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Minnesota Football: A Hog Life #TBT

Most know the Floyd of Rosedale origin story. If you don't, get familiar. What got me interested this week is how the rivalry went from living to bronze.

Floyd, Floyd, and Clyde, November 13, 1935

The Background

Governor Clyde Herring of Iowa needed a pig. It's interesting to note that Floyd was probably chosen because he came from a famous family. His brother, "Dike of Rosedale" was cast as Blue Boy, the first hog to star in a motion picture. Now Clyde’s next step was to present the pig to Governor Olson of Minnesota.

Minnesota’s original 3 trophies, 1937
U of M

Floyd Moves To Minnesota

The following article published by the United Press wire service November 14, 1935 describes Floyd’s trip and the meeting of the two governors. You get the feeling that Clyde was kind of a crab apple.


Humorous Affair Is Between Governors of Iowa and Minnesota—Ceremony at St. Paul

St. Paul—(U.P.)---Like a fallen emperor paying fealty to his conqueror, Gov. Clyde Herring of Iowa tendered to Gov. Floyd 13. Olson of Minnesota yesterday a lowly, grunting pig as the stake in a football wager.

Up the steps of the state capitol, resting atop one of St. Paul's seven hills, Governor Herring herded his prize porker, Floyd of Rosedale. Governor Olson accepted it with regal dignity, receiving it as a token of Minnesota's gridiron supremacy over the Hawkeyes of Iowa.

To Herring the 220-pound Hampshire hog was a thing of porcine beauty. Its sleek sides were a tribute to Iowa corn. Its curved hack was as graceful as the neck of a swan. Its snorting and grunting was as melodious as a prima donna's voice.

To Olson, the pig was an under fed, razor-backed, scrawny animal, inferior to the poorest porker raised on Minnesota's plains.

Proud of Iowa's tradition, Herring said the blue-ribboned Floyd of Rosedale would bring to Minnesota the finest strain of hog the state had ever seen. Olson threatened to send the animal to South St. Paul where a junior-livestock show is in progress to prove once and for all the superiority of Minnesota hogs over those of Iowa. He announced, however, that it would be awarded as a prize to the farm youth writing the best essay on "Opportunity for the farm youth in Minnesota."


Floyd of Rosedale arrived from his native corn fields in the morning in a steam heated express car. Herring and Adjt. Gen. Charles Grahl followed a few hours later.

Olson dispatched his private car to bring the Iowa representatives to the statehouse. The hog was carted on a special truck.

Following the requirements set out in their wager, Herring personally helped unload the pig. By dexterous maneuvering, the nimble porker was led up the broad steps and into the governor's private office.

The trucker trailed the procession and obliged Olson to sign a receipt for the hog. Smiling, Olson penned the receipt and remarked. "One hog and one governor. The governor, at least, is in good condition."

With proper pomp and ceremony, Herring presented the hog to Olson. The bewildered animal, meanwhile, ran about the room and finally took refuge behind the executive's mahogany desk. Amid loud squeals and grunts, the executives extricated him and forced Floyd to pose.

"I thought," said Olson, "that we might barbecue—"

"I should say you won't barbecue that prize hog," Herring interrupted.

"I was going to say," Olson continued, "that on second thought we won't. A barbecued Iowa hog would give everyone indigestion."

Herring was asked if he had brought his promised supply of Iowa corn.

"No," he said, "although I doubt whether he can eat Minnesota corn, he'll just have to get used to it."

Clyde giving Floyd to Floyd 11/13/1935

Leaving The Twin Cities

Clearly Olson had no interest in keeping a hog at the Governors Mansion on Summit Avenue. The pig was won in an essay contest by a Richard Jones of Austin, Minnesota. That little snot didn’t know what a treasure he had, and sold Floyd for $50.

Article from January 6, 1936
Mason City Globe-Gazette

Bronze After Life

Young Rich sold the prize hog to some pig farmers near Austin who failed to vaccinate him. He died in June 1936 of cholera. Even before the pig died, a replacement trophy was needed.

Oscar Munson and Floyd, 11/05/1937

Governor Floyd must have felt some responsibility to keep the rivalry alive. Originally the idea was to pass the pig back and forth between governors. Floyd seemingly came up with the bronze pig trophy on his own. Olson commissioned St. Paul sculptor Charles Brioschi to make a two thirds life sized trophy. According to the article below Governor Herring was fed up when he heard the news!

Article From February 19, 1936
Lincoln Evening Journal

The introduction of the trophy lead to the end of Minnesota and Iowa governors being involved in the rivalry. By 1937 Floyd Olson was dead and Clyde Herring had moved on to being a U.S. Senator and the trophy was in possession of the schools.