Hutto is the only community in the United States to use the hippo as its mascot. There are several stories that explain how the hippopotamus became Hutto’s official mascot. The most popular tells of a circus train that stopped at the depot in 1915, most likely to take on passengers, pick up mail and water and feed the animals. During this historic stop, it is said that a hippo escaped and made its way to nearby Cottonwood Creek. Farmers and merchants watched in amusement as unsuccessful efforts were made to extricate the troublesome hippo from the muddy waters. Soon after the incident, the Hutto School adopted the hippo as its mascot.
In 2003, the Texas Legislature recognized Hutto as the “Official Hippo Capital of Texas.” The Hutto Chamber of Commerce arranged for a seven-ton concrete hippo named “Henrietta” to be placed along East Street in 1986. The fast-growing city of Hutto is also home to a herd of smaller concrete hippos which stand outside homes, businesses and public buildings as a symbol of community pride. Many are painted to reflect the unique character of the owner or business it represents.