Updated: Feb 20, 2020
By Felicity Neptune, News Editor
One hundred years ago, Hardin-Simmons University’s beloved mascot Dam-It passed away from a tough battle with pneumonia.
In 1916, when HSU was Simmons College, Dam-It the dog arrived on campus. President
Jefferson Davis Sandefer’s youngest son Gib owned a white bulldog or large terrier (the heritage is uncertain) named Fritz.
Although his original name was Fritz, he is more widely known today as Dam-It during the week and Fritz on Sundays.
“There are speculative reasons for how he got the name Dam-it,” User Services Librarian and Assistant Professor, Jeremy Maynard writes in an HSU news article. “From causing a cafeteria staff member to trip while carrying a tray full of food to students, or that it referenced his thoughts at losing his tail, either way, the name stuck.”
Dam-It knew how to play fetch and carried rocks in his mouth everywhere he traveled. He was allowed to roam all over campus, even the classrooms. When Dam-It fell asleep, causing rocks to fall from his mouth and hit the hard floor, he would scare himself awake making the class roar in laughter.
However, the beloved mascot contracted pneumonia in January 1920 and passed away, leaving the entire campus heartbroken. It was evident how much the students, faculty and staff cared for Fritz when the funeral was held. The Cowboy Band led the procession with four seniors as pallbearers, and the freshmen dug the grave, Ira Harrison, senior class chaplain led the service by speaking from the text, “Every Dog Has His Day.”
Currently, there is a marble tombstone by the Reflection Pond with a metal plaque stating, “Dam-It, He is Dead. College Mascot 1916-1920.” As to the exact spot that Dam-It was buried on campus no one seems to know as this bit of history has been lost with the passage of time.