Our Story

The Philadelphia Story

Leonard Keis and Joseph Betz were the co-founders of the society on April 25, 1925. The first headquarters were in the Volksverein Hall, 1213 N. Randolph Street in St. Peters Parish. From there, the first move was made to St. Bonaventure Parish and then to St. Henry’s Parish, where we were welcomed by the pastor, the Rev. Henry E. Koenes, himself an immigrant from Germany.

Probably the most important milestone in the Kolping Society of Philadelphia was the solemn opening of our new Kolping House and Park at 5400 Rising Sun Avenue. Praeses Msgr. Henry E. Koenes blessed this facility in 1953. It was not the first Kolping House for the Philadelphia society. The first one was at 4900 N. 5th Street, acquired in 1931. The next was at 5330 Rising Sun Avenue, followed by 4501 N. Reese Street. The main credit for discovering the present home was due to 10 year old Karl Hess, Jr. While father and son were cruising through the neighborhood looking for a suitable building, the boy suddenly pointed to our new home and said, "Daddy, there is your new Kolping House." Frank Dick and Alphonse Ellerkamp were successful in acquiring it.

The Kolping House was a well built stone building with a seating capacity of about 150 people. On the second and third floors about a dozen men made their home. Over the years, the Kolping House had also become the meeting place of many other local organizations. In recent years, the Kolping house was sold and we’ve now found a new home at The Cannstatters Volkfest Verein.

Our current President is Frank Staub.