The January 1, 1892 edition of the Morton, Minnesota Enterprise, a weekly newspaper, noted that “Mr. Cormontan has a new organ in his store [the Franklin Drug Store] which is to go to the Lutheran church.” The Packard Organ was subsequently delivered to the Ft. Ridgely and Dale Lutheran Church in Camp Township, where it remains in working order to this day (1/1/2013). The following is taken from the website packardorgan.com.
Organs: 1888-1897 (Fort Wayne Organ Co./Packard Organ Co.) This decade of organ production highlights the influence of Victorian era excesses in case design. The Fort Wayne Organ Company produced some remarkable examples of detailed craftsmanship. By 1897, the design excesses had been greatly curtailed, and many of the designs associated with post-1900 production were actually initially produced beginning circa 1897. The initial group of organs through Case 540 were first produced circa 1888 and continued into production into the early 1890s.
Chapel Organ Case 450 (this is the model at Fort Ridgely-Dale church)
When it was first introduced, circa 1888, this chapel organ was the top of the line for single manual chapel instruments. It had a very elaborate case, front and back.
Organs: 1898-1914. This time period marks the beginning of the end of organ production by the Packard Company. In 1899, the company name had changed from The Fort Wayne Organ Company to The Packard Company. Also, the emphasis began to be placed on piano production. Within a very few years, almost the entire advertising emphasis by the company was focused on the piano part of the business.
While they continued to sell a number of quality organs, apparently greater profits were to be made in the sale of pianos. The piano catalogs of this period are quite extensive in their descriptions of their product and varied with each edition. This is unlike the organ catalog production, which varied very little for a period of over 20 years except in the cuts of models available. The descriptive pages were almost virtually unchanged.
Organ production ceased by the end of 1914, and the company name was changed from The Packard Company to The Packard Piano Company, ushering in a new year and a new era in 1915.