Ongoing effort to establish Canton Township Historical Society

TWP TOWNSHIP. – Neighborhoods like Waco and North Industry are an integral part of the township’s colorful past.

An effort is currently underway to increase knowledge of the township’s history among local residents.

David Budd partnered with Jill Miller to create what would come to be known as the Canton Township Historical Society.

“We want people who live here to share their memories that relate to Canton Township,” Budd said. “I’m a genealogist. I’ve been a genealogist for 30 years. I’ve also traced the history of Canton Township and Stark County.”

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Budd and Miller recently obtained nonprofit tax-exempt status for the Canton Township Historical Society. A community meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on April 19 at the Canton Township Community Center at 210 38th St. SE.

David Budd is shown with his collection of historical artifacts at his home in Canton Township on Friday.  Budd joins others in establishing a Canton Township Historical Society.

New Canton Township Historical Society Needs Board of Directors

“We’ve been dating for a little over a year,” Miller said. “We haven’t established any officers yet. Hopefully people will come forward and serve on a board. We’re really just at the very beginning.”

The group will use a room in the township-owned community center as an exhibit gallery. The arrangement was devised through an agreement with the township administrators.

“From a township perspective, what the deal will be is that the township will support them in terms of housing,” said township trustee Mark Shaffer. “At least for now we should be able to provide space.”

The mission of the agency is to conserve, research and collect objects from the past.

“Local historical organizations are important to the fabric of the community because they preserve history,” said Neil Thompson, public relations manager for the Ohio History Connection. “They do this not only through exhibits, artifacts, buildings and sites, but also by sharing stories from the past.”

The Ohio History Connection was formerly known as the Ohio Historical Society.

Miller acknowledged that he doesn’t have a large amount of material to display at this point.

“I think by the time we have a board, I’m hoping people will scrounge from their attics and donate items or donate items to loan out,” Miller said. “I’d like to think it’s worth the effort for us to put something together.”

A representative from a community historical society offered her support for the ongoing effort in Canton Township. However, Judith Pocock of the Plain Township Historical Society is aware that a significant portion of Canton Township was annexed or taken over by the city of Canton.

“The area that’s not in the city needs to have its history preserved,” Pocock said. “There are things in this area to remember. I think it’s a great idea if they can come together and be successful. How we started, our township administrators were interested in having an organization.”

An 1870 map of North Industry is one of the historic artifacts featured Friday in the collection of David Budd in Canton Township.  Budd joins others in establishing a Canton Township Historical Society.

The strong community feeling of Canton Township

The township of Canton, with the exception of the village of Meyers Lake, does not have a municipal corporation. But Miller says there’s a deep sense of community nonetheless.

“There are families that have been here for generations,” Miller said. “I think there’s a strong sense of community here. People who live in the North Industry area, there’s a strong sense of community there.”

North Industry and Waco are unincorporated neighborhood communities. And for Shaffer, the township administrator, a local historical society could be an effective tool in establishing a sense of community throughout the township of Canton.

“It’s inclusive,” Shaffer said. “It brings together all sectors of the community.”

Contact Malcolm at 330-580-8305

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