It has become a tradition for Eastland County employees and officials to take the Old Rip Oath, swearing to do all in their power “to help perpetuate the Truth of Old Rip”.
Monday, February 12, after the commissioners’ meeting began, a group of county employees met in the lobby of the courthouse to take that oath. Just a few feet from where Old Rip lies in state the group swore to defend to the death the “Truth of the Story of Old Rip”. Judge Rex Fields administered the oath.
OLD RIP OATH
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of Old Rip Promoter, and will to the best of my ability, promote, protect and defend to death the Truth of the Story of Old Rip.
THIS TRUTH IS THIS:
A Texas horned toad was sealed into the cornerstone of the Eastland County Courthouse when it was built in 1897.
Miraculously the toad was still alive inside the sealed stone 31 years later when the building was torn down in 1928 to make way for construction of the current courthouse.
The toad, named Old Rip for obvious reasons, toured the nation as a celebrity, was welcomed by President Calvin Coolidge, but unfortunately contracted pneumonia and died in 1929.
Old Rip now lies in state in a velvet casket and may be viewed at any time in the lobby of the Eastland Courthouse.
With the continued assistance of the people of Eastland County who also hold these Truths, I do solemnly swear that I will do all in my power to help perpetuate the Truth of Old Rip.
So help me, God