Thursday, August 22, 2019



The Organ Benefactions of Andrew Carnegie in Central Illinois

Menard County Historical Society

Elaine Evans 0 296 Article rating: No rating

From 1895 until his death in 1919, philanthropist Andrew Carnegie made a tremendous contribution to community culture and musical heritage throughout central Illinois. Known for his matching gifts to create public libraries across the country, Carnegie also helped churches and community centers purchase pipe organs as instruments of cultural enrichment, celebrating his love of music and his belief that musical expression uplifted the soul. Carnegie’s Foundation in New York called these pipe-organ matching gifts “benefactions,” and more than 8,000 were manufactured and distributed worldwide, 207 in Illinois alone. Carnegie’s pipe organ gifts outnumbered his libraries by more than 3-1, yet these musical endowments are almost unknown. Until now.

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