Frank Eaton, the inspiration for Oklahoma State University’s mascot, was inducted into the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum on Saturday in Oklahoma City. His family and 28 former Pistol Pete mascots were present to accept the award.
“On behalf of the Eaton family and all of our wonderful Pistol Petes from the university, it’s our great privilege to accept this award for Frank ‘Pistol Pete’ Eaton,” said Dinah Wagner, Eaton’s granddaughter. She accepted the award from Cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell and musician Red Steagall. “Our sincerest thanks to everyone who made this possible. We’d also like to congratulate and acknowledge the other inductees for their unique roles and contributions to Western culture. I would like to thank the Western Heritage Museum for this wonderful honor and for organizing this most lovely evening.”
Wagner was joined by fellow grandchildren Dow Wise and William Wise on stage with all of the former Pistol Petes behind them
Throughout his life, Eaton became a marshal for the ‘Hanging Judge’ Isaac Parker in what was then Indian Territory. He later settled down in Perkins, Oklahoma. While riding in a 1923 Armistice Day parade in Stillwater, Eaton was spotted by a group of Oklahoma A&M College students. Then known as the Tigers, the OAMC students thought Eaton would be a great mascot. Over the years, OAMC became OSU, and the Tigers became the Cowboys. In 1958, the same year Eaton died, Pistol Pete became the official mascot of OSU.
From a press release from Oklahoma State University