Grave of Shorty the Squirrel
Shorty lived outside the Smith County courthouse for 15 years. He was a panhandler and a beggar, but beloved by the town -- and particularly by Miss Geneva Pillow, who fed him daily.
The citizens of Tyler honored Shorty with free medical care, a special pedestrian crossing, and a lower speed limit on Broadway -- all with the goal of prolonging his life. But no squirrel lives forever (or even for very long) and Shorty died in 1963.
He was buried in a park across the street from the courthouse, his grave surrounded by a brick wall, marked by a Georgia granite headstone engraved with his likeness. A replacement squirrel was quickly run over by a car (another testament to Shorty's genius for survival). With no one to fill his snack-grubbing shoes, Shorty's legend grew. Paul Harvey told his story on the radio. He became even more famous in death than in life.
After a rough patch in the 1990s, when Shorty's tombstone was stolen twice and not recovered, a new marker was placed over his grave. We hope it's still there.