Original Pistol Pete Joins Stillwater CVB
Although, Eaton has extensive experience in the communications field and a proven track record with marketing OSU, the original Pistol Pete isn’t getting hired. Instead, he will be the first member of an icon wall inside the Stillwater Convention & Visitors Bureau office.
Jim McLaughlin’s donation of a 1954 autographed photo of Eaton made that possible.
“We’re so grateful to Jim McLaughlin for his donation,” Stillwater Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Cristy Morrison said. “Most people who visit Stillwater have heard about Pistol Pete. Now, when they come to our office, they’ll be able to see how he really looked.”
McLaughlin, an OSU alum who also spent 23-years working in the Veterinary Medicine Department, boasts an impressive collection of memorabilia about the famous symbol of the American Old West. His collection ranges from more than 40 photos of Eaton to his very own death certificate.
“I’ve just collected [the items] for years and years,” McLaughlin said.
While many people collect memorabilia of famous Americans, most don’t have a personal connection with them.
McLaughlin’s father was one of Eaton’s friends, and as a boy, he got to know the original Pistol Pete personally.
His stories of Eaton are even more colorful than the mascot itself.
“He was a habitual pull-your-legger,” McLaughlin, who is pictured to the left, recalled. “He’d see how far he could take a story.”
One of McLaughlin’s favorite stories involving Eaton has become something of both OSU and Stillwater lore. While speaking to a history class inside the Student Union, Eaton discharged his weapon while demonstrating his fast draw.
According to McLaughlin, “[Eaton] said ‘Ah them kids were fallin asleep, I wanted them to wake up.’”
The location in the Student Union where the bullet hit bears Eaton’s permanent mark.
Thanks to McLaughlin, the Stillwater Convention & Visitors Bureau will feature the picture of an icon that left his permanent mark on our community.