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 OldChesterPa.com: Civic/Social & Religious Organizations

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Abruzzi & Molise Society

519 W. 3rd St.
1927 - 1952 - ?

Alpha Boat Club
Foot of Welsh St.
   (winter headquarters 11 W. 3rd St. in 1899)

Alpha Kappa Alpha, Tau Delta Omega Chapter
Incorporated November 10, 1991

Beta Sigma Phi Sorority

"They raised money for the hospitals, helped out during different holidays at the orphanages.  One of the orphanages use to be what is now called the Juvenile Detention and another is the Wallingford Nursing Home.  The Sorority was a Universal Sorority and had chapters all over the world.  It was made of mothers, working women as well as college women.  We had 8 chapters in Chester in 1959.  The Sorority was part of Chester long before that, but that is when I came in and met many lovely women during my years.  The chapters have since disbanded, but some of us have been in long enough to be members for life.  Some may remember our Hope Chest Booth at Crozer Hospital.  We always had a booth there until Crozer stopped having the June Fete."

Madeline Jenkins-Steiner, maddyjs@juno.com 

Bird Club's House
     Foot of Townsend St.
     Organized before 1902 by members of the Felton Fire Co.
     Burned in 1902

Central Rest Recreation Club

Pictures from 21st Annual Banquet, March 3, 1954

Century Club

The Club was a popular spot for many years, located at 15th & Upland Sts., and many parties, wedding receptions, and regular women's meetings were held here. 

Century Club Costume Dance, 1938
(Photo courtesy of Janet Andrews Moulder, JMoulder@aol.com)

July 1942 Meeting (From The Delaware County Advocate, courtesy of Harvey Martin)

Cheney Alumni, Chester Chapter

Chester Boys' Club

3rd Street near Franklin Fire Company

Chester Branch N.A.A.C.P. (1910-Present)

Chester Club
    Kingsley Montgomery
    1924: Howard H. Houston
    1925: A. B. Granger

Chester Owls Building
8th & Sproul St. (1949)

Chester Progressive Club
An organization of business men
Frank Shooster, President, for 20 years
   See Mr. Shooster's obituary

Chester Rescue Mission
614 Crosby St.
    Rev. Julius Kish, Manager, c. 1963-at least 1975
    Rev. Lester E. Paul (bef. 1974)
    Howard B. Sheppard (1974)

"Union Gospel Rescue Mission" (from the Chester Times Year Book, 1929, courtesy of Janet Andrews Moulder):

This is another of the new religious bodies to come in our midst during the past year. This mission was organized on August 12 last year under the leadership and supervision of the Reverend J. Frank Baker, who is at the present time the superintendent. This mission confines itself solely to a work among the men and women who have been unfortunate in the struggles of life and who have no immediate friends to whom they may turn for assistance. They endeavor to see that persons in these unfortunate circumstances are properly clothed, have a place to sleep and also make every effort to find employment for them. They also carry on a work among unfortunate children and conduct a Sunday School which numbers 42 members. The mission is located at 115 East Seventh street.

Children's Aid Society

Founded 1906

35th Anniversary Celebration, (Story & pictures from The Delaware County Advocate, July 1942)

Columbus Center
5th Street

Delco Blind/Sight Center

100 W. 15th St.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Chester Alumnae Chapter
     Chartered January 22, 1994

Dejarnette Scholarship Fund

"The Dejarnette Scholarship Fund is named after the late Willie Dejarnette who was very active in athletic activities for the youth of Chester. We are trying to keep his name alive and have established the scholarship fund to help the youth of Chester advance their baseball skills. We have a decathlon each year for the 4 Jr. High schools in Chester. The winners are sent to a baseball clinic at Glen Mills Schools each year.

Chester High grads Jim Van Koski, John Laszek, Chuck Taylor, Angelo Tiburzi, Ed Gebhart, Randy Legette, Dexter Davis, and myself serve on the committee as well as Joe Cirilli, Tom Blythe, Chubby Imburgia and Max Segich.

Our most recent fund raiser was Feb. 28, 2002 at the Concordville Inn.

Social hour- 5:30 to 6:45
Dinner- 7:00
Ed Gebhart to Roast-
Joe Logue
Joe Grace
John Mooney
Steve Coutin
Bill Van Horn
Mike Ritz
Joe Klecko
Father Charlie O'Hara
Nick Trainer
Bob Ewing

Tickets can be obtained by calling John Laszek: 610-459-5598 or Rich Merchant: 302-475-0453

- Rich Merchant, rem111@comcast.net

Exchange Club
    (founded c. 1925)

Fraternal Order of Beavers (1924)

Graduate Club Auxiliary (1947)

Habitat for Humanity of Delaware County PA

"We are a non-profit Christian based organization that is dedicated to building and rehabbing affordable and decent homes for low income families. Our Habitat affiliate began about 15 years ago and we've been working exclusively in the city of Chester since 1994. Since that time, we have rehabbed 7 homes and will soon be starting on an exciting new project, building a house from scratch at 836 McDowell Avenue, located near the corner of 9th Street. Visit our website for more details, and then contact our office manager, Jack McAnlis, to schedule a day to come out and lend a helping hand. Call the office 610-872-5424 or email info@habitatdelco.org to volunteer."
- 9/9/2005


Hebrew Independent Political Club
Met at 2000 W. 3rd St. (1899)
    Isaac Greenbaum, (Pres. 1899)

The Historic Lodge XII October, Order of Sons of Italy in America

Meets on the second Sunday of the month at 2PM at the Chestnut Ridge Community Room in Chester. We are in the process of setting up our own Web Page and intend to update our information for Old Chester.
The officers are:
President...Dr. Samuel P. Cimino
Vice President... Joseph Muscella
Recording Secretary... Veronica C. Barbato
Financial Secretary... Gabriel Forte
Treasurer..............Vito Di Maio
Orator................... Clotilda C. Mack

- Veronica C. Barbato, Recording Secretary, 12/5/2005

Irish American Club
524 Market St. (1974)
   (On the second floor above a Rexall Drug Store)

Italian American Club
4th & Crosby St.

The Historic Lodge XII October, Order of Sons of Italy in America meets on the second Sunday of the month at 2PM at the Chestnut Ridge Community Room in Chester. We are 
in the process of setting up our own Web Page and intend to update our information for Old Chester.
The officers are:
President...Dr. Samuel P. Cimino
Vice President... Joseph Muscella
Recording Secretary... Veronica C. Barbato
Financial Secretary... Gabriel Forte
Treasurer..............Vito Di Maio
Orator................... Clotilda C. Mack

- Veronica C. Barbato, Recording Secretary, 12/5/2005

Keystone Club
Carlos A. Hoopes, (Pres. 1949)

Kiwanis Club

We currently meet the first and third Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m. at the Edgmont 
Diner, 13th Street and Edgmont Avenue, Chester. -
Thanks to The Rev. Dot Field

Current Officers (2003)
President - Lawrence Moore
Vice president - M. Morrow Ziff
Secretary - The Rev. Dorothy M. Field
Treasurer - Will Richan

Officers (2001): Thanks to The Rev. Dot Field
President - M. Morrow Ziff (assumed presidency in October 2001)
Vice President - Lawrence Moore (also October 2001)
Secretary - The Rev. Dorothy M. Field
Treasurer - Irene Black Muhammad

In 2001, the club met at the Cambridge Restaurant, 505 Avenue of the States, Chester

Officers 1952:
Chester E. Wright, President
Weston C. Overhold, Vice President
C. Harry Roberts, Secretary

Lamokin AA
     4th Street

Lions Club

Jack Carr, (president 1950)

Delco Blind/Sight Center organized in 1941

Lloyd Athletic Club
Originally at 1100 W 3rd St., later moved to 1007 W 7th St.

Lodges & Eastern Star

Chester Lodge #1
Chester Lodge #69 F. & A. M. -
Chartered June 24, 1796; Warrant recalled in June 1838
Chester Lodge #236 Free and Accepted Masons
Constituted February 23, 1849
Chester Lodge #679
Chester Lodge of Moose
Chester Lodge IOOF
Eastern Light Lodge #46
John A. Watts Elks Lodge
Knights of Columbus (picture while under construction c. 1920) - also housed the Pep Boys store on the ground floor
Knights of the Pythias
Lodge #69, A.Y.M.
Lucius H. Scott Lodge #352, F & A M
Masonic Temple (pictures under construction c. 1920)
Odd Fellows Temple
Order of Independent Americans, Council #36
Penn Lodge #709 F. and A. M. Chester, PA
William Penn Lodge #19
Royal Arch Chapter 258, Chester Commandery No.66 R. A. M.
Tall Cedars of Lebanon
John A. Watt Lodge of Elks #224
Simon Wolf Lodge of B'nai Brith

Eastern Star Chapter 335

"I know a lot of ladies back in the 30's and 40's belonged.  They met on the second floor over some men's lodge.  It was in the same block as the Lewis Crozir Library and across from Larkin School."
-Betty-Jane Bennett Smith, Smith9697@aol.com

Moose Home - Royal Order of Moose

20 E. 5th St.
Moose Hall - 4th & Welsh St. (1952)

New Century Club

Optimist Club

Owls Club

8th & Sproul St.

Penn Club

Polish American Club

2604 W. 3rd St.

"By the way, to the best of my knowledge, the Polish American Club started in the home of my grandfather, Walter Owsiany on McIllevan St."
Terry Owsiany McHugh, tomch58@yahoo.com

Joseph Slowik, President 1953

Polish American Eagle Citizens' Club, 851 Elsinore Place

The club was organized January 27, 1924 and chartered September 15, 1924. 

Its Purpose was the advancement of civic matters, combating juvenile delinquency, promoting citizenship, education, scholarships, sociability, politics, welfare of Poland and many other noble causes.

Rotary Club
Joseph W. Meil, (president 1950)
David M. Paul, (president December 1945)

    Adriene Irving, (president, 2002)

    [Chester Times article about December 4, 1945 Rotary Award for Outstanding Service]

Russian Club

     Morton Ave.
     (Thanks to Pooch09@aol.com)

Ruth L. Bennett Improvement Club
Mrs. Ruth L. Bennett, (president 1914-1947)
Mrs. Ada Griffin, (president 1947-1948)
Mrs. Olee Barbour, (president 1948-1964)
Mrs. L. E. Morrison, (Chairman of the Board 1924)

Salvation Army
New citadel at 145 W. 5th St. was dedicated June 1925
    Brig. Gen. Frank Croft, 1946-1950
Capt. Robert Pfeiffer, (head 1974)

Scouting (Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Brownies, Girl Scouts)

"I belonged to Troop 31. West End. Orig sponsored by the Highland Gardens Civic Assoc.
Met in Peter's barn. Yep, a real and very old barn out on Concord Rd. at the end of HG.
We were part of the William Penn District of the Valley Forge Council."

- Bob Garrett, Bobthom2437@aol.com

Boy Scout Troop 6, c. 1945, First Presbyterian Church

Sullivan Social Club
9th & Upland Sts.

Ukrainian American National Home
4th & Ward St.
    A new, modernized club home was opened 1950

Wabash Social Club
    Founded 1883

West End Boat Club

Front & Jeffrey St.

Joseph Laird (re-elected President 12/1974 for a 13th consecutive term)

Ange Lenzi Trio (frequently performed at the West End Boat Club)

"If anyone is nostalgic enough... the old bar from the West End Boat Club is still in use. It is at Bonner's Tavern on Green St. in Feltonville!" thanks to Paul D. Crowther, 12/20/2001

Wheels of Soul Motorcycle Club

"I thinnk the club house was right at the Chester Bridgeport Ferry entrance, now under the Barry Bridge"
George, sony7600g@yahoo.com

7th & Edgmont Ave., later Eyre Park

   Organized in Chester in 1911

7th & Sproul St.


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If you have any information and or pictures that you would like to contribute information about Civic/Social Organizations in Chester, please forward it to john@oldchesterpa.com

2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 John A. Bullock III.

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This page last updated 02/24/07

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