How did this event transpire some 99 years after the original sale? Trujillo had discovered a note inside of the organ which read:
"Aurelia, Ia Sept. 14th, 1911. - This little Estey organ was bought for Mrs. J.C. Lockin when a girl in her father's home. In trading I got in my possession and after putting a new keyboard and other necessary repairs and tuning it, I take great pleasure in presenting it to the Aurelia high school for the benefit of the primary department. May God add his blessings with its use for the advancement of His Kingdom.
"B.A. & Em Colby"
Trujillo wanted the organ returned to the town where it was originally sold, and where it had been an essential part of the music program in the school.
Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Lockin were the grandparents of Aurelia resident John Lockin and great-grandparents of Aurelia residents Brian Lockin and LeAnn Patton. Heritage Board member Lois Grigsby also reports that B.A. Colby, who signed the note found inside the organ, established a piano and organ business in Aurelia in 1883.
Mr. Colby advertised his business as follows:
"Dealer in high grade Pianos and Organs, Wholesale and Retail, from Factory to Home, No Middle Man Profit. I share with you my experience of thirty-eight years as vocal teacher, organ builder, piano tuner, and dealer."
According to the website of the Estey Organ Museum, which is located in Battleboro, Vermont, "The manufacture of the children's organs came about in conjunction with Victorian mores concerning women, families and children..."
The site also states, "Estey numbered each reed organ as it was shipped out, and by the time the company closed in the late 1950's they had built over 521,000," between the 1880s and 1950s.
The number on the donated organ in Aurelia is 34,785, indicating that it was made between 1864 and 1880.
Heritage Board member Jim Tell drove to Webster City on November 10 to pick up the organ and deliver it to its new home at the Aurelia Heritage Museum on November 10.
The Aurelia Museum, which is located next to the library on Main Street, will be open during the annual "Christmas in Aurelia" celebration on Saturday, December 12, and the public is invited to come to the museum and see the Estey organ as well as other displays, and also enjoy cookies and coffee or cider.
(Editor's note: Chronicle Times staff writer Dan Whitney contributed to this story.)