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This is the original charter for St. Adalbert's Aid Society, commonly referred to as 5th Street Hall, which was built in 1892 at 701 5th Street NW in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The society was founded in 1872 by Anton Stiller and conducted its business out of homes prior to the building of the hall. His name can be seen on the front side of the charter. 

This charter is part of the 5th Street Hall Archival Collection #241, accession number 2021.120.1, which contains a variety of objects relating to the Hall including meeting minutes, business papers, booklets, photographs, and other ephemera. The Collection helps document the history of the oldest Polish Aid Society in Michigan.  
20" h 10.5" w ; 19" h 8" w
Current Location Status:
On Loan
Collection Tier:
Tier 1
Gift of David Trepke
Related Entities:
David Trepke (donor) St. Adalbert's Aid Society (creator)
Alternate names: 5th Street Hall, Fifth Street Hall, Saint Adalbert Aid Society
The St. Adalbert's Aid Society, commonly called 5th Street Hall, was founded in 1872 by Anton Stiller and was the first established Polish society in Michigan. At its founding, the purpose of the society was to help immigrants settling in the area with things such as finding housing and employment as well as teaching English and providing life insurance to members. Prior to the Hall being built in 1892 at 701 5th Street NW., business was conducted out of members' homes. As of 2021, the Hall still functions as a gathering place for community members, many of whom are descendants of Grand Rapids Polish settlers.  Anton Stiller (is related to)
Alternate names: Anthony Stiller, Antoniego Stiller, Antonius Sztyller
Anton Stiller (Antonius Sztyller) was born in Poland on January 6th, 1835 to Hersz and Hinde Sztyller. He married Victoria Natenszus in 1857 and together they emigrated to the United States in 1867. They are recorded as the first Polish settlers in Grand Rapids, Michigan from Trzemeszno, Poland. Upon his arrival, Stiller opened a tailor shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan which he operated until around 1888. In 1872, he founded St. Adalbert's Aid Society, an organization built to support Polish immigrants and help them settle into the city. It was the first established Polish Society in Michigan. He also founded St. Adalbert's Church in 1880 with the assistance of Father Aaron Strauser. Polish settlers in Grand Rapids often attended St. Mary's Church which had a predominantly German congregation. As the Polish population grew, Stiller saw a need for a Polish Catholic church, and St. Adalbert's Church was born. Throughout his life, Stiller continued operating various businesses like real estate and a cigar shop, often employing other Polish settlers in his shops. His legacy continues to live on at 5th Street Hall, located at 701 5th Street NW, and the Basilica of St. Adalbert in Grand Rapids. Stiller passed away on August 27th, 1903, and is buried in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Grand Rapids. 
Related Place:
Grand Rapids