Pipe Organ Database

a project of the organ historical society

A. B. Felgemaker Co. (Opus 429, 1881)

Location:

St. Paul Methodist Church
123 South Yellow Springs Street
Springfield, OH 45506 US
Organ ID: 60135

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Status and Condition:

  • This instrument's location type is: Methodist Churches
  • The organ is no longer a complete instrument; dispersed/parted out.
  • The organ's condition is unknown.
We received the most recent update for this instrument's status from Database Manager on May 13, 2018.

Technical Details:

  • Chests: Information unknown or not applicable
All:
  • Position: In a case at the front of the room.
We received the most recent update for this division from Database Manager on May 13, 2018.
Main:
  • Key Action: Mechanical connection from key to chest (tracker, sticker or mix).
  • Stop Action: Mechanical connection between stop control and chest.
We received the most recent update for this console from Database Manager on May 13, 2018.
Database Manager on June 29, 2017:

Updated by J. A. Hefner, listing conversations with this person as the source of the information: Aaron M. Tellers.

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

Database Manager on May 31, 2017:

Updated by J. A. Hefner, naming this as the source of information: "A History of the St. Paul United Methodist Church, 1880-1980: a Century of Ministry" by the Rev. George R. Copus, 1980.
The organ initially had a water motor. According to the centennial history by the Rev. George R. Copus, the organ was sent back to Felgemaker at some point en route to Springfield, as it hadn't been tuned. At the same time, the solid walnut pews burned in their Richmond, Indiana, factory, thus the cane seat chairs and six-piece Sunday School orchestra substituted for seating and music. After being factory-tuned, ABF Opus 429 was installed and first used 11 Sept 1881, with the pews arriving later [they were dedicated 7 May 1882]. No mention of electrification is made, though several renovations occurred. In 1964, Rev. Charles Rader [28th pastor] became pastor. At the start of his tenure, the Felgemaker organ was "retired" and replaced with the Allen electronic, which was installed in July 1964.

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

Database Manager on May 29, 2017:

Updated by J. A. Hefner, who gave this as the source of the information: Personal visit to St. Paul Church and discussion with owner Dave Garrett.
Built in 1880, St. Paul Methodist was purchased ca. 2002 by local jeweler Dave Garrett, and throughout the restoration process, he has been holding church services in it as well. The Westcott House Foundation also hosts tours. The county library also has a book written on the church, and I will forward that information when I get it.
According to Garrett, the ABF Opus 429 was there in the 1970s, and it produced a massive sound in the sanctuary hall (seating capacity approx 1500).
By the 1990s, however, the church had fallen on hard times, and the organ was gutted, and the console/innards sold.
The façade was retained (as minimally as possible), and ca. 1998, the pipes were painted yellow.
To retain some organ music, the church added an Allen electronic organ, placing the speakers behind the façade pipes.

The Garretts have expressed interest in purchasing a pipe organ, and they might wind up using ABF Opus 522 (Heavenly Rest Episcopal/My Church Ohio) as a basis.

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

Database Manager on May 05, 2017:

This entry describes an original installation of a new pipe organ.
Identified by J. A. Hefner, listing conversations with this person as the source of the information: Aaron M. Tellers (Tellers Organ Co.).
According to Aaron M. Tellers, three Felgemaker organs shipped to Springfield, Ohio in 1881 - opus 429, 430, 433. Spec sheets do not exist, but they were apparently similar.
Opus 429 was installed in St. Paul Methodist Church, although I know nothing of what happened to it. The church closed in the early 2000s, the building was abandoned for a time, then it recently started being restored. ABF Opus 430 went to Christ Episcopal, and Opus 433 went to High Str. Methodist.

Considering ABF Opus 430 was removed to Trinity Episcopal (London, OH) in 1918, then Opus 433 was broken up and recycled in 1942, I don't know if Opus 429 survived.

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

Instrument Images:

Organ Case and Façade Pipes: Photograph by J. A. Hefner. Taken on 2017-05-28

Church Exterior: Photograph by J. A. Hefner. Taken on 2017-05-28

Former Console Location: Photograph by J. A. Hefner. Taken on 2017-05-28

Carving Detail above former Console location: Photograph by J. A. Hefner. Taken on 2017-05-28

Church Exterior: Photograph by J. A. Hefner. Taken on 2017-05-28

Vintage postcard, showing the church as Franklin H. Penfield designed it: Vintage postcard, date unknown, courtesy of J. A. Hefner.

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