Chartered on December 12, 1821 by the Grand Lodge of Ohio, F. &. A. M., Canton Lodge is the oldest lodge meeting in the Canton Masonic Temple and is one of the best known fraternal organizations of this community.
Its meeting places have not always been in the stately and beautiful edifice of today. For the first 70 years, the lodge met in various meeting rooms throughout the downtown area.
From 1890 to 1904 the lodge occupied meeting rooms on the third floor of a building located at 6th and Market Ave. North. A second location, known as the W. T. Grant building located at the corner of 4th and Market Ave. was home to the lodge from 1904 until 1926, when the present building was completed.
Much of the success and rich history of the lodge can be traced back to prominent citizens of the community such as doctors, lawyers, merchants, and civic leaders who, as active members of the fraternity guided the lodge to emerge as a distinguished and most respected organization within our community.
President William McKinley, Jr. demitted from his mother lodge, Winchester Hiram Lodge No. 21, A. F. & A. M. to Canton Lodge on August 21, 1867. On October 20, 1869 he demitted to Eagle Lodge No. 431 where he became a Charter Member. After his death on September 14, 1901, Eagle Lodge further honored his memory by changing their name to Wm. McKinley Lodge.
While the lodge has never sought or expects recognition for its extensive acts of charity and prefers to remain anonymous, the generosity of the membership is vast, ranging from assistance to individual brethren in times of distress, hospital building funds, food banks, the Special Olympics, and student financial aid, only to name a few.
Today, as in the past, the lodge remains dedicated to the brotherhood of man, offering those who will knock at our door the opportunity to subscribe to the high moral precepts of duty to God, our neighbor, and family which is the foundation on which this ancient institution has been established.