Oklahoma State University Archives

Frank Eaton /“Pistol Pete” Papers Edit


Finding Aid Author
Susan Walker
Finding Aid Date
1991, 1995
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Series Statement
Series I: Frank Eaton Series II: Pistol Pete Mascot Series III: Related Materials


  • unknown (Creation)


  • 1.1 Linear feet (Whole)
    (1 document box, 1 slim document box, 1 audio cassette box)

Agent Links



  • Scope and Contents

    Collection contains mostly photocopies (some originals) of correspondence, homestead papers, photographs, newspaper clippings, and a reminiscence concerning the Battle of Round Mountain from Frank Eaton. Other items include a history and development of Oklahoma State University logos over the years, especially those using the “Pistol Pete” character as mascot.

  • Biographical Sketch

    Francis Boardman Eaton was born October 26, 1860 in Hartford, Connecticut, and at eight years old he moved with his family to Twin Mounds, Kansas to homestead. Shortly after their relocation, Eaton witnessed his father’s murder. He practiced his shooting, and at the age of 15 engaged in gunfights to avenge his father’s murder. Eaton served as a deputy U.S. Marshall in Indian Territory under the “hanging judge,” Judge Isaac C. Parker. At 29 he joined the land rush to Oklahoma Territory. Eaton served as the model for OSU's mascot “Pistol Pete”. He settled near Perkins where he served as sheriff and later became a blacksmith. He lived there until his death on April 8, 1958. Eaton was known as “Pistol Pete,” a nickname he acquired at the age of 15 when he out shot United States cavalry men in a contest at Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. After seeing Eaton ride a horse in the 1923 Armistice Day parade in Stillwater, a group of Oklahoma A & M College students decided that Eaton as “Pistol Pete” would be a more suitable mascot than their current Tiger. They felt that “Pistol Pete” represented the old west and the spirit of Oklahoma. However, 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 Oklahoma State University as a licensed symbol.

  • Arrangement

    Arranged into three series.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open for research use. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the Oklahoma Open Records Act (http://www.odl.state.ok.us/lawinfo/docs/2006-LibraryLaws-PartE.pdf), and other relevant regulations. Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which Oklahoma State University Libraries assumes no responsibility.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, Oklahoma State University Archives will provide information about copyright owners and related information. Securing permission to publish or use material is the responsibility of the researcher. Note that unless specifically transferred to Oklahoma State University Libraries, any applicable copyrights may be held by another individual or entity. Copyright for material published by Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College/Oklahoma State University is held by the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges. All rights reserved.

  • Provenance

    Some materials were the gift of B.B. Chapman, 1977 and Karen Fitch, 1991; additional material has been added.

  • Location

    For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog or contact the Oklahoma State University Archives Reference staff.

  • Preferred Citation

    [item description] Frank Eaton “Pistol Pete” Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Oklahoma State University Libraries.

  • Processing Information

    Processed by Susan Walker, 1991 & 1995.

    Updated by Kari Mays, 2004, Scott Jackson & Kay Bost, 2009.