Floyd is not just a pig

Famous porker is the symbol of a long-time football rivalry

Before he was famous, the pig who would be known as Floyd of Rosedale was just another hog waddling around a farm east of Fort Dodge.

Then there was a high profile college football game. Not long after the fnal whistle blew on that game, the governor of Iowa took Floyd to Minnesota and the once unknown porker became a legend that continues to this day.

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.

University of Iowa fans have for years seen triumphant Hawkeye football players carrying a hefty statue of Floyd of Rosedale any time they defeated the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers in the annual game between the two rivals. But few know the origin of Floyd of Rosedale or that he came from Fort Dodge.

There is no excuse for not knowing that now.

A giant steel rendition of Floyd now stands at the roundabout intersection of 10th Avenue North and 32nd Street, not far from the site of the Rosedale farm.

Bringing the story of Floyd of Rosedale to Fort Dodge in such a visible way was the vision of City Councilman Dave Flattery, who has worked on the concept since at least 2019.

He has been assisted by a group that includes Councilman Terry Moehnke, Shelly Bottorff, executive director of the Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association; Jennfier Dutcher, art program coordinator at Iowa Central Community College, Scott Johnson, president of Kallin-Johnson Monument Co. Inc.; Carissa Harvey, the city’s strategic planner; and Jim Kersten, vice president of government relations and external affiairs at Iowa Central.

Dale Merrill, of Mount Vernon, created the sculpture. It was hoisted into place Tuesday afternoon.

This tribute to Floyd of Rosedale was created without spending any of the taxpayer’s money.

We appreciate the hard work that Flattery put in to make this a reality.

We encourage everyone to check out Floyd of Rosedale.


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