This organette was played by Hattie Vanden Brink Ver Hey at Nellie Churchford’s church services. Services began with the playing of Onward Christian Soldiers. The organ would sit on the back of a horse drawn wagon.
This instrument is a portable instrument. It could be unfolded from its built-in case to play, then packed up and carried away.
Nellie Churchford was born on 10-4-1874 in the Netherlands to Gerrit Churchford and Lavina Dieleman. While still very young, the Churchford family moved to west Michigan. Nellie and her parents appear in the Grand Rapids city directories from 1894, 1895 and 1896. Nellie's occupation is listed as "laundress". By 1900, Nellie was living in Holland, MI where she began the Holland Rescue Mission ca. 1902. On Saturday evenings she would set up a tent meeting on 8th Street and preach the gospel. Nellie passed away on 12-6-1931 and was buried in Holland's Pilgrim Home Cemetery.
Gift ofVer Hey, Sfc. Kenneth