A couple months ago, we received an inquiry from Rob Lohrmeyer, who is dean for Career & Technical Education at Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho, about whether we’d be interested in an old framed diploma from one of our early alumni, Noal F. Caywood, who graduated with a bachelor’s in forestry in 1913. Rob didn’t attend SEFS—though he did earn a bachelor’s in forestry from the University of Montana—but he had purchased the diploma at an auction in Lewiston, Idaho, in the late 1970s and was looking to clear some storage.
We were immediately intrigued, and earlier this week Rob and his wife passed through Seattle and dropped off the diploma. The glass on the frame broke and was removed years ago, and the paper is in fairly rough shape, but it is still clearly legible—including the signature of Thomas Kane, president of the university at the time.
Rob had done some searching to try to learn more about Noal, and the most recent record he found was an August 23, 1936 issue of The Salt Lake Tribune announcing that Noel, with an “e,” and his wife were relocating to Salt Lake City from Spokane, Wash. We were able to find a record of his graduation, his membership in the Xi Sigma Pi forestry honor society while in school, and a possible note about him working as a logging engineer in Everett around 1922. We are fairly confident, as well, that he was born in Avon, Ind., in 1889 and lived until 1976. Then there’s a 1940 U.S. Census record of a Noah F. Caywood—also from Indiana, and also 50 years old, as Noal would have been—living with his wife Gertrude in Spokane. He lists his occupation as a “forest engineer” working in “government forestry.” Certainly sounds like Noal, though beyond that we haven’t had much luck.
All of which is to say we’re very grateful to Rob for generously donating this piece of our history, and we hope we’re able to track down more of Noal’s story!