Like many of the commercial structures in downtown Cheney, the Masonic Temple has had many tenants and uses over the decades.
Two influential architects of the 19th century, Kirtland Cutter and Karl Malmegren, designed the building in 1910 for the National Security Bank. The neo-classical design, with decorative brick work and classical stone trim is unique compared to the other buildings on Main Street.
The original building housed several businesses, including the National Security Bank, Cheney Light and Power and Cheney Telephone Company. In 1924 the Masons added a two-story extension to the original building that was used for their meeting and also by the Cheney Free Press. In 1939 the National Security Bank absorbed its competitor, The National Bank of Cheney, and moved its business to the bank across the street.
Today the old building is home to a branch of the Masonic Lodge, a fraternal organization that meets on the upper floor. The Masons originated in England, and in the late 18th century spread to America. Masons are people who work with stone to build structures, but very early on the Lodge has accepted many people of different trades. The Masons planted their roots in Cheney in 1883, and moved into their current temple in 1924. One of the notable local Masons was W.J. Sutton who was the president of the National Security Bank.
Masonic lodges like this were often building blocks of small towns and communities. The organization has contributed 1 billion dollars across the world in philanthropic pursuits, with 750 million of that being invested in the U.S, including support for libraries and museums. There have been many famous and influential masons including 14 United States presidents and 35 Supreme Court justices. The Freemasons have been around for generations and have been a major contributor and influence to American society.