Litchfield Cowboys and Cowgirls

Recently someone on the “I Grew Up in Litchfield” Facebook group asked when the high school sports team adopted the nickname “the Cowboys.” We did some digging, and came up with roughly the same answer as another member of the group. We thought you might enjoy some of the wonderful sources we used to come to the conclusion that the name was in use by the 1920s, and possibly earlier.

Scrapbook from the Donald B. Peck papers
Page from above scrapbook
The Champion Litchfield Cowgirls, 1926-27 Season from the Clarence H. Elliot Collection
From Scrapbook above

It is obvious from these documents and photographs that the name was in use by the 20s, but what is yet to be determined is why Litchfield adopted it. It seems that it wasn’t a popular choice with the town as a whole.

Hank O’Donnell lived in Litchfield. He was the sports editor for the Waterbury Republican. From the scrapbook above.

Though this is undated, it notes the departure of Principal Clarence Elliott. In 1927, the school board chose not to renew Elliott’s contract, so this article was probably written shortly after.

From scrapbook above

Another thing that many people may not know or have thought about is that the basketball teams were not playing in the school. Even after the new Center School was dedicated in 1925, the teams continued to rent time in Colonial Hall. This article suggests that the school board allow them to use the auditorium instead. In 1930, Colonial Hall was returned to its site by the green and restored as the First Congregational Church, so the school must have made other arrangements by that time. I’m including some additional pages from the Peck scrapbook below regarding particular players.

Betty Coe
George Crutch
Lortetta Gallagher
Vera Regester
Donald Peck and Clarence Elliott
Champion Cowgirls

We would love to hear your family stories of Litchfield Cowboys and Cowgirl players!

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