The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 2505

Builder Identification

1852-58 and 1862 in St. Louis; old opus nos. 21-28 and 47-49. Also Chicago, 1863-64; old opus nos. 50-61.

Additional Notes

  • Updated and revised using information from —

    Partnership of Henry {Jr.} and William Pilcher in St. Louis, Missourri, 1852–1858.

    The Pilcher family came to America beginning in 1832 with the arrival of the senior Henry Pilcher. His wife and sons soon followed. Henry ran his own shop in Newark NJ, then worked for Henry Erben in New York City for ten years before returning to Newark. His sons learned the craft from their father.

    In 1852, Pilcher's sons Henry [II] and William decided to head west and settled in St. Louis, Missouri where they established the first Pilcher firm, H. & W. Pilcher Organ Co., in St. Louis Missouri in 1852. The firm rapidly expanded into a musical conclomerate, not simply building organs, but also selling pianos, other musical instruments, sheet music, and even publishing music. After the death of his wife, the senior Henry moved to St. Louis and joined his sons in a new partnership, H. Pilcher & Sons. After Henry Sr. retired in 1858, the brothers continued on, first under William, the under Henry [II], then again under both by 1862.

    Although St. Louis had relative quiet during the Civil War, there was an incident in 1863 when Confederate sympathizers killed some of the Union troops stationed there.The Pilcher brothers decided to pack up shop again and move to safer ground in Chicago where they established Pilcher Brothers.

    See the Pilcher Family Overview for help in finding the company or individual which interests you.


    • Bynum Petty, OHS Archivist, and author, Henry Pilcher's Sons: Opus List and Historical Sketch, (Richmond, Va.:OHS Press 2014)

  • From the OHS PC Database, derived from A Guide to North America Organ Builders by David H. Fox (Organ Historical Society, 1991). —

    Partnership of Henry [Jr.] and William Pilcher in St. Louis, Missouri, 1852-1858.


    • Company literature.
    • Local directories of the period.
    • Elizabeth Towne Schmitt.

    Database Entries

    There are 32 entries in the database that describe organs by H. & W. Pilcher Organ Co.

    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.

At present we have no photographs that should be displayed on this page, though we may well have photographs under a related entry with a different form of the name. We would very much like to have photographs of all builders, nameplates, and other appropriate images in our database. If you can assist us with this project, please send a message to Our photo editor will be happy to assist you.