The Origin of the Springville High School “Red Devil” Mascot
The origin of the “Red Devil” mascot of Springville High School is often attached to an error which has been perpetuated in history. It has often been stated that when they built the original high school buildings in either 1909 or 1914, some of the Red Devil Cement bags were found at the construction site, which gave the impetus to claim the “Red Devil” as the school mascot.
The Red Devil Cement company was founded at Devils Slide sometime around 1909, however there is no indication that any of the Red Devil Cement was used in construction of the original High School buildings. However, it is a fact that some of the Red Devil Cement bags were found on the site of the construction of the Art Gallery in 1936. So, what was the origin of the “Red Devils” as the mascot for the high school?
In an article published in the Springville Herald on March 26, 1936, entitled “Athletic Achievements of Springville High”, long time teacher and Springville High School booster, James F. Wingate gave an account of the origin of the “Red Devil” name.
“A.O. Peterson who followed Baxter as coach established a most enviable record during the three years he was here. Winning the division every year in football and basketball, the Utah County track meet one year and in 1921 the state basketball championship. It was in the state tournament of 1921 that our school was dubbed the fighting “Red Devils.” Their efforts were crowned with success supreme when on the last
night they nosed out the much touted Dixie team by two points. The game had to go one extra period and Paul Thorn,
later coach of the Springville Red Devils, made the deciding basket. This team went to the national tournament and while they did not win, they played well and fought hard for glory of the
Springville High.” To quote the above referenced article, “It was in the state tournament of 1921 that our school was dubbed the fighting ‘Red Devils’”.
So, the “Red Devil” was initiated by determination and achievement in 1921, and solidified in concrete in 1936.
Researched by M. Lee Taylor.
Red Devil cement bag from ~1936.