The Organ at St. Peter Church, Jefferson City, Missouri
Wicks Opus 1304(R)
The first pipe organ documented at St. Peter Church was the Henry Pilcher’s Sons Opus 49 installed in the second (1856) church building. The contract for this 2 manual, 14 stop instrument with a 13 note pedal compass was signed in March 1858. Although it was a time of transition for then St. Louis-based Pilcher Company, three other smaller instruments were also installed in Jefferson City in 1858-9. The beginning of the Civil War motivated Pilcher to move the company to Chicago, Illinois before finally settling in Louisville, Kentucky in 1874.
With the continued growth of St. Peter Parish, a larger church building was constructed in 1883. Rather than reinstalling the Pilcher instrument, the J.G. Pfeffer Company of St. Louis was selected to construct a new 20 stop instrument in 1900. This mechanical action instrument, with two 61 note manuals and a 27 note pedal board, occupied a central location in the church loft. At some point after it’s installation and dedication in November 1900, a water-powered motor from the Kinetic Engineering Company was installed under the church in order to provide an adequate wind supply for the instrument.
In 1935, the Wicks Organ Company of Highland, IL electrified and expanded the instrument, retaining some Pfeffer and Pilcher pipework, as well as the central Pfeffer façade. It was during the 1965 renovation of the Wicks Opus 1304 that the instrument was divided into two cases in the loft. The Quimby Pipe Organ Company expanded the instrument to 27 ranks in 1987. The removal of carpeting and the installation of hardwood flooring throughout church in 2021 restored a vibrant acoustic to St. Peter Church. Pipe organ concerts are scheduled throughout the year, so please check our parish calendar for upcoming events!