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Texas A&M Football

Dr. Sam Harrison discusses his family's unique legacy at Texas A&M

June 4, 2021
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Key notes from Dr. Sam Harrison interview

  • My great, great grandfather was in the original four-year graduating class at Texas A&M in 1879. His tentmate — the only building that existed on campus at the time was the administration building, so they lived in tents — was Lee Houston, the son of Sam Houston. He used to tell us that Lee wasn't the toughest guy on the planet, and he eventually transferred over to Baylor in Brenham, where he got his degree.
     
  • My great grandfather, Dick Harrison, graduated in 1892, and he got the nickname "Rooster." He was the mayor of Bryan in 1900. He used to tell the story that he carried a little .32 and lost his finger in a poker game one year.
     
  • My grandfather, Chick Harrison, wanted to play football for Texas A&M and grew up in Bryan. He played in 1916 and 1917 before he went to war in France in 1918. He came back to play in 1919. Charley Moran was the head coach before Dana X. Bible when he came in 1917. The Aggies went 8-0 and beat their opponents 280-0. Virtually the entire team went to war, and my grandfather knew the 55 Aggies that died in World War I. In the midst of this, he got the Spanish Flu. When he came back, he returned to a letter from the Bible asking him to come back and play. In 1919, they went 10-0 and beat their opponents 275-0, and nobody crossed the 50-yard line. It was a magical time for my grandfather because he met my grandmother, voted the cutest girl in the Longhorn yearbook.
     
  • Chick Harrison has the record for the longest drop-kick in Texas A&M history, and that will likely never be broken. As the story goes, A&M was up 7-0 on Rice. Bible asked him if he could kick it, and he made a 45-yard drop-kick to beat Rice, 10-0.
     
  • In 1918, the Aggies went 6-1. During that time, they played four army camps. It wasn't a true season. Bible was over in France, as were many of the players. There were two outbreaks of the Spanish Flu during that time. It came back with a vengeance and was very deadly. As best we know, the first case was generated in Kansas, but the war department did not want the grief of having it outbreak here. Some countries got together and selected Spain, which was neutral at the time, as where it originated.
     
  • It's important to note that my grandfather and a lot of players were sick coming back from war, and they had lost a lot of buddies in the war. Bible created his own campaign, sending out a series of letters and stories in newspapers, trying to get players and fans back to campus to bring the spirit back. That's one of his long-lasting legacies.
     
  • "They shall not pass” was the motto in 1919, and nobody crossed the 50-yard line. That Aggie team made a prophet of Bible that year.
     
  • Depending on how you classify the 1917 and 1919 championship teams, my grandfather Chick is likely the only Aggie on all three national championship teams, playing on the first two and serving as the team physician in 1939.
     
  • After graduating college, my grandfather enrolled in Baylor College of Medicine, and one of his classmates was E. King Gill. Up until Gill's death in the 1980s, they were the best of friends.
     
  • Regarding the story of the 12th Man, Gill was actually embarrassed about the story because he was on the team that year but was standing in the stands as a spotter that day for the Dixie Classic against Center College, who was no slouch. He wasn't actually playing in the game, and he was standing on the sidelines. Homer Norton was looking to boost morale in 1939, so that's when the fans started standing throughout the entire game.
Discussion from...

Dr. Sam Harrison discusses his family's unique legacy at Texas A&M

4,930 Views | 5 Replies | Last: 4 mo ago by RuffStuff87
RuffStuff87
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AG
Sam was a junior in my outfit during my fish year and a great guy!
Baron de Bastrop
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I agree on Sam. Good man and neighbor as his Bryan Junction Boys neighbor Dennis Goering!
ABATTBQ87
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RuffStuff87 said:

Sam was a junior in my outfit during my fish year and a great guy!


What outfit?
RuffStuff87
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AG
RuffStuff87
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
ABATTBQ87 said:

RuffStuff87 said:

Sam was a junior in my outfit during my fish year and a great guy!


What outfit?


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