Shorty's grave.

Grave of Shorty the Squirrel

Field review by the editors.

Tyler, Texas

Died 1963

Pet Cemetery.

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.

Also see: Mascots | Roadside Pet Cemetery

Grave of Shorty the Squirrel

Address:
N. Broadway Ave., Tyler, TX
Directions:
Shorty's headstone has moved around over the years, but it's never forgotten. At last report it was in the outside courtyard of courthouse, but may be in a raised planter at the southeast corner of Courthouse Square, NW corner of W. Erwin St. and N. Broadway Ave.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Big Teddy Bear StatuesBig Teddy Bear Statues, Tyler, TX - < 1 mi.
Tyler Rose MuseumTyler Rose Museum, Tyler, TX - 1 mi.
American Freedom MuseumAmerican Freedom Museum, Bullard, TX - 14 mi.
In the region:
The Discovery Well, Overton, TX - 25 mi.

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November 17, 2018

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