Have you seen the vintage pit bull photos that are supposed to prove that pit bulls were considered great pets a long time ago? Among them, you find many photos of pit bulls and related breeds as mascots for fraternities.*
This is obviously a fine idea since college students in general and frat boys especially have always been regarded as paragons of restraint, responsibility and wise judgment.
In 1905, an enterprising Champaign Illinois breeder recognized the frat boys' need for bull dog gaiety and marketed his bull dogs to University of Illinois college students.
January 25, 1906:
The University Council Tuesday evening practically eliminate bull dogs as a feature of student life when it formulated a rule forbidding the presence of these dogs at any time on the campus. It was also decided to ask students not to keep these dogs and arrangements were made to petition the city councils of Urbana and Champaign to exclude the animals from the two cities.
The action of the council came as the result of several recent exhibitions of viciousness on the part of the bull dogs. Mrs. Laura Riley, a colored domestic at the Delta Upsilon house, is still in the hospital as the result of an attack by one of these dogs. Dr. C.G. Hopkins was the victim of an attack by one of these pets, while another was detected in the act of killing a pig on the University farm.
|Dr. C.G. Hopkins, one of the bull dog victims,established an|
experimental crop program at U of I in the 1890s that still exists today
The accidents which have occurred within a very short time have tended to show the danger of having such dogs around, hence the action of the council. There is no doubt but what these dogs are more vicious than any other species, and the council has probably worked in the interests of the people at large by putting on the ban although it may work hardship upon some who own these dogs as pets and have become attached to them. We are all interested in the welfare of all members of the University community and are willing to do all in our power to make things as safe as possible. If bull dogs are unsafe and vicious, as they seem to have proven themselves within the last few weeks, let us get rid of them. Let us get some other kind of dog. Safety before bull dogs.
And the day after that, in another article, the resolution was printed which said in part:
The bull dog is essentially a dangerous animal, and when kept under present conditions it constitutes a perpetual menace to human life. Enough accidents have already happened to admonish all thinking men that women and children are entirely unsafe under present conditions.Days after the resolution was enacted, two fraternity mascot pit bulldogs were shot by unknown people. Bruiser, a pit bulldog, described as being "popular and well known" and owned by a football and baseball star and son of a prominent Rockford family, Jack Crill, was one of those dogs. The frat boys suspect campus police of the shootings. A month later, Crill's home town of Rockford enacts a ban on dogfighting and all animal fighting and baiting.
*Please note that the same pit bull advocates who claim no one can identify a pit bull, have no problem identifying pit bulls in photos that are sometimes 100 years old.
Council Bars Bull Dogs, Daily Illini, Jan 25, 1906Council Bars Bull Dogs, Daily Illini, Jan 26, 1906
Bulldogs, Daily Illini, Jan. 27, 1906.
Feb 13, 1906 Dogfighting Ruled Illegal in Rockford
Jan 29, 1906 Days after Pit Bulldogs Banned, Frat Boys' Bulldogs are Shot