This Little Piggy Came to Arkansas
In 1936, editors of The Traveler reported an effort to buy the first live razorback mascot for the university. All did not go well. Staff members arranged with another student, John Clark Riley, to get a wild hog from his grandfather's farm, where more than 2,500 razorbacks ran wild across a 30-mile stretch of woodland in southeast Arkansas.
When the hog hadn't shown up by the week before the homecoming football game, they sent a wire to the Hamburg farm and got a reply signed by someone named Shorty: “TOO LATE TO GET HOG. STOP. SORRY.”
Thereupon, Riley phoned Shorty, who turned out to be the foreman of the farm, and convinced him to capture one of the hogs and ship it to Fayetteville. Shorty explained why that would be difficult: “These Razorbacks just roam wild, you know, and they’re kind of hard to get to. You’ve got to lasso ‘em from a horse. But we got plenty — once we shipped out 27 carloads at a time.”
Rain kept Shorty from capturing a hog on Tuesday, but he succeeded on Wednesday, putting it in a crate and shipping it north by rail for the Homecoming football game. The editors promptly named it after the student newspaper:
Scheduled to arrive this morning is the new mascot for the Passing Porkers of the U. of A. "Traveler," the live razorback hog, 140 pounds of bone and gristle, rarin’ and rootin’ snorting and ready to take on all comers, was secured through the efforts of the Arkansas Traveler.
The Arkansas Traveler. November 6, 1936.