The First Lutheran Church of Monmouth, Illinois has a long history beginning in the year 1853 although not formally organizing until 1868. The Swedish church celebrated its 40th anniversary in 1908 with the installation of the Marshall-Bennett pipe organ and another long history began.

In the ensuing 84 years, the Bennett organ has been moved from a smaller building, remodeled numerous times, struck by lightning and placed at different locations in the church. The most recent organ project took 10 years. Eventually the Levsen Organ Company of Buffalo, Iowa was contracted to completely rebuild the Bennett in 1989.

The Bennett suffered from tuning problems, lack of proper ensembles for congregational singing, noisy action, design problems, a failing of plastic components installed in a rebuilding done during the 60's, deteriorating wiring that posed a fire hazard and erratic pre-set pistons.

After Levsen held several meetings with the church organ committee explaining the basic organ design and made recommendations. The committee visited churches in the area that contained Levsen organs to appraise the quality of workmanship and evaluate the sound of the organs. Levsen also discussed the ranks that would best suit the congregations' needs with long time church organist, Richard Johnson. it was determined the 1907 Bennett's solo stops and romantic sound was in need of enhancing ensembles to lead the congregation in singing.

While the organ was scheduled for an almost total rebuild, some usable pipe work remained and round oak embellishments from the original woodwork were found in the attic. The lovely old oak was cleaned missing parts replaced and the pieces incorporated in the design for the new casework.

The 30 rank Monmouth organ required all new wind chests, supplementary ranks and console. Wind pressures were lowered for the new organ to speak better, cleaner and more precisely. A state of the art digital operating system executes the organist's commands at the speed of light on fiber optic cables. Ten levels of memory are available to the organist and a transposer is included.

The Great was all new except for the flutes that were revoiced. The Swell had new upper work installed including the Erzähler Celeste, 4' Gemshorn, 2 2/3' Nazard, 2' Flachflote, and 1 3/5' Tierce. The pedal organ added a II Mixture and a 16' extension of the Trumpet.

The design of the organ took into account a beautiful rose window and the pipe work was arranged on both sides around it. The high ceiling church has fine acoustics. Special care was taken to choose a well blended sound that would fill the church and work well with existing ranks.

Pastor Gerald Youngquist has worked with the organ at First Lutheran for the past 20 years and is pleased with the very live boldness of the new instrument.

The June 9, 1991, dedication was played by Master of Music, Carl Swanson of Los Angeles, California.

Kay Danielson
7 Waverly Court
Davenport, Iowa 52804



8' Principal                          61 Pipes

8' Grossflöte                          61 Pipes

8' Erzähler                                  Swell

8' Erzähler Céleste                   Swell

4' Octave                                61 Pipes

4' Waldflöte                          61 Pipes

2' Fifteenth                            61 Pipes

III Mixture                           183 Pipes

8' Chimes                             21 Tubes


8' Geigen Diapason           61 Pipes

8' Stopped Flute                   61 Pipes

8' Salicional                          61 Pipes

8' Erzähler                             61 Pipes

8' Erzähler Céleste               49 Pipes

4' Gemshorn                          61 Pipes

4' Rohrflöte                            61 Pipes

2 2/3' Nasard                       61 Pipes

2' Flachflöte                           61 Pipes

1 3/5' Tierce                          61 Pipes

8' Trumpet                             61 Pipes

4' Oboe                                    61 Pipes



8' Principal T.C.                  49 Pipes

8' Grossflöte                         61 Pipes

8' Viol                                     61 Pipes

4' Flute                                    12 Pipes

4' Octave                                 12 Pipes

2 2/3' Nasard                         7 Pipes

II Mixture                            122 Notes



32' Resultant                       32 Notes

16' Bourdon                          32 Pipes

16' Bass Dolce                      32 Pipes

16' Choir Gedeckt                12 Pipes

8' Principal                           32 Pipes

8' Pommer                             32 Pipes

4' Choral Bass                      12 Pipes

II Mixture                              64 Pipes

16' Posaune                          12 Pipes

8' Trumpet                                 Swell

4' Clarion                                   Swell

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Levsen Organ Company  ·  PO Box 542 Buffalo, Iowa  52728  ·  (800) 397-1242  ·  FAX (563) 381-1257  ·  LevsenOrg@aol.com