Welcome to the
Kolping Society of Philadelphia
Officers & Contact
President – Frank Staub
National Representative – Eleanor Leifholtz
9130 Academy Rd.
Philadelphia, PA 19114
History of Philadelphia Kolping
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.
The main event for the Philadelphia Kolping Society is the Kolping Day, held annually on Father’s Day. A typical Kolping Day with 500 to 600 members and friends participating in the reception of honored guests, a park concert, choral renditions, and dancing in the evening with music by a local band. Refreshments are served, and many enjoy the exhibits, games and entertainment.
In 1997, the Kolping House was sold and we are currently leasing a home from another German organization for our temporary headquarters. We hope to purchase our own location very soon.