The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 1897

Builder Identification

Mishawaka, Illinois, 1886-1893.

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). Edited February 2, 2017, (Hall). -

    The Erb & Van Dinter Organ & Altar Factory succeeded the church furniture business of August Erb and the Detroit, Michigan, organ business of Louis Van Dinter; it was established by August Erb and Louis H. Van Dinter in Mishawaka, Illinois, 1886. The firm built organs and church furniture; after the partnership ended, the firm was succeeded by Van Dinter Organ Factory and Erb Church Furnishings, both of Mishawaka.


    • The Tracker 33:3 (1989): 19.

  • From the OHS Online Organ Database, Builders Listing editor (Hall), February 4, 2017. -

    Louis Van Dinter learned the art of organbuilding from his father, Mathew H. Van Dinter, and his maternal grandfather, Hubert Ver Meulen, and became a skillful workman. In 1870 he came to America, at age twenty, and engaged in work in the organ factory of Henry Erben of New York City, a noted organ manufacturer, and learned some American practices which were unknown in his home country. Six months later he moved to Detroit, Michigan and engaged in the tuning and repairing of organs. His father, Matthew, came the following year, with his family and together father and son began the manufacture of organs under ther own name. After five years, Loius Van Dinter bought his father out but remained in Detroit until 1877, when he moved to Mishawaka, Illinois and established his business in partnership with August Erb, a wood carver and furniture maker specializing in church furnishings. Van Dinter was not a stranger to the town, he had previously built the organs in the Presbyterian and Churches of that city.

    "The Van Dinter Pipe Organ Factory is the only pipe organ factory in the State of Indiana, and is well known, having built some of the largest organs in the West. Mr. Van Dinter has a high reputation in his profession. [material ommitted]

    Mr. Van Dinter gives every organ his personal attention, especially the voicing being all done by himself, and his long experience, his skillful and artistic work enable him to command a good price. He has a fine record, having built more than fifty large organs, those at the following places testifying to his ability: St. Mary's Church, Fort Wayne, Ind., at a cost of $6,000; St. John's Baptist Church, at Joliet, Ill., at a cost of $5.000; St. Peter's Cathedral at Marquette, Mich., at an expense of $4,000; St. Vincent's at Elkhart, Ind.; St. Peter's at La Porte; St. Joseph's at Mishawaka, Ind.; St. Albert's at Detroit, Mich.; Sacred Heart, at Detroit; Our Lady of Help, at Detroit; St. John's at Jackson, Mich.; Sacred Heart, at Hudson, Mich.; St. Mary's at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.; Immaculate Conception, at Niles, Mich.; Holy Cross, at Marine City, Mich.; Church of the Immaculate Conception, at Louisville, Ky.; St. Catherine's Church at New Haven, Ky., and St. Francis, at Hollandtown, Wis. His work is in a great measure for the Catholic Churches, but he does much also in Protestant Churches, his contracts being as many as he is able to fill. He manufactures every part of an organ except the metal pipes, using the best of material.


    • Pictorial and Biographical Memoirs of Elkhart and St. Joseph Counties, Indiana
      Together with Biographies of Many Prominent Men of Northern Indiana and the Whole State, Both Living and Dead (Goodspeed Brothers Publishers, Chicago, 1893).

Database Entries

There are no entries in the database that describe organs by Erb & Van Dinter Organ & Altar Factory.

We are always interested in adding to our information about builders and correcting any errors that our Database may contain. If you can provide us with corrections or additions to the information presented here, please click the Update button and use the online form to send us details.

Your cooperation and support are greatly appreciated.


OHS Logo

This page was opened in a secondary window or tab. To return to the list of builders, simply close this tab.

Some of our entries are names that might never appear on a nameplate or nameboard.
On the other hand, there are both individuals and firms who are responsible for conserving historic organs through location, or preserving the usefulness of pipe organs through rebuilding or making modifications to existing instruments. In these cases, we are proud to acknowledge their contributions to the ongoing artistic tradition of the pipe organ in America through individual entries in our online database.