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Murray M. Harris and Organ Building in Los Angeles, 1894-1913



Murray M. Harris returned in 1894 from his Boston apprenticeship with organbuilder George S. Hutchings to a booming Los Angeles where only eight pipe organs existed. Six years later, Los Angeles would have 154 churches in it and scores of new pipe organs. Harris and organ tuner Henry C. Fletcher became business partners and founded the city's first organbuilding firm, Fletcher & Harris.

David Lennox Smith carefully gathered the riveting history of Harris and his contemporaries and the organs they built for a doctoral dissertation that was all but complete when Smith was murdered in cold blood by an unknown assailant on March 5, 1979. For this publication, historian Orpha Ochse has updated Smith's research with the help of colleagues Jack Bethards, Kevin Gilchrist, Jim Lewis, and Manuel Rosales.

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