The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc. today announced the donation of a 1926 Green Bay Packers team blanket by Bill Cahoon of Dandridge, Tenn.
The blanket, which belonged to Bill Cahoon’s father, Ivan “Tiny” Wells Cahoon, is square and about four feet across. It is light purple with gold lettering that reads “Green Bay” with the number “10” on it. According to the Hall of Fame, it’s possible that the item was originally blue, but has faded to light purple over time.
“I didn’t even realize this blanket existed,” Bill Cahoon said. “My sister gave it to me. I asked her, ‘Where did you get this?’ and she said, ‘Mom gave it to me!’ It’s an interesting piece of history and I doubt if there are any others like it. I want to donate it to the Packers Hall of Fame so that others can see it. The Hall of Fame is very well-known and a lot of people will be able to view the blanket there.”
Ivan Cahoon played as an offensive and defensive tackle for the Packers from 1926 to 1929. Under coach Curly Lambeau, Cahoon played in 31 games, starting in 27. Cahoon’s football career ended during the 1929 season, just before the Packers’ first NFL championship, when he sustained a knee injury.
After his retirement from football, Cahoon maintained his connection to the sport by coaching high school football. In 1933, he took up the reins at Green Bay West High School.
In 1938, Cahoon became the coach and athletic director at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Ill., a job set up for him, according to his son, Bill, by Packers teammate Jug Earp. He then left Monmouth after two years and went up to Milwaukee to coach a professional team, the Chiefs. Then World War II broke out. He also coached some service teams during his time in the Army.
During World War II, Cahoon was promoted from captain to major. He died at an Army hospital in San Francisco, Calif. on Feb. 3, 1973 at the age of 72. A graduate of Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., he was inducted into the Gonzaga Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991.
Although the origin of the blanket is unknown, it is likely that it was given to Cahoon after the Packers 7-3-3 season in 1926 as a year-end gift.
“We are very excited to receive this blanket,” said Tom Murphy, Packers Hall of Fame Inc. director and archivist. “We don’t have many items from that era, so we are very thankful for Bill’s donation.”
This is not Bill Cahoon’s first donation to the Hall of Fame. In 1966 he donated a football that was given to his dad after his only career touchdown during the Sept. 25, 1927, contest against the Cleveland Bulldogs. That ball can now be seen in the Johnny “Blood” McNally display at the Hall of Fame.
The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc. is a non-profit corporation independent of the Green Bay Packers that guides the Hall as a historic national sports venue and educational resource to the Green Bay community and the state of Wisconsin. The Hall raises funds through its annual induction banquet, Golf Classic and other events to develop new exhibits and expand its archives. Historic memorabilia donated by individuals to the Hall may qualify as tax-deductible gifts.
Originally established in 1967 as a temporary display in the concourse of the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena, the Hall moved into its own facility in 1976 near Lambeau Field. In 2003, it was relocated to a spectacular new, 25,000-square foot facility in the Lambeau Field Atrium. The Hall of Fame is open on non-game days from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hours may vary on game days and holidays. For more information, contact the Hall of Fame online at www.packershalloffame.com.