The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 1211

Builder Identification

Decatur, Illinois, 1943; Denver, Colorado, 1950s and 1960s; Kansas City, Kansas, 1959-early 1960s..

Additional Notes

  • From the OHS PC Database, derived from A Guide to North American Organbuilders, by David H. Fox (Richmond, Va.: Organ Historical Society, 1991). -

    Operated firm in Decatur, Illinois, 1943; with Fred H. Meunier Co. of Denver, Colorado, 1950s; associated with Charles McManis of Kansas City, Kansas, 1964; retired by 1991.


    • The Diapason, May 1943, 11.
    • Michael Friesen.
    • Elizabeth Towne Schmitt.
    • The Tracker, 9:1, 6.

  • From Organ Database Builders editor Charles Eberline, December 14, 2018. -

    According to Charles McManis, John Chrastina was originally from Moravia and came to America with his father at the age of seventeen. While he was walking down a street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he passed a window of the Wangerin Organ Company, recognized a worker there who knew him from Moravia, and was invited in to apply for work (McManis does not state whether he actually worked for Wangerin). In July 1959 Chrastina applied for work at the McManis plant in Kansas City, Kansas; McManis hired him on the spot after he saw Chrastina-s organbuilder tools. By 1964 Chrastina had moved to Denver, but he continued to work with McManis on various projects, notably the restoration of the David Tannenberg organ in the Single Brothers- House at Old Salem, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. McManis related that he lost touch with Chrastina after the Moravian work but learned of his death sometime in the late 1970s.


    • Charles W. McManis, Wanted: One Crate of Lions: The Life and Legacy of Charles W. McManis, Organbuilder; An Autobiography, ed. Judith F. McManis (Richmond, Va.: Organ Historical Society, 2008), 145-46.

Database Entries

There are no entries in the database that describe organs by John Chrastina.

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