Mex was born in Mexico in 1914 during the Mexican Revolution.  A U.S. Army field hospital medic named Mott Keys was stationed along the Mexican border near Laredo TX during the Revolution.  One night, while Keys was on patrol on the Mexican side of the border, he found a young pup who had been abandoned and left for dead.  Keys brought the puppy back to his station where he was adopted by Key’s company as their mascot.  The company named him Mex.  As the company mascot, Mex developed the social skills to live and flourish among a large group of people.  His friendly personality easily made him the central bond among the troops.  When Keys finished his duty and moved to Hollis, Oklahoma, he took Mex with him.  Keys later attended OU and he brought Mex along.

 

Mex loved the college life at OU.  He became an instant hit around campus, always willing to greet fellow students with an enthusiastic "hello" and tail wag.   Mex’s experience as an Army medic mascot landed him the mascot job with OU. He soon found himself roaming the sidelines of OU football and baseball games.  As the OU mascot, he usually wore a red sweater with the letter “O” on the side.  One of his main jobs was to keep stray dogs from roaming the field during the games.  Back in those days, the football field was more accessible to non-ticket holders. 

 

Mex took up residence in the Kappa Sigma fraternity house on campus.  He quickly became Oklahoma’s most famous dog.  A joyous victory bark cheered Sooner touchdowns at football games and punctuated home runs at baseball games.  Mex began to gain national attention in October 1924 after OU lost a game to Drake University.  On the way back to Norman from Des Moines IA, the team’s train made a stop in Arkansas City KS.  Mex came up missing when the train left Arkansas City and it was discovered he was not on board.  Rumors spread across the Midwest that Mex was returning to Des Moines to attack the Drake Bulldogs and avenge the loss.  A 50-cent reward was offered to anyone who could return Mex back to OU.  A few days later, Mex was found pacing the train station platform in Arkansas City by OU graduates J.D. Hull, Hughes B. Davis and J.C. Henley . The men drove Mex to the next Saturday game at Stillwater.  Mex was even poisoned once by fans of a rival school.  Not a nice thing to do.  But he was one tough dog, and he quickly recovered.  After that, he learned to eat only from the hands of his caretakers.

 

Mex remained at OU after Keys left.  The university had claimed him as their own.  His outgoing personality made him a favorite among all OU fans and he attracted a crowd wherever he went.

 

Mex died of old age on April 30, 1928.  He was so popular among students and faculty that the university closed for his funeral and procession on May 2, 1928.  He was buried in a small casket somewhere under the existing stadium.

 

Today, Mex is officially recognized by OU as their first mascot and one of the early legends of Sooner football.  In fact, his picture is even part of the large mural located in the Barry Switzer Center on campus.  The mural contains pictures of coaches and players who formed the great tradition of OU football.  Mex is located in the lower left corner of the mural among memorabilia of OU's past.  

 

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