The former United State’s Federal Marshal, gunman, cowboy, scout, author, and water well digger, Frank Eaton, has made his mark as one of the most recognized mascots in college sports. Used as an unofficial mascot (officially named in 1958) at Oklahoma A&M in 1923, the University of Wyoming actually presented Pistol Pete in 1917, and New Mexico State University began their relationship with the Pistol in the 1950’s. Each mascot of the three schools is now somewhat different but all strive to portray the man in a honorable and historic fashion. All three schools cherish Frank Eaton, his moniker “Pistol Pete” and recognize his past achievements as the face of their sports programs.
Interesting facts about Frank Eaton:
- Born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1860, then moved to Kansas at age eight.
- Father killed by six men in 1868. He revenged his death by killing five as an adult
- Deputy US Marshal at age 17 for Judge Roy Parker, the “hanging Judge” of Western Arkansas and Indian Territory
- Part of the Oklahoma Land Rush and settled in Perkins, Oklahoma
- Married twice with nine children and 31 grandchildren
- Was known for his skill as a fast draw gunman. Had eight notches on his pistol.
- Had an extremely dirty mouth and could and would out cuss any man. Used bad language in normal conversations. Would not use bad language with women and children in range of his voice
- Author of two books and highly regarded as a story teller
- Passed away on April 8, 1958 at the age of 97 in Perkins. Buried in the Perkins cemetery
- On March 15, 1997, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame posthumously honored Frank Eaton with the prestigious Director’s Award
- Pistol Pete’s mascot head was designed and made by Walt Disney company in California.