In July 1897 as the cornerstone was being laid at the Eastland County Courthouse several items were placed in the hollow block of marble. A boy named Will Wood had brought a horned frog with him. Will's father, Earnest Wood the County Clerk dropped the horned toad into the cornerstone before it was sealed. Thirty-one later on February 18, 1928, the courthouse was torn down. Three thousand citizens showed up to watch the cornerstone be opened to see if the horned toad was still alive after 31 years. As the horned toad was lifted out it appeared to be lifeless then it began to move. Amazingly the horned toad survived the 31 year sealed inside the cornerstone. Of course there were skeptical people who believed it to be a hoax. The horned toad was named Old Rip after Rip Van Winkle.
Unfortunately Rip only lived about one year after being removed from the cornerstone. Old Rip was embalmed and is now on display at the Eastland County Courthouse. The display is on the North side of the Courthouse and can be viewed anytime. When in Eastland stop by and take a look at the World's Most Famous Horned Toad.