Organ History at St. Ann
St. Ann Church was also a center for music, especially beginning in 1902, with the installation of a J.G. Pfeffer pipe organ donated in the memory of parish family matriarch, Margaret Downey. Local papers and parish family recollections are rich with memories of concerts and a stellar music program.
1901 J.G. Pfeffer Organ Found
In 2022, the Bedient Organ Company of Lincoln, Nebraska, contacted St. Ann with an incredible offer from a Lutheran church which had been closed for over 30 years. It had a 1901 Pfeffer organ in danger of being demolished. As miraculously as this organ had appeared and been offered, funds were quickly raised for its rescue. Bedient has confirmed that it is fully capable of being returned to its former glory.
J.G. Pfeffer, a German Catholic organ builder, built fine mehcanical action organs in the ninteenth and early twentieth century. Bedient Organ Company is the inheritor of the Pfeffer tradition of mehcanical organ restoration. They have verified that this newly-rescued organ is the same size to fit in the original location here at St. Ann's. They professionally moved it to their shop, where it awaits restoration.
As a testimony to the fact that such organs were meant to last for centuries, and in spite of the deplorable conditions in which it was found, it still played! The Pfeffer organ original to St. Ann, still in its prime, was removed in 1948, and likely thrown away, after having been played for only 46 years. That Margaret Downey memorial Organ was the center of a number of concerts, noted in local papers.
1901 Pfeffer Organ Removal
Bedient Pipe Organ Company from Lincoln, Nebraska successfully removes an historic 1901 JG Pfeffer pipe organ from Trinity Lutheran Church in rural Scribner, Nebraska. Bedient proposes to completely restore this instrument with many of its historic features and install it at St. Ann Catholic Church in Plattsburg, Missouri.