Floyd of Rosedale on display
Statue to debut in November near Rosedale Rapids Aquatic Center
A massive steel pig will be standing near the intersection of 10th Avenue North and 32nd Street by the end of this year.
College football fans, especially devotees of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes, are likely to recognize the oversized metal porker.
It will be a sculpture of Floyd of Rosedale and it will stand not far from the site of the farm where the real hog grew up.
Fort Dodge City Councilman Dave Flattery said Monday that Floyd of Rosedale is “arguably the most popular traveling trophy in college football.” It’s a trophy that the Hawkeyes and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers battle for on the gridiron every year.
“Most people don’t really realize he was from Fort Dodge,” Flattery said of the pig who inspired the trophy.
A project to commemorate the hog that has been discussed for more than a year is ready to move forward.
Flattery said that artist Dale Merrill, of Mount Vernon, has been contracted to make the sculpture.
The completed project is expected to be unveiled in November.
The origin of the Floyd of Rosedale tradition can be traced to a 1934 game between the University of Iowa and the University of Minnesota. All-American running back Ozzie Simmons, one of the few black players in major college football at the time, was a Hawkeye. The Minnesota players singled him out for some brutal hits on the way to winning the game.
In the runup to the 1935 game between the two rivals, Hawkeye fans were boiling with anger and Iowa Gov. Clyde Herring suggested that the fans would take action if the referees didn’t put an end to the attacks on Simmons. To cool things down, Minnesota Gov. Floyd Olson bet Herring a live hog on the outcome of the game.
Minnesota won the game, 13-6. But by all accounts, it was a clean game and the players from both schools complimented each other after it was over.
Herring, however, had to pay up. He turned to Allen Loomis, the owner of Rosedale Farms just east of Fort Dodge, for a hog. He named the pig Floyd in honor of the Minnesota governor.
The original Floyd that was delivered to Minnesota may have weighed more than 200 pounds, but he will be dwarfed by his metal likeness. The sculpture will stand 14 feet high and will be 15 feet long.
It will be placed near the intersection, and south of the Rosedale Rapids Aquatic Center.
Flattery said about $125,000 was raised to pay for the sculpture. No tax dollars will be spent on the project.
Initial plans called for it to be placed in the middle of the roundabout at 10th Avenue North and 32nd Street. The newly chosen location is considered a safer one that will give people the opportunity to see the sculpture up close.