History

Cannon Memorial Lodge Number 626 A.F.&A.M., was granted a Dispensation on August 23rd, 1915. The Lodge was Chartered on January 19th, 1916 and has had an unbroken record ever since.

Cannon Memorial Lodge Number 626 History

Contrary to a somewhat widespread belief, even among members of the lodge, Cannon Memorial Lodge No. 626, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, was not named for James William Cannon-founder of the town of Kannapolis, but for his brother, David Franklin Cannon, another sturdy and skilled businessman and banker who helped steer his section of the South out of the dark days of it's Reconstruction.

James William Cannon, in fact, was still living when Cannon Memorial Lodge #626 was first organized and he actively supported it from the beginning. David Franklin Cannon had died 11 years earlier, and the large, active, and growing lodge named here in his honor, is a fitting memorial.

David Franklin Cannon was a merchant and a banker in Concord. He and his younger brother, James William, founded Cannon Manufacturing Company, forerunner of the present great Cannon Mills Company, and David Franklin Cannon was the first president of that concern. He died in 1904, being succeeded at the company's helm by James W. Cannon. His son, J. Archie Cannon, and Mrs. Nan Cannon Stringfellow, presented the Kannapolis Lodge its first set of jewels November 2, 1915, while the local lodge was still under dispensation.

The textile manufacturing company which the Cannons founded furnished a basic industry that helped Cabarrus county out of the quagmire of the depression that followed the War Between the States.

Cannon Mills Textile Plant In 1915 - Courtesy Of Kevin Eagle

That industry's growth into its present eminence is paralleled by the history of Cannon Memorial Lodge No. 626. The first organizational meeting was held January 14, 1915, with 18 persons present.

Present at the first communication were the following:

  1. John H.Rutledge - First Master
  2. E. F. Carter - Senior Warden
  3. S. A. Perkins - Junior Warden & Chairman
  4. W. B. Beaver. - Secretary
  5. L. M. Gillon - Treasurer
  6. Rev. P. W. Tucker
  7. C. E. Lowe
  8. L. T. Ligon
  9. T. P. Moose
  10. R. L. Poovey
  11. W. J. Willett
  12. M. N. Petrea
  13. C. P. Cline
  14. W. C. McKinley
  15. W. C. Broom
  16. C. L. Eller
  17. A. Z. Price
  18. W. T. Rutledge

The name, Cannon Memorial Lodge, in honor of David Franklin Cannon, was decided on at this meeting "Fathered" by Stokes Lodge No. 32 of Concord, the new group at Kannapolis, was visited often during its early days by members of that lodge.

The minutes for September 7, 1915, showed that the following members of Stokes lodge were present: J. C. Fink, L. A. Bickle, J. M. Hendrix, T. J. Hendrix, Gilbert Hendrix. Stokes lodge were present: J. C. Fink, L. A. Bickle, J. M. Hendrix, T. J. Hendrix, Gilbert Hendrix.

In addition, L. T. Ligon of Buffalo lodge at Blacksburg, S. C., Fairview lodge, Kings Mountain, N. C. attended.

At that same meeting, committees were named to draw up by-laws and to purchase the necessary paraphernalia for the lodge's transformation from the dispensation stage to that of a regularly constituted lodge. P.W. Tucker, S. A. Perkins and E. F. Carter made up the by-laws committee; J. H. Rutledge, S. A. Perkins and E. F. Carter, the paraphernalia committee. The charter was issued January 19, 1916, and the first regular meeting after issuance of the charter was held February 1, 1916.

In its 42 year history, Cannon Memorial lodge has grown tremendously in size and in service. From that tiny group of 18 who attended the organizational session, the lodge has now grown to a blue lodge membership of more than 530. And many others are in the process of being raised.

The lodge contributes to many worthy charities, most of its work publicly unheralded. It makes regular contributions to organized Masonic orphanages and other charities, and its members are constantly engaged in worthy enterprises for community betterment not connected with lodge work.

A highlight in the interesting history of Cannon Memorial Lodge and perhaps a unique occurrence, was the election of George G. Allen as master. On June 4, 1918, Mr. Allen, a member of Stokes Lodge No. 32, was made assistant superintendent of Cannon Mills Company, Plant 1, and moved from Concord to Kannapolis. He demitted from Stokes lodge and was elected to membership and as master of Cannon Memorial Lodge on the same night.

On November 1, 1951, Allen-Graham Lodge No. 695 was instituted, with 83 of its charter members coming from the membership of Cannon Memorial Lodge No.626 under whose sponsorship it was formed and organized. This new lodge was named for two very eminent Masons of Kannapolis whose efforts kept Masonry alive here during the trying years of the late 1920's and early 1930's. They were both past Masters of Cannon Memorial Lodge, namely, George G. Allen and T. I. Graham.

J. M. Koontz, a past Master of Cannon Memorial Lodge, was the first Master of Allen-Graham Lodge and was predominately instrumental in its organization.

Present officers of Cannon Memorial Lodge No. 626 are: Harold E. Belk, Master; Roy C. Deyton, Senior Warden; O. R. Elliott, Jr., Junior Warden; W. F. Shepherd, Treasurer; J. Q. Benton, Secretary: E. C. Griffin, Senior Deacon; J. L. Carter, Junior Deacon; J. W. Swiggett, Jr, Senior Steward; R. T. Dickson, Junior Steward; F. M. Watts, Chaplain; E. L. Carter, Tyler. (1958 Officers).

Northeast Cornerstone This was taken verbatim from Lodge Archives, as written down in 1958. This is the Corner Stone Which was laid, and can be seen in front of Kannapolis Masonic Center.

Search Overlay