Troy St. Pius Church outside.
St. Pius Roman Catholic Church
Troy, Indiana

Rear organ gallery at St. Pius.

Votey Organ Co. (1897, Opus 819)
2 manuals. 10 stops. 10 ranks.
Pneumatic chests. Tubular pneumatic key action.

GREAT 58 Notes (to high a)
(Enclosed in swell box except for Open Diapason)
8' Open Diapason
8' Melodia
8' Salicional
4' Gemshorn

SWELL 58 Notes (to high a)
(Enclosed in swell box)
8' Violin Diapason
8' Stopped Diapason
8' Dulciana
4' Flute Harmonique
8' Oboe

PEDAL 30 Notes
16 Bourdon

Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Swell to Great
Swell to Great Octave (4')

Left: Adds some basic stops, latched
Right: Gt. to Pedal Coupler (reversible I think)

Console at St. Pius.

To hear this organ, go to this website and listen to the sample from Dawn Hymn on disk 2:


In 1877, at the age of twenty-one, Edwin Scott Votey began selling organs at the retail and wholesale levels throughout Western New York. Four years earlier he started his career as an office boy at J. Estey & Co. who were organ builders in Vermont.

He was born in Ovid, Seneca County, New York. By 1883, achieving some success and gaining experiencein the organ business, he decided to move to Detroit, Michigan where he took out several patents and organized the Whitney Organ Co. to manufacture reed organs. The company later changed its name to Farrand & Votey Organ Co.

Inscription at Troy.Branching out in 1890, Votey spent six months in Europe studying pipe organs while selling reed organs. In that same year he began building pipe organs for churches. Taking out pipe organ patents, his company built the "great organ" (first to be electronically operated) used in the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. At the same time he invented, built and installed the first Aeolian Pipe Organ at Aeolian Hall, 18 West 23rd Street in New York City.

In 1896, Votey's professional life began to change dramatically. In that year he invented the Pianola, also commonly called the "player piano". He constructed it in his home in Detroit, Michigan. The following year the Votey Organ Company was organized by buying out the pipe organ business of Farrand & Votey Organ Company. The new company was organized to build Aeolian pipe organs and the Pianolas which were produced in Garwood, New Jersey. By 1899 the Votey Organ Company was merged with the Aeolian Company. Votey was elected a director of the Aeolian Company and a Vice President. The Aeolian Company had an interna-tional reputation for their organs and pianos.

-From The Summit (N.J.) Historical Society website:

Pipe facade at St. Pius, Troy IN.

Nameplate at TroyFarrand & Votey began building organs for the Aeolian Company of New York in the early 1890s.  The first was completed in 1893 and was installed in Aeolian Hall.  In 1895 Edwin S. Votey invented the Pianola.  This instrument, along with his development of the Duo Art Organ and Duo Art Piano, placed the Aeolian Company in the forefront of manufacturers of player instruments.  it also placed Votey firmly on the board of directors of the Aeolian Company (he became first vice-president in 1916).

Farrand & Votey remained in business until 1897.  After that the Farrand Organ Co. made reed organs, while the Votey Organ Co. made pipe organs.  In 1899 the Votey company merged with the Aeolian company, and the factory was located in Garwood, New Jersey.  here the Pianola and other Aeolian instruments were manufactured in quantity.  Aeolian factories were also opened in France, England and Germany to meet the demand.  While the Aeolian firm continued in this line of activity, the Votey Organ Company was purchased in 1901 by Hutchings, forming the Hutchings-Votey Organ Co., with George S. Hutchings as president and Ernsest M. Skinner as vice president.

-from Orpha Ochse: The History of the Organ in the United States, p. 296, accessed online at Google Book Search.

            program at Troy, Nov. 4 2012.
Evansville Chapter's historic organ program at St. Pius on November 4, 2012

St. Pius Historical Timeline:
1847: Church founded
1881: Cornerstone of the second and present church building was laid
1884: Current church building dedicated
1885-1886: Bells in the steeple installed, weighing 403,745 and 1,536 pounds
1887: Steeple clock and organ installed
1894: Stained Glass windows installed
1897: Center altar built by Schroeder of Cincinnati: base of limestone and columns of Georgia marble

Organ basic information from the Organ Historical Society website:

  Stoplist in part from "Historic Organs of Louisville" booklet accompanying CD recording,
Produced by the Organ Historical Society:

A brief history of St. Pius Church:

Photos taken by Neal Biggers on October 23, 2012.

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