Spirit of the Pioneer

BHS Student Newspaper 2008-09

Pioneer Mascot History Revealed

Posted by Casey on April 22, 2008

By Casey Townsend, sophomore


Batesville’s athletic teams have been known as the Pioneers for as long as any of the students.  For most current students and teachers, the origin of the pioneer has been a mystery.

            However, Mae Milum, health teacher, presented us with this bit of information.  When her father’s senior class celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1996, they received a book that contained information about the 1946 seniors and what they were doing in their lives now.  The booked contained a copy of a Batesville Daily Guard article that contained some history behind the Pioneer.

            The name may have been suggested by Sidney Pickens, a superintendent of Batesville Schools until his death in 1930.  However, there is hardly any physical evidence to back this theory up.

            In 1985, Pauline Teague, librarian of Batesville High School at the time, found the answer to this mystery in a December 1925 issue of a paper called the Batesville Public School News.

            The issue of the newspaper contains this paragraph:

            “We have at last found our name.  We are the Pioneers, a name which we think fits in this, the oldest town in the state.  We are hoping to build in ourselves these qualities found in all Pioneers – courage, the making of a bigger world for folks to live in, the living of a simple life, the learning to travel light, the resourcefulness and the indomitable spirit of fighting on.”

            Thelma Pickens, Mr. Pickens daughter, recalls him saying that “A Pioneer travels light, a Pioneer never quits.”  The “A Pioneer Never Quits” motto is still in use today.

            “I was thrilled to be able to give the school newspaper the information they needed on the Pioneer mascot.  I guess when you are older than dirt, you have a little more knowledge,” stated Ms. Milum.

The Pioneer basketball team gained national fame in 1927, when they came in a close second in the Chicago tournament, which set the teams name officially as the Pioneers.


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