The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 1316

Builder Identification

Elmira, New York, 1908; Warsaw, New York, 1915-1932; St. Louis, Missouri, 1932-c.1933.

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). -

    With the Hope-Jones Organ Co. of Elmira, New York, 1908, voicer; partner with David Marr in Marr & Colton of Warsaw, New York, 1915-1931.


    • The Diapason, November 1922, 14.
    • The Diapason, January 1925, 6.

  • From the OHS Database Builders Listing editor, December 10, 2016. -

    John J. Colton was a voicer with the Hope-Jones Organ Co. of Elmira, New York, 1908..1 The Hope-Jones firm went bankrupt and was forced to close in 1910, its assets were purchased by Rudolph Wurlitzer Manufacturing Co. of North Tonawanda . Wurlitzer reformed the company as the Hope-Jones Organ division in North Tonawanda, Hope-Jones and his retinue of skilled workers who had followed him from England moved to the new location and continued turning out Hope-Jones organs under the Wurlitzer name. When David Marr left Wurlitzer in 1915 to form his own company, he persuaded Colton to come with him. Colton was named a partner in the new concern, John J. Colton of Warsaw, New York, although he was not an investor. The new firm did well, producing over 500 organs in fifteen years, but declined rapidly with the advent of films with sound tracks. The Great Depression of the 1930s forced the closing of the weakened company. Colton left in 1932, moving to St. Louis and becoming a salesman for the Kilgen firm. He died not long after that.2


    1. David Fox, "John Colton" A Guide to North America Organ Builders, revised edition, (Organ Historical Society, 1997), 101.
    2. Loyd E. Klos, "Marr & Colton Theatre Organs" Theatre Organ Spring 1963 (American Theater Organ Society).


Database Entries

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

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