Founded in 1903 by John Andrew Kohlhepp, the business hauled coal to the surrounding community by horse & wagon. John Andrew purchased the DuBois Clay Works, the site of our present day block manufacturing plant. In the early 1920's a devastating fire destroyed the barns and all the livestock. The decision was made to purchase motorized vehicles for hauling.
In the 1930's three of John Andrew's sons, Russell, Virgil, and Anson, expanded the business to include concrete block manufacturing and ready mix concrete. They operated the business until the late 1950's.
Russell's son Douglas entered the business in the late 1950's and started a home remodeling department. In the early 1960's, we entered retailing when he opened the Kohlhepp Lumberteria. This operation supplied a variety of building materials. The mid to late 1960's were tough years in the DuBois area with the loss of many traditional industries. In 1972, Douglas joined with True Value Hardware and also remodeled the block plant. The ready mix concrete business was sold. The area was making a comeback and sales began to climb when Hurricane Agnes brought devastation to thousands of homes and business. Although our operation suffered major flooding, the business survived.
Douglas had three sons, Daniel, Benjamin, & Andrew. In 1973, Ben returned to DuBois after graduating from Ohio University. He began managing the hardware store and expanded merchandise lines to include plumbing, electrical, lawn & garden, sporting goods, and housewares. In 1986, 20,000 square feet were added to the existing building. Andrew returned to the family business in 1982 after attending Ohio University, the University of Oklahoma and living on the west coast. He began managing the concrete block and masonry supply end of the business. Ben continues to manage the True Value Hardware Store.
In 1994, a Just Ask Rental Center was opened. This rental facility is managed by Ben. At the same time, Andy opened a stone fabrication facility for marble, granite, and limestone.
` Doug and his wife, Jackie, retired in 1987, sold their home and fulfilled a life long dream as they joined the Peace Corps and went to Malawi, Africa. Jackie has now located herself to State College, PA.
Andy has retired and moved down to South Carolina with his wife Chris. Ben can still be found in the Stone Center and Custom Countertop office helping with day to day activities. Along with his wife and his two children, Dan and Julia whom all work in either the Stone Center or the Custom Countertop shop. It is definitely a family affair. We still strive to be tied many programs in the area. From our Little League team to sponsoring many events throughout the community, Kohlhepp's is proud to be part of that community.
In the end of 2017 the decision was made to close the True Value Hardware Store and the Just Ask Rental Center, allowing the company to focus more on the Stone Center and Custom Countertop businesses.