Women of Woodcraft

Women of Woodcraft was a female auxiliary to Woodmen of the World (WOW), which was founded in 1897 by Joseph Cullen Root. Women of Woodcraft covered the nine states of the Woodmen’s Pacific Jurisdiction: California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. In 1917 Women of Woodcraft changed their name to Neighbors of Woodcraft (NOW). In 2001 NOW returned to its roots and merged with WOW.

Women of Woodcraft cemetery symbol; photo by Joe Beine

Photo: from the headstone of Nettie Curran (1881-1916), Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, Colorado


32 Responses to Women of Woodcraft

  1. Ruth B. (Moore) Gangwish says:

    Yesterday (June 9, 2007), I observed my father’s mother’s headstone at Forest Hill Cemetery in Cosmopolis, Washington. The Women of Woodcraft symbol was embossed in the granite. Her name was Rachel Vernecia (Wilson) Moore, wife of Charles B. Moore. Rachel: b. 1870, d. 1910.

  2. Graydon Lewis says:

    My mom was a Neighbors of Woodcraft, went through all the chairs in the “great Depression” in Pine Circle # 45 in Springfield Oregon. I was insured and so were my kids in an endowment policy we cashed out in 1969. I always wondered what happened to the NOW. Of great impression to me as a young kid were the pot luck dinners usually once a month or so. Great food, not always easy to come by in the depression years.

  3. Kristen Moore says:

    My gg grandma was a a member of the Women of Woodcraft & my great grandfather also. I have pics of their gravestones in Salt Lake City Cemetery. I would love to join… how can I? My gg grandma’s name was Margaret Gallagher Buller & my great grandpa was William Dearing Cowburn. I would love to share the photos if anyone is interested.
    Thanks, Kristen Cowburn Moore.

  4. Todd S. Jenkins says:

    I had never heard of Woodmen of the World or Women of Woodcraft until I was photographing headstones at Pioneer Memorial Cemetery in San Bernardino, CA the other day. I was amazed at how many stones were marked with their logos, so I went home and looked into them. What interesting organizations! Too bad they eventually quit sponsoring headstones.

  5. Anna says:

    I was taking my daily walk through our local cemetary and decided to get a closer look at this very odd tombstone I had seen for years. It was shaped like a tree stump with the limbs removed. I have so far counted 10 of these tombstones throughout the cemetary all carrying the woodman of the world insignia. Strange way to advertise, but effective.

  6. Dana Silberstein says:

    If any of you have stories, recollections or suggested materials about the women of woodcraft, I would be grateful. I too just discovered the headstones in a cemetery in Seattle am interested in writing about this organization.

    Thank you …

    • Eileen Suggs says:

      Dear Dana; I had bought an old book and in it is a receipt from, “The Women of Woodcraft” dated 1912…if you need this please let me know. (It looks brand new) I was just looking into this name today. Have a super day. Eileen S.

      • Sue Metcalfe says:

        Just started researching the topic. My great grandmother, Ethel (Fisher) Porter, was a member of the Women of Woodcraft. She is buried in Edmonton, Alberta, but joined the group in Durango, Colorado, where she lived from 1891 to 1904. Her headstone has the Woodcraft insignia. I would love to have a copy of the recipe. Thanks. Sue M.

    • K Kelly says:

      There is a Women of Woodcraft headstone in the Grangeville Idaho Cemetery which is truly beautiful. It has a stone carved crocheted delicate blanket draped on it. Most striking stone I have ever seen. Have searched for meaning of the organization in the past, and am happy to learn a little about it here.

    • Dana, I know your post is nine years old, but I was just doing some research on Neighbors of Woodcraft and discovered this blog. Today I found a booklet of By-Laws for the Vallejo Circle of the Neighbors of Woodcraft dated 1917. I am not sure if my grandmother or great grandmother belonged to the organization.
      If you wrote an article on the organization, I would be very interested in reading more about them.
      Carolyn Anderson

  7. tom edwards says:

    I have a women of woodcraft pin made in 14K that has a log with a ax in it about the size of a nickle. Stamped on the back A.S. Carter Denver and a patent date
    PAT NOV – 12 – 97

    Have you seen one before? Let me know Tom

    • Cherie Rhoades says:

      We have one of these pins that came from an estate in Leadville, CO with the patent date Nov-12-95. Ours is stamped A.S. Carter Denver, 14K and has a pink stone set with 5 prongs on the center of the log. Does yours have the pink stone?

      • Tom Edwards says:

        Yes it is the same pin….I hadn’t noticed the Nov-12-95 patent date on the back of the log until i looked very closely. it was hard to see in the wood grain. No stone though, sounds like they had a birthstone added to it.

      • Tom Edwards says:

        I guess I did see the date before but it must be 95 not 97…
        the number doesn’t show up after the 9 on mine. It is stamped lightly so must have thought it was a seven.

    • Mia says:

      I have a pin too, it was my great grandmother’s. It’s all gold (14 kt) and on the top where it pins on there’s a log and it says, “Past Guardian” then hanging by two little chains there’s a wreath with a bow at the bottom, and in the middle an open book with a mallet and axe crossed on top of it, and it says, “Golden Gate Circle 355 Alis Vocat Proprus” On the back it says Clara O. Soules and has the date January 29, 1932. The wreath part is about the size of a quarter and the log is a little wider but shorter.

  8. Larry L. Stout says:

    My g-g-grand uncle and his first wife lived in Colorado. She died in 1902 there and was shipped back to Decatur Co. IN for burial. The WOW symbol is on her stone and it also states on her stone that they erected her stone. The stone is in the New Pennington Cemetery. The stone can be seen at Find-A-Grave under Mary L. Myers (maiden name was Haus).

  9. Larry L. Stout says:

    Correction. Her maiden name was Uphaus.

  10. Bobbie Taylor says:

    My parents were also members of the Pine Circle #45 Neighbors of Woodcraft in Springfield, OR. My dad held every office there was, as well as being Chairman of the Grand Circle Laws Committee. He was on the mens drill team out of Portland. I too was a member of NOW and one of my first “real” jobs out of high school was to move to Portland and work for the organization at their headquarters 1410 Morrison St. I hold many fond memories of the organization. My parents are both gone and I have pictures, some articles, an old Ritual book, pins….Memories too good to give up. My parents were Walter & Marjorie Taylor and I’m Roberta (Bobbie) Taylor.

  11. Wayne Strickler says:

    My grandmother was a member of Neighbors of Woodcraft and she bought life insurance policies for her grandchildren. I still have my policy in force which would date back to approximately 1939. Neighbors of Woodcraft has been merged with Woodmen Of The World.

  12. Linda L. Longmire says:

    When my Step-Grandmother passed away my Mother was about to throw it all away, but I salvaged alot of it and I found this, I don’t know, I will call it a badge (looks gold plated). It comes in 3 pieces. The top is a name plate with a filigrie edge and says:
    Grand Circle Session
    hanging from that is a circle medallion with a bear on it. Below that is a bigger medallion that that has:
    WOMEN OF WOODCRAFT (across top)
    ALIS VOLAT PROPRIIS (across bottom)
    which is attached by 2 small chains from the name plate. On the back side of the Bear is:
    LOS ANGELES 1905
    I was wondering if anyone could give me more information on it. Her name was Mary Burnett, Great Falls, MT.
    You can reach me @ grizgiggle@wildblue.net
    Thank you,
    Lninda L. Longmire

  13. linda schoonover says:

    Can anyone give me any information on Minnie Wood she was a member of the Neighbors of the Woodcraft Palm Circle No. 66, of Seattle, this probably would of been sometime around 1945, she was also a past Noble Grand of the Diadem Rebeka Lodge and a former member of the Women’s Relief Corps. No. 1. She was born in 1870 and died in 1954. Would greatly appreciate any information.

  14. Mary Lou Garrett says:

    My great grandmother has a WOW symbol on her headstone. I am
    assuming she was a member as she was a very active lady. Since I knew nothing of Women of Woodcraft I asked the state historian at the Montana Historical Society and she couldn’t help me, It was my
    son who found the website and the information so I copied to put in
    our family history book.

  15. Dave says:

    I have recently found an old forgotten cemetary in Washington state with the Headstone for Mary Howley Born June 22 1874 and Died May 22 1905 with the Women of Woodcraft inscribed along with Courage Hope Remembrance.

  16. Mary says:

    I live in El Paso Tx , while finding graves of relative at Concorida Cemetery (the oldest cemetery in El Paso), there is a beautiful large headstone for a women The headstone has the emblem pictured above. The headstone states that it was a gift from the Women of Woodcrafters. It made such an impression I had to look them up when I got home. I hope to find out more about the organization.

  17. Ed Miller says:

    Today I discovered Ralston Cemetery in Arvada Colorado. In it is a grave of one Ella Denton. On her headstone is the Women of Woodcraft logo and name, etched into the granite. I came home to research it and ended up here, posting about this finding.

  18. Joan Ross says:

    My husband found his ggrandmother’s grave in Leadville, CO with the Woodcraft circle on the tombstone. She died in 1927. Did the organization provide the tombstone? Is there a way to look up the information to find when it was placed?

  19. James Huntzinger says:

    James Huntzinger writes: I never knew my maternal grandmother, but recently located her grave and headstone in Merrill, Oregon. She was a schoolteacher and women’s suffrage writer, in the early 20th century and died in a wagon/horses accident involving a puma, so the legend has it. She was just 36 and was a Women of Woodcraft member. I had heard of Woodmen of the World previously; had almost signed up for an insurance policy with them. It was a significant moment in my life to at last find my grandmother. She had a son (my dad) and a daughter who resembled her physically and in character: a can-do, pioneering redhead.

  20. Gail Chism says:

    I have a picture of Neighbors Of Woodcraft Convention, Lowell Circle 513, 1961. I would love to share it & also find out more info. Lowell, Wa was annexed into Everett, Wa in 1962.

  21. steph mcgrath says:

    Here’s a stone in Illinois with the logo and says erected by the WOW.

    Kathryn Larkin died in 1906 in Los Angeles where she had lived for two years.

    Her gravestone is in Eagle Township, LaSalle County, Illinois, where she was born.

    Lostlands Cemetery, Find A Grave Memorial# 80386049

  22. Hyrum Justice says:

    My GG Grandfather immigrated to Leadville from Sweden in 1897. Before my Mother passed away she showed me a headstone in the ‘old cemetery’ of a WOW headstone of Anna B Nelson, wife of John Nelson who rests next to her. My Mother said it was her Aunt Anna. But my GG Grandfather family name was Eriksson. I think maybe Aunt Anna was someone that helped GG Grandfather immigrate. Did WOW help in this way?

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