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Old 06-14-2008, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Pawnee Nation
7,525 posts, read 16,983,404 times
Reputation: 7112

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This is a picture of Pistol Pete from Pawnee Bills Museum in Pawnee



In the late 1860s, an 8-year-old Eaton witnessed six men, who had fought for the Confederacy, kill his father, a Vigilante, who had fought for the Union, The six men, who during the war had served with the Quantrill Raiders, from the Campsey and the Ferber clans, rode with the southerners who after the war called themselves "Regulators." Mose Beaman said to Frank, "My boy, may an old man's curse rest upon you, if you do not try to avenge your father." That same year, Mose taught him to handle a gun.

In 1875, when Eaton was 15, he learned where one of his father’s killers, Shannon Campsey, was. Before setting off on his mission to avenge his father's death, he decided to visit Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, a cavalry fort, to learn more about handling a gun. Although too young to join the army, he out shot everyone at the fort and competed with the cavalry's best marksmen, beating them each time. After many competitions, the fort's commanding officer, Colonel Copinger, gave Frank a marksmanship badge and a new nickname. From that day forward, Frank would be known as "Pistol Pete." Eaton, at 16, rode his horse to Shannon Campsey’s house and shot him twice before Campsey even spoke a word. Campsey was the first person Eaton killed, and the next three men he killed also helped kill his father.

He didn’t kill John Ferber, one of the men who killed his father, for Ferber was killed in a poker game. At Ferber’s funeral, Eaton met a Deputy U.S. Marshal looking for the same men. The marshal offered Eaton a Deputy U.S. Marshal’s commission and so began serving in Indian Territory as a deputy U.S. Marshal at the age of seventeen, under Judge Isaac C. Parker the "hanging judge.” He would later say that from the start of his career as a lawman he began tracking down his father's killers, claiming that by 1887 he had killed five, and that the sixth only escaped his six gun by being shot by someone else in a dispute over a card game. When he was 20, still working as a marshal, he heard where Wyley Campsey, the last of his father’s killers, was. He went into a bar in Albuquerque, N.M, and immediately realized that the bartender was Wyley Campsey. Eaton shot and killed him and also Campsey’s two bodyguards but not before one of the bodyguards shot Eaton in the leg and left arm.

Eaton would serve as either a marshall, a sheriff or a deputy sheriff until late in life. At twenty-nine, he joined the land rush to Oklahoma Territory. He settled southwest of Perkins, Oklahoma where he served as sheriff and later became a blacksmith. He usually carried a loaded .45 Colt and often said "I'd rather have a pocket full of rocks than an empty gun." He was also known to throw a coin in the air, draw and shoot it before it hit the ground. The common saying in the mid-western United States, "hotter than Pete's pistol," traces back to Eaton's shooting skills, along with the his legendary pursuit of his father's killers.

After seeing Eaton ride a horse in the 1923 Armistice Day parade in Stillwater, Oklahoma, a group of Oklahoma A&M College (now Oklahoma State University) students decided that Eaton's "Pistol Pete" would be a suitable mascot for the school. Previously the college had been known as the "Princeton of the Prairie" with a tiger mascot and colors of orange and black. Many at the school were unhappy with the "Tigers" mascot and felt "Pistol Pete," symbolic of the American Old West and Oklahoma's land run roots, better represented the college. It was not until 1958 that "Pistol Pete" was adopted as the school's mascot. The familiar caricature of "Pistol Pete" was officially sanctioned in 1984 by OSU as a licensed symbol.

Pistol Pete is also the athletics mascot of New Mexico State University & The University of Wyoming. Pistol Pete is a student dressed in traditional cowboy attire with a headpiece resembling Frank Eaton. Pistol Pete has been the mascot for the OSU Cowboys since 1923 and the mascot for the Aggies since the 1950's. However, the NMSU Aggies logo has been changed twice in the last two years after "Pete" lost his gun for security and other personal reasons.
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Old 06-14-2008, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth/Dallas
11,887 posts, read 36,922,373 times
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Very interesting. I didn't know that there was an actual man behind the mascot, and not for one, but THREE schools! The Wyoming Pistol Pete is an exact replica of OSUs. Any story behind OSU's colors? I've always loved the orange and black combo.
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Old 06-14-2008, 01:51 PM
 
Location: In My Own Little World. . .
3,238 posts, read 8,789,862 times
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Great story, GP. I know I've heard that story somewhere before.

Syn, the orange and black began with Princeton University. The story goes that when they came out on the field for their first football game (against Rutgers University), the fans mentioned they looked like tigers. So Princeton University's mascot is the Princeton Tiger.
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Old 06-14-2008, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth/Dallas
11,887 posts, read 36,922,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colleeng47 View Post
Great story, GP. I know I've heard that story somewhere before.

Syn, the orange and black began with Princeton University. The story goes that when they came out on the field for their first football game (against Rutgers University), the fans mentioned they looked like tigers. So Princeton University's mascot is the Princeton Tiger.
Thanks Colleen, but I was curious about the story behind OSU's colors. From the above article that GP posted, I'm aware that OSU was called "Princeton of the South" or something like that but did they adopt Princeton's colors as well?
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Old 06-14-2008, 10:17 PM
 
34,254 posts, read 20,537,546 times
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All this time, I thought he was one of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers...

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff275/redbird4848/fabulousfurryfreakbrother.jpg (broken link)
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Pawnee Nation
7,525 posts, read 16,983,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synopsis View Post
Thanks Colleen, but I was curious about the story behind OSU's colors. From the above article that GP posted, I'm aware that OSU was called "Princeton of the South" or something like that but did they adopt Princeton's colors as well?
Yes, the Princeton Tigers colors are orange and black (I guess to resemble tiger stripes). Although OSU dropped the Tigers name, they kept the orange and black colors.

GoPrincetonTigers.com—The Official Web Site of Princeton University Athletics
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:24 AM
 
1 posts, read 7,802 times
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I've really been a Sooner fan for 50 years but since I moved to Guthrie, Ok. I've changed my allegence. It seems everyone here is for OSU and naturaly, Pistol Pete. I've really become a OSU fan. I still like OU but OSU has taken my heart. I love the stories of Pistol Pete and I hope you come up with more......Mike B. (a Guthrie resident)
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
30,976 posts, read 21,636,949 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synopsis View Post
Very interesting. I didn't know that there was an actual man behind the mascot, and not for one, but THREE schools! The Wyoming Pistol Pete is an exact replica of OSUs. Any story behind OSU's colors? I've always loved the orange and black combo.
What's the story how Wyoming gets by with stealing OSU's Pistol Pete image?
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Edmond, OK
4,030 posts, read 10,764,526 times
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That's a really cool story. I knew he was an actual person, but I didn't realize the was the mascot for other schools as well. I have to say though, the Pistol Pete mascot costume really creeps me out. He looks like a cowboy version of the Burger King. Totally creepy. A couple of years ago I was driving through my neighborhood, and there he was standing in someone's front yard. I didn't see anyone else around and there wasn't a crowd of cars at the house like they were having a party or anything. Just Pistol Pete standing in the yard, and he waved at me as I drove by. I know the kid that served as the mascot at the time was from Edmond, but it was just so strange to see him just standing in someone's front yard.
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma City area
689 posts, read 2,058,321 times
Reputation: 604
Wyoming still has Pistol Pete but he no longer looks like OSU's Pete. Their symbol is now a silhouette of a cowboy on a bucking bronco. I wasn't sure how to get the picture in this post but you can Google the U. of Wyoming
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