A Brief History of the Bar SR Bar

Early Bar-SR-Bar design with orange and gray

It was during the first year of Sul Ross Normal College that Linda Lancaster and her physical education students decided to hike to the rifle range for a picnic. It was soon discovered that a monogram was needed for the place cards. One of the women went to V. J. Smith and his Industrial Arts class to see if they had any ideas. Smith drew a number of monograms on the blackboard. A SR was chosen and many thought that the monogram looked like a cattle brand. The SR emblem would be selected to be on the cover of the yearbook and the yearbook in turn was called The Brand. The school’s letterhead also bore the SR brand. A local blacksmith made a SR branding iron and it was given to the senior class.

By 1921, Sul Ross had registered the Bar SR Bar brand and calves that were donated for the Ex-Student Fund were branded with the school’s brand. Cattle today are still branded with the Bar SR Bar brand.

Bar-SR-Bar symbol made by torches on hillside at night

Photograph courtesy Jason Hennington

For a larger than life Bar SR Bar, one need only look at the hillside of Hancock Hill where there is a seventy-five foot wide by seventy-five foot high replica of the Sul Ross brand.

Built in 1925 and constructed of native stone. it is currently maintained by the Student Affairs Office. During Homecoming week, student volunteers hike to the site where the stones receive a fresh coat of whitewash and later in the week the Bar SR Bar is illuminated with torches at night.