best of shape.

Tonally it was much nicer then than it is now. I had occasion to play it several years ago, and found it still in bad shape despite the several relied that it had received. Subsequent rebuilds were rather unsuccessful.

This organ is still playable but it really need a "good" rebuild by a reputable builder. The removal of the original 8' Trumpet was not a good idea. This was a small organ in a big space. When the full cadet corps was in the chapel, the organ needed this stop to have enough power to be heard above the singing.

This organ at the time I was practicing and taking lessons on it did not have a 16 diapason in the pedal. The two 16' pedal ranks were Bourdon and lieblich Gedeckt. The Church was St. James, but the local non school related Parish was St. Marks. They used St James chapel because they had no church of their own.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.

Database Manager on August 29, 2014:

Updated through online information from James Begly. -- A newer reservoir was added in place of the old one. A new console was built to match the old English look of the Chapel and replaced the 1960's looking Organ Supply Console. The console was fitted with all new Peterson Solid State switching, but kept the older pedal board and bench and refinished to match the newer console. the Wind Chest are all original and re-leathered with newer type ventil stop action boxes to replace the older ventil stop actions. The organ originally had a Trumpette 8 that was replaced with a 2' Octave by a previous builder. The octave was moved to an separate D.E. chest to give the tuner more space to crawl into the organ. The pedal Division only consists of a 16 Bordun. The 16' Open Diapason was not done on the rebuild due to too much damage from previous water leaks to the organ. Also a new blower was added to complete this complete rebuild. J.Begly

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.

Database Manager on July 02, 2014:

Updated through online information from Timothy E. Conyers. -- St. Mark-s Episcopal Church of Howe, meets for Sunday worship in the historic building. The parish is part of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana. The Academy uses the building for weekday chapel and special services.
St. James Chapel is on the National Register of Historic Places of the United States. Located on the corner of State Road 9 and Union Street in Howe. Alumni Drive runs directly in front of the building. The Narthex is entered through the bell tower, which contains a clock and chimes. The bells were a gift of James Howe and first played on April 4, 1915. The chimes and clock were the gift of Mr. Percy Dwight, a Trustee. The Nave ceiling is a copy of the ceilings in the Chapel of All Souls and the nave of Magdalen Chapel, both of Oxford, England. The woodwork in the chapel was carved under American supervision by carvers from Oberammergau, Germany. The altar Tryptic was unveiled on March 26, 1910. It was painted on the grounds of the school by Signor Ducci with assistance by Cadet Hugler. The Mother's Chapel in the South Transept was added in 1914. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and in memory of mothers of the Howe boys. The carvings in the Mother's Chapel were purchased by Dr. McKenzie during his visit to Oberammergau to witness the Passion Play, in 1910. Artist for the carvings was Anton Lang, who played the part of Christ in the Passion Play. The south side nave stained glass windows depict the founders of the school, while the north nave windows are dedicated to the Bishops of the Diocese of Northern Indiana. The Bishops serve as President of the School's Board of Trustees. Howe Military Academy is sponsored by the Episcopal Church.
Begun in 1884, the school was originally a preparatory school for young boys preparing for ministry in the Episcopal Church. It became a military school in 1895, and fully co-educational in 1988. It is one of 28 military academies in the United States. The school was in danger of closing at the end of the 2014 Spring semester. However, on June 2, 2014, after receiving a large donation and reorganizing its plan of operation, the board voted to keep the historic school open.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on February 11, 2019.

Database Manager on June 30, 2014:

This entry describes an original installation of a new pipe organ. Identified by Timothy E. Conyers, based on personal knowledge of the organ. -- St. James Chapel was constructed in 1902 by Architect John Sutcliffe of Oak Park, Illinois, as the original chapel for Howe Military Academy. It is still used for the weekday services of the Academy. The Chapel has been enlarged several times. The choir was extended in 1903; a crypt for burials was added in 1906; and in 1909 the chapel was enlarged to its present size with the North Transept and the organ chamber being added. The south transept, known as the Mother's Chapel, was added in 1914. St. James Chapel is noted for its many fine pieces of artwork and wood carvings.
The organ chamber is on the left side with some pipes exposed to form a facade. The pipes are painted gold and follow closely the chamber arch. The detached, fixed console is in an alcove underneath the overhang of the pipe facade.
The organ was still there in August 2009. The chaplain saw me taking photos of the chapel exterior. He had a few minutes before a reception so he gave me a quick tour of the interior. I was able to photograph the pipe facade but not examine the console itself or obtain builder and opus number.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.

Instrument Images:

Chapel Exterior: Photograph by Timothy E. Conyers. Taken on 2009-08-01

The Altar Tryptic: Photograph by Timothy E. Conyers. Taken on 2009-08-01

Chapel Nave: Photograph by Timothy E. Conyers. Taken on 2009-08-01

This instrument has been viewed 509 times.