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"Pig" the Dog is the University of Texas First Mascot 

While the athletic teams are known as Longhorn's, Pig is officially the first UT mascot. The student body names Theo Bellmont's bow legged puppy after Gus "Pig" Dittmar the bow legged captain of the football team. 

 

Of course, Pig was a regular at home and most out-of-town athletic events. He paced the sidelines for football and baseball games, and ventured indoors to the gym for basketball season. Pig eagerly lent his voice to the support of UT squads and developed a profound dislike for anything related to rival Texas A&M. “If you say ‘A&M’ to him, he will promptly lie down as though ready to give up the ghost in disgust,” related one account. “On the other hand, say ‘Texas’ to him and he starts barking with joy.” Pig was so loyal, some of the University’s athletes suggested that he deserved a letter, which was granted by the athletic department. (As the athletic director was also his owner probably helped in this regard.) Naturally, Pig wasn’t able to don a standard UT letter jacket. Instead, a small brass “T” was fashioned at the University’s mechanical shop and attached to Pig’s collar. He was inducted as the only canine member of the newly established “T” Association.

 

In 1917, when the United States entered the First World War, Pig enlisted. The war transformed the campus overnight, as the University sponsored three military schools on its grounds. The largest was School of Military Aeronautics. A precursor of the Air Force Academy, the SMA was created to provide basic technical instruction for beginning pilots before they moved on to flight training. Housed in the buildings on the “Little Campus,” just north of the present day Erwin Center (only John Hargis Hall and the Nowotny Building remain), several hundred soldiers at a time arrived for six-week sessions. Pig joined them. If a long hike was part of the day’s activities, Pig was usually near the front. He kept an eye on the barracks while the cadets were in class, and faithfully attended inspection each evening. The cadets adopted Pig as their mascot, included him in their graduation photos, and he twice took the train ride to Dallas, where the cadets were sent for initial flight training. When he had time, Pig wandered back to the main campus to check in on UT students, most of whom were part of the Student Army Training Corps.

On New Year's Day 1923 Pig is hit by a car at Guadalupe and 24th and dies four days later.

The January 5th 1923 Austin Statesman Head line states

 "Gloom Pervades University Campus: Students and Faculty Mourn Death of Mascot; To be Buried with Honors. " 

Pig is laid in state in front of the Co-op and more than a thousand mourners file pass to pay respects. At 5 P.M. there is a funeral procession led by the Longhorn Band and the "Cowboys", are the pallbearers.

Pig’s eulogy is delivered by the dean of the engineering school-Thomas Taylor. He says“Let no spirit of levity dominate this occasion,” “A landmark has passed away.” 

The Longhorn Band plays “Taps” as Pig is  buried, and then "Taps" is  played again from the old Main Building.

After the demise of Pig the sports teams struggled to start a new tradition for the mascot. Young boys were the answer. 

Young boys were the mascots in the late 20's  but no bevo until 1936.

 

 

 

The History of Longhorns by Ragan Gennusa

Cattle originally from Spain and Portugal were introduced into Mexico in 1521. Stocked at the Presidios in northern Mexico and southern Texas by the Mexican government, these cattle ran wild between the Rio Grande and the Nueces rivers and north and east to the Louisiana border, after constant Comanche Indian raids forced their abandonment. Not only did they survive the adversity of predation, drought disease and the dreaded tick fever, but they flourished. For two or three CENTURIES these incredible wild cattle existed in a closed gene pool emerging as a unique breed, the Texas longhorn.

Longhorn cows exhibited not only the traits mentioned above, but were extremely fertile, calving without problems well into their late teens, enabling the breed to multiply by the millions. It is estimated that between 1866 and 1890 ten million cattle were driven to northern markets, not only pulling the state of Texas out of bankruptcy, but creating wealthy cattle barons and establishing Texas as a rich state.  

 

 

 

 

Importance of the Longhorn mascot 

 

Ragan Gennusa is well known for his Texas Longhorn paintings and has owned longhorn cattle since 1984. Because of their historical contribution to the state of Texas, Ragan has chosen to honor this incredible animal, which not only embodies the character and spirit of the University of Texas Football Team, but also the people of the state of Texas, in much of his work. 

Today, Ragan resides in the hill country outside of Dripping Springs, Texas in a house he built, and paints mainly by commission in a studio filled with a sense of the West.

 

 

 

 

Chronology of Bevo 

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  • 1916- Bevo I is mEAN! He last thru half time of the Aggie game before being sent to a ranch for 4 years, but he is too expensive to take care. In 1920 he is "invited" to dinner for some UT football players and Aggie dignitaries. Rumor has the meat was tought.

  • 1917-1935 Texas uses young boys as the mascot in the late 20's but no bevo.

  • 1936- Bevo II is no better than Bevo I. He only makes 4 appearances before the UT administration decides he is too dangerous so he is sent home to the Diamond T ranch to live a full life.

  • 1937-1944 Texas has no mascot

  • 1945-1948- Bevo III was better but in 1948 he charges a photographer in addition to some  other indiscretions and is returned to the San Antonio Zoo.

  • 1949- Bevo IV is the meanest Bevo of all . After ramming a car he is  returned to Fort Griffin State Historic site. 

  • 1950-1955- Bevo V is raised from calfhood by the Silver Spurs and this strategy works. He is the first Bevo to travel to away games. 

  • 1955-1957- Bevo VI charges the Rice bench and is "released" from his responsibilities. 

  • 1957-1965- Bevo VII reigns during the start of the Royal era and is the most docile Bevo to this date in history.  He is kidnapped in 1963  and the Texas Rangers are used in the search for Bevo VII.  He is found in Bryan Texas at an Aggie veterinary clinic undergoing a thorough exam.  Bevo VII is responsible for the first "official" Texas Longhorns national Championship.  

  • 1965- Bevo VIII was too fiesty and released from his duties and responsibilities. 

  • 1966-1976- Bevo IX is great  The only thing that upsets him is women. He is kidnapped two times in 1972 once by the Rice Owls and once by the Aggies.  he is responsible for two national championship teams. 

  • 1976-1980 - Bevo X hated the smell of perfume and the color red. 

 

  • 1981 - Bevo XI is  selected as an interim Bevo while a new Bevo is trained. 

  • 1982-1988 - Bevo XII is unpredictable and is never the same after his trailer flips on MoPac.

  • 1988-2004- Bevo XIII is called the "Gentleman Bevo" by the Daily Texan and is the first Bevo that does charity work for sick kids and attends George Bush inaugural ball in 2001.  He is most famous for relieving himself on the Nebrasksa Cornhuskers logo in the Big 12 title game. 

  • 2004-2015 - Bevo XIV has the longest reign of all the Bevo's. He is a gentle spirit and affectionate. He is  even  polite to the Aggie mascot during "Reveille's"  visit to Bevo's  home. Bevo XIV even rolls  on his side for tummy rubs when his owner Betty Baker enters his stall. 

The origin of the name Bevo will never be known, but there are three speculations on the origin.  You get to choose the one you like. 

All are presented in this article by Jim Nicar ( the images are added by Billy Dale)

The Truth About Bevo by Jim Nicar

It's one of the best-known stories on campus. During a late night visit to Austin, a group of Texas Aggie pranksters branded the University's first longhorn mascot "13 – 0," the score of a football game won by Texas A & M. In order to save face, UT students altered the brand to read "Bevo" by changing the "13" to a "B," the "-" to an "E," and inserting a "V" between the dash and the "0." For years, Aggies have proudly touted the stunt as the reason the steer acquired his name. But was the brand really changed? And is that why he's called Bevo? Sorry, Aggies. Wrong on both counts.

It's one of the best-known stories on campus. During a late night visit to Austin, a group of Texas Aggie pranksters branded the University's first longhorn mascot "13 – 0," the score of a football game won by Texas A & M. In order to save face, UT students altered the brand to read "Bevo" by changing the "13" to a "B," the "-" to an "E," and inserting a "V" between the dash and the "0." For years, Aggies have proudly touted the stunt as the reason the steer acquired his name. But was the brand really changed? And is that why he's called Bevo? Sorry, Aggies. Wrong on both counts.

                     


The last day of November, 1916 - Thanksgiving Day - was an eventful one for the University of Texas. At 9:00 A.M. a procession of students, faculty and alumni paraded south from the campus to the state capitol for inauguration of Robert Vinson as the new UT president. Held in the House Chambers, students dressed according to their college and class. Seniors wore special arm bands, engineers sported blue shirts and khaki trousers, and freshmen huddled in green caps. There was enough pomp and oratory for the ceremony to last all morning.
After the inauguration, lunch was served on the Forty Acres. A boxed meal for twenty-five cents was available for those who wanted to picnic on the campus. Folks who preferred a more traditional Thanksgiving Day feast headed for the "Caf," an unpainted, leaky wooden shack that somehow managed to function as the University Cafeteria. The full turkey dinner cost fifty cents.

The afternoon was reserved for the annual football bout with the A & M College of Texas. A record 15,000 fans packed the wooden bleachers at Clark Field, the University's first athletic field, where Taylor Hall and the ACES Building are now. The first two quarters were a defensive struggle, and the half ended with the score tied 7 - 7.

During halftime, two West Texas cowboys dragged a half-starved and frightened longhorn steer onto the field, where it was formally presented to the UT student body by a group of Texas Exes. They were led by Stephen Pinckney (LL.B. 1911), who had long wanted to acquire a real longhorn as a living mascot for the University. While working for the U. S. Attorney General's office, he'd spent most of the year in West Texas assisting with raids on cattle rustlers. A raid near Laredo in late September turned up a steer whose fur was so orange Pinckney knew he'd found his mascot. With $1.00 contributions from 124 fellow alumni, Pinckney purchased the animal and arranged for its transportation to the University campus. Loaded onto a boxcar without food or water, the steer arrived at the Austin train station just in time for the football game.

After presenting the longhorn to the students, the animal was removed to a South Austin stockyard for a formal photograph and a long overdue meal. The steer, though, wasn't very cooperative. It stood still just long enough for a flash photograph, and then charged the camera. The photographer scurried out of the corral just in time, and both the camera and photograph survived the ordeal.

 

 

In the meantime, the Texas football team ran two punts in for scores to win the game 21 - 7.
To spread the news, the December 1916 issue of the Texas Exes Alcalde magazine was rushed into press. Editor Ben Dyer (BA 1910) gave a full account of the game and halftime proceedings. About the longhorn, Dyer stated simply, "His name is Bevo. Long may he reign!"

With the football season over, the steer remained in South Austin while UT students discussed what to do with him. The Texan newspaper favored branding the longhorn with a large "T" on one side and "21 - 7" on the other as a permanent reminder of the Texas victory. Others were opposed, citing animal cruelty, and wondered if the steer might be tamed so that it could roam and graze on the Forty Acres.

 

 

 

 

The debate was abruptly settled early on Sunday morning, February 12, 1917. A group of four Texas A & M students equipped "with all the utensils for steer branding" broke into the South Austin stockyard at 3:00 am. There was a struggle, but the Aggies were able to brand the longhorn "13 - 0," which was the score of the 1915 football game A & M had won in College Station.


Only a week later, amid rumors that the Aggies planned to kidnap the animal outright, the longhorn was removed to a ranch sixty miles west of Austin. Within two months, the United States entered World War I, and the University community turned its attention to the conflict in Europe. 

Out of sight and away from Austin, the branded steer was all but forgotten until the end of the war in November 1919. Since food and care for the animal was costing the University fifty cents a day, and because the steer wasn't believed to be tame enough to roam the campus or remain in the football stadium, it was fattened up and became the barbecued main course for the January 1920 football banquet. The Aggies were invited to attend, served the side they had branded, and were presented with the hide, which still read "13 - 0."

 

 

A recent suggestion made by Dan Zabcik (BA 1993) may prove to be the right one. Through the 1900s and 1910s, newspapers ran a series of comic strips drawn by Gus Mager. The strips usually featured monkeys as characters, all named for their personality traits. Braggo the Monk constantly made empty boasts, Sherlocko the Monk was a bumbling detective, and so on. The comic strips became so popular, that for a while it was a nationwide fad to nickname friends the same way, with an "o" added to the end. The Marx Brothers were so named by their friends in Vaudeville: Groucho was moody, Harpo played the harp, and Chico raised chicks when he was a boy. Mager's strips ran every Sunday in newspapers throughout Texas, including Austin.  

 

Why did Ben Dyer dub the longhorn Bevo, instead of another name? For some time, the most popular theory has been that it was borrowed from the label of a new soft drink. "Bevo" was the name of a non-alcoholic "near beer" produced by the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Saint Louis. Introduced in 1916 as the national debate over Prohibition threatened the company's welfare, the drink was extremely popular through the 1920s. Over 50 million cases were sold annually in fifty countries. Anheuser-Busch named the new drink "Bevo" as a play on the term "pivo," the Bohemian word for beer.

However, while the Bevo drink was a long-term success, its sales in 1916 were comparatively small. Without the assistance of radio or television advertising, marketing campaigns were slower, and it took longer for retailers to buy in to the new Anheuser-Busch product. As it turns out, the Bevo beverage was almost unknown in Austin when Stephen Pinckney presented his orange longhorn to University students. Bevo the beverage just might be a red herring.

 

100th Anniversary Bevo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please see link below about Gus Mager's cartoon series .

https://www.arthur-conan-doyle.com/index.php?title=Sherlocko_The_Monk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition, the term "beeve" is the plural of beef, but is more commonly used as a slang term for a cow (or steer) that's destined to become food. The term is still used, though it was more common among the general public in the 1910s when Texas was more rural. The jump from "beeve" to "Bevo" isn't far, and makes more sense given the slang and national fads of the time.


Whatever the reason, UT's mascot was named by folks in Austin, not College Station.

Bevo 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Longhorn illustrations by Robert Anschutz @ www.robertanschutz.com


 


 

In September 2016  the Alcalde wrote an article on the history of Bevo. Please see the link below for more information on Bevo. . 

http://alcalde.texasexes.org/bevoxv/?utm_source=attexas&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=attexas