Recently, Bevo XV, a handsome longhorn, made his debut at the Notre Dame game. Good time to be reminded that the University of Texas mascot was not always of the bovine kind.
Pig Bellmont (1914-1923), a tan and white dog of indeterminate breed, was the longtime pet of athletic director L. Theo Bellmont (1881-1967), namesake for UT’s Bellmont Hall, HQ for UT athletics.
This canine rival to Texas A&M’s pup, Reveille, according to Alcalde magazine, was born in Houston on Feb. 10, 1914. He would tag along with his human — also a professor of physical training and men’s basketball head coach — to work every day. He was named for Gus “Pig” Dittmar, who played center for the football team.
On New Year’s Day 1923, the mascot was hit by a Model T Ford at the corner of 24th and Guadalupe streets, always a treacherous intersection.
“He was only injured,” UT historian Jim Nicar writes in Alcalde. “But no one realized how seriously until his body was found two days later. Pig’s death was a tragic event on campus, and the students decided to play a final, fitting tribute to their beloved canine friend.”
On Friday, Jan. 5, his body lay in state in front of the University Co-Op. At 5 p.m., a funeral procession, led by the Varsity Band, marched south to 21st Street, then east to the old Law Building, where the Graduate School of Business now rises. A new group called the Texas Cowboys served as pallbearers.
See photos of his elaborate funeral on the Austin Found photo blog.
You can’t understand New Austin without delving into Old Austin. One digital avenue for that quest is Austin Found, a series of historical images of Austin and Texas published at statesman.com/austinfound. We’ll share samples here regularly.