Southern Methodist University

Jake and Nancy Hamon Papers

A Guide to the Collection


Creator: Hamon, Nancy
Title: Jake and Nancy Hamon Papers
Dates: 1918-2010
Abstract: This collection contains the personal papers of Jake and Nancy Hamon. Jake Hamon was a legendary Dallas independent wildcatter while his wife Nancy was a celebrated hostess and philanthropist. The collection offers insights into Dallas social and cultural history. The bulk of the materials originates from Dallas, Texas.
Extent: 36 boxes, 75 scrapbooks, framed material, flat storage and three dimensional objects (approximately 25 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English
Repository Jerry Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

Jake Hamon was born on July 24, 1902 in Lawton, Oklahoma. After dropping out of the University of Chicago, he was working in the oil fields by 1920. He entered into a partnership with Edwin B. Cox in 1921. In 1934, he became the youngest ever appointed director of the American Petroleum Institute and the only independent oil man to serve as its chairman. The partnership with Cox dissolved in 1950 and Hamon incorporated independently as the Hamon Oil Co. He was very involved in arts and civic organizations such as the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, The Dallas Zoological Society, and Southern Methodist University.

Nancy Hamon was born on December 12, 1918 in San Antonio, Texas to McMaster Blackburn and Estelle Blackburn (known as Mamacita). She attended the University of Texas at Austin briefly before leaving for her first marriage which lasted only four years. She then briefly worked in Hollywood as a dancer and actress, with roles in films such as Tropicana (1943). During World War II, she spent a year in Hawaii with an Army special services acting troupe, playing the lead in Petticoat Fever opposite a young Carl Reiner. She married Jake L. Hamon in 1949 and moved to Dallas. Mrs. Hamon knew how to plan a good party and was known for the extravagant theme parties she hosted with her husband during the 1950s and 1960s. Themes included circus, Moulin Rouge, and a Silent Movies theme which featured Louis Armstrong.

Mrs. Hamon was a legendary philanthropist and Dallas benefitted from her enormous generosity, particularly to the arts, education and medicine. For example, Mrs. Hamon contributed millions of dollars to such causes as the Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library at Southern Methodist University, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas Museum of Art, Winspear Opera House, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, the Dallas Zoo, The University of Texas at Dallas, the Salvation Army, the Dallas Public Library, Buckner Children and Family Services of North Texas, the African American Museum at Fair Park, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; the Dallas Theater Center; and numerous other causes in other cities such as San Antonio, San Francisco and New York.


"Nancy B. Hamon, one of Dallas; foremost philanthropists, dies at 92." Dallas Morning News. July 30, 2011.

“Famed Dallas Oilman Jake Hamon, 82, Dies.” Dallas Morning News. May 4, 1985.

Jake and Nancy Hamon papers, Jerry Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Jake and Nancy Hamon papers include a wide variety of materials, consisting primarily of correspondence, photographs and scrapbooks. The bulk of the materials can be dated from 1940 to 2000. In addition, the collection contains artwork, clippings, documents, ephemera, manuscripts, published works, scrapbooks, photographs and three-dimensional objects.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into 8 series:
Series 1: Artwork, circa 1933-2004
Series 2: Hamon Family, 1918-2010
Series 3: Jake Hamon, 1956-1999
Series 4: Nancy Hamon, 1946-2009
Series 5: Recipes, undated
Series 6: Scrapbooks, Manuscripts, 1933-2008
Series 7: Photographs, circa 1918-2008
Series 8: Three-dimensional Objects, 1952-2008


Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use. Appointment with curatorial staff at Hamon Library is required.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the curatorial staff at Hamon Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Sensitive Material Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which Bywaters Special Collections/Hamon Arts Library assumes no responsibility.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Hamon, Jake.
Hamon, Nancy.
Hammond family.
Philanthropists -- Texas -- Dallas.
Dallas (Tex.) -- Social life and customs.

Related Materials

Related materials are located in the Bywaters Special Collections of the Hamon Arts Library, DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University, and Dallas Public Library.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Jake and Nancy Hamon papers, Jerry Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Gift, Nancy B. Hamon Estate, 2012.

Processing information

The papers were left in the original order with folder titles retained except when unclear. Folded documents were flattened, placed in acid-free folders, and stored in acid-free boxes. Many of the scrapbooks were conserved and digitized for preservation and research purposes.

Processed by

Emily George Grubbs, 2014.

Finding aid written by

Emily George Grubbs, 2014.

Encoded by

Ada Negraru, 2014.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Artwork, circa 1933-2004

The artwork contains a sketchbook of fashion design sketches, primarily tempera, watercolor, pen and pencil on paper, drawn by Nancy Hamon circa 1933-1942.
Museum Case 1-3 (Size A)

Series 2: Hamon Family, 1918-2010

This series contains a wide variety of material relating to Jake and Nancy Hamon. Of particular note are the personal letters from U.S. Presidents to Jake and Nancy Hamon as well as many from the writer Robert Ruark.
Box Folder
01 01-02 Clippings
03-04 Clippings (filed together)
Box Folder
02 01 Correspondence
02 Correspondence-Celebrity
03-04 Correspondence-Christmas
05-06 Correspondence-Family
07 Correspondence-Political
08 Correspondence-Presidential-George H. W. Bush
09 Correspondence-Presidential-George W. Bush
10 Correspondence-Presidential-Bill Clinton
11 Correspondence-Presidential-Dwight D. Eisenhower
12 Correspondence-Presidential- Gerald Ford
13 Correspondence-Presidential-Lyndon B. Johnson
14 Correspondence-Presidential-Ronald Reagan
Box Folder
03 01-02 Documents
03 Ephemera
04 Programs
05 Published Works

Series 3: Jake Hamon, 1956-1999

This series consists of Jake Hamon’s personal papers. The series includes manuscripts written for the Critic’s Club of Dallas by Jake Hamon, such as A Fight, Plus a Shortage of Bath Tubs, That Helped Make Dallas an Oil Center (1947).
Box Folder
03 06 Correspondence
07 Critics Club-Correspondence
08 Critics Club-Documents
09 Critics Club-Manuscripts

Series 4: Nancy Hamon, 1946-2009

This series consists of Nancy Hamon’s personal papers, primarily in original order, which include correspondence, documents, and manuscripts.
Box Folder
04 01-02 Correspondence
03 Correspondence-Birthday cards
04-05 Correspondence-Invitations
06-07 Correspondence-Personal
Box Folder
05 01 Correspondence-Philanthropy
02 Correspondence-Postcards
03 Correspondence-Robert Taylor
04 Correspondence-Valentine’s Day
05 Documents
06 Documents-Book Inventory
07 Documents-IDs
08 Documents-Museums
09 Documents-Travel
10-11 Manuscripts
Box Folder
06 01 Parties-Correspondence
02 Parties-Documents
03 Parties-Birthday-Correspondence
04 Parties-Birthday-Documents
05 Parties-Dallas Museum of Arts-Documents
06 Parties-Horchow-Documents
07 Parties-Hardy Klarguist-Correspondence
08 Parties-Hardy Klarguist-Documents
09 Parties-Nina’s Boat Party-Correspondence
10 Parties-Nina’s Boat Party-Documents
11 Parties-Richard Bing-Correspondence
12 Parties-Richard Bing-Documents

Series 5: Recipes, undated

The recipes contain the contents of Nancy Hamon’s three recipe files.
Box Folder
06 13 Recipe File 1- Appetizers, Veggies, Meats, Parties
14 Recipe File 1- Pasta, Tex Mex, Cous Cous, others
15 Recipe File 1- Meat
16 Recipe File 1- Fowl
17 Recipe File 1- Desserts
18 Recipe File 1- Salads
Box Folder
07 01 Recipe File 2 (Foreign)- Appetizers and Beverages
02 Recipe File 2 (Foreign)- Mexican, Texan, Cajun, Spanish, Cuban, Brazilian
03 Recipe File 2 (Foreign)- Chinese, Noodles
04 Recipe File 2 (Foreign)- Rice, Beans, Breads
05 Recipe File 2 (Foreign)- Fish and Seafood
06 Recipe File 2 (Foreign)- Pastries and Pies
07 Recipe File 2 (Foreign)- Poultry
08 Recipe File 2 (Foreign)- Salads and Dressings
09 Recipe File 2 (Foreign)- Soups and Stews
10 Recipe File 2 (Foreign)- Meats
11 Recipe File 2 (Foreign)- Sweets and Treats, Party
Box Folder
08 01 Recipe File 3-Appetizers and Beverages, Sandwiches
02 Recipe File 3-Casseroles, and Cajun Casseroles and Gumbo
03 Recipe File 3-Eggs and Cheeses
04 Recipe File 3-Fish and Seafood
05 Recipe File 3-Meats
06 Recipe File 3-Pastas, Polenta, Grits (Cheese)
07 Recipe File 3-Stuffing, Game, Poultry
08 Recipe File 3-Salads, Dressing, Pesto
09 Recipe File 3-Curry, Cous Cous, Stews
10 Recipe File 3-Sauces, Marinades
11 Recipe File 3-Vegetables
12 Recipe File 3-Onions, Tomatoes, Potato and Eggplant

Series 6: Scrapbooks, Manuscripts, 1933-2008

The scrapbooks consist of 75 scrapbooks documenting Jake and Nancy Hamon’s parties, travel and philanthropy activities throughout their lives. Of particular note are the scrapbooks documenting the lavish theme parties hosted by the Hamons in the 1950s and 1960s. The manuscripts document various parts of Nancy Hamon’s life.
1951 Lucky Lindy party; 1952 Circus party; 1953 Costume Ball of the 1890s (Moulin Rouge) costume party; 1954 TV Ball costume party; 1955 A Party Back Stage starring June Amerman costume party; 1956 Bridey Murphy Party, Halloween; 1957 Jake’s birthday; 1958 Beaux Arts Ball costume party; 1958 Carnival in Rio; 1960 Teahouse of the August Moon costume party; 1961 Silent Movies costume party; 1963 Carnival in Rio; 1964 This Is Your Life with Me, 1949-1964; 1965 Chinese Lantern Festival costume party; 1966 Kentucky Derby Party; 1967 This is Your Wife; 1966 A Moth Ball costume party; 1968 Love-In costume party; 1969 Greek costume party; 1972 Mardi Gras; 1983 Nancy Hamon birthday party, 1988 Sea Goddess

Series 7: Photographs, circa 1918-2008

The photographs consist of photographs of friends, family, parties/events, and travel as well as many personal photographs primarily in original order. Of particular note are her photographs from acting with the Army special services in Hawaii during World War II and of her time acting in Hollywood.
Box Folder
P/S 01 01 Nancy Hamon-Hawaii- Army Special Services
02-08 Nancy Hamon
Box Folder
P/S 02 01-03 Jake and Nancy Hamon
04 Jake and Nancy Hamon Wedding
05 Jake Hamon
06 Jake Hamon-Oil Field
07-08 Mamacita
09 Daddy’s Flying Machine
10 Old Family Kodak Pictures
11-14 Family
Box Folder
P/S 03 01-04 Nancy Hamon with Others
05 Nancy Hamon with Others-San Francisco
06 Nancy Hamon with Mamacita and Others
07 Nancy Hamon with Mary Martin
08 Nancy Hamon with Julie Andrews
09 Nancy Hamon with Sean Connery
10 Nancy Hamon with Ray Carpenter and Amy Windgren
11 Nancy Hamon with Others in penthouse
12 Nancy Hamon with Others
13 Nancy Hamon with Jerry Mapp
14-17 Nancy Hamon with Others (filed together)
18 Jake Hamon with Others (filed together)
19 Jake and Nancy Hamon with President and Mrs. George H. W. Bush
20 Nancy Hamon with President and Mrs. George W. Bush
21 Jake Hamon with President Gerald Ford
22 Jake Hamon with President Lyndon B. Johnson
23 Jake and Nancy Hamon with Greer Garson
24 Rob Kendall
25 Laura and Wilson Fisher
26 Maurice Chevalier
Box Folder
P/S 04 01 Hollywood
02 Hollywood-Film with Bob Hope
03 Hollywood-Scared Stiff
04 Hollywood-Tropicana
05 Hollywood-The Bride of San Luis Rey
06 Hollywood-Publicity Shots
Box Folder
P/S 05 01 Photo albums
02-03 Theme parties (filed together)
04 Theme parties-T.V. Ball
05-06 Theme parties-Mothball party
07-08 Theme parties-Greek party
09-11 Sea Goddess
12 Theme parties-Derby Party
Box Folder
P/S 06 01 Parties/Events- Peppermint Stick Golf Tournament at Brook Hollow Golf Club
02 Parties/Events- ca. 1968
03 Parties/Events-1962
04 Parties/Events-Helen Van ATTA, circa 1960
05 Parties/Events-Birthday Party for Francis Brooks 1968
06 Parties/Events-September 1968
07 Parties/Events-June 1976
08 Parties/Events-Standard Oil Building, 1976
09 Parties/Events-Jake’s Birthday Party
10 Parties/Events-Jake’s 80th Birthday 1983
11 Parties/Events-Nancy’s 67th Birthday, Jeangers 21st Birthday 1986, Nancy and Mamacita
12 Parties/Events-1987 Teahouse of the August Moon
13 Parties/Events-Kashoqqui Luncheon
14 Parties/Events-Nancy Hamon birthday party 1989
15 Parties/Events-3/91 USA Film Festival Tribute to Audrey Hepburn
16 Parties/Events-USA Film Festival Tribute to Audrey Hepburn
17 Parties/Events-5/91 Farewell Party for ILIFS at Routh Street Cafe
18 Parties/Events-1992 Hamon Easter
19 Parties/Events-1994 Fred Hudsons
20 Parties/Events-10/94 NBH and Sally Jordan Halloween Party
Box Folder
P/S 07 01 Parties/Events-Mamacita Bday August 1995
02 Parties/Events-Hagmans at dinner in Penthouse March 1996
03 Parties/Events-9/96, Mrs. Blackburn’s birthday party and blessing of apartment
04 Parties/Events-Dedication of Bust, SMU
05 Parties/Events-10/96 Halloween
06 Parties/Events- 12/96
07 Parties/Events-Ms. Blackburn 97 Birthday Photos from Rob Kendal
08 Parties/Events-Dallas Zoo 1998
09 Parties/Events-Mothers Day 1998
10 Parties/Events-Photos of Main Library Oil and Gas Opening
11 Parties/Events-8/98 Mamacita’s 100th birthday party
12 Parties/Events-1999 New Years Eve
13 Parties/Events-6/15/99 Choucroute Party
14 Parties/Events-San Francisco
15 Parties/Events-1999 Birthday Party, Phillips Home, Russian theme
16 Parties/Events-10/00 O’Briens
17 Parties/Events-12/2000 dinner party, Cindy and Armond Schwartz
18 Parties/Events-Dedication of Wilsey Conference Center at Grace Cathedral
19 Parties/Events-SMU Honorary Doctorate
20 Parties/Events-4/01
Box Folder
P/S 08 01 Parties/Events-New Years, St. Petersburg
02 Parties/Events-11/02 Thanksgiving at Sheerin’s Ranch
03 Parties/Events-Phyllis Coit’s party for Clifton and Kristen
04 Parties/Events-1/2003 Hummer
05 Parties/Events-March and April 2003, Norman and Toni Brinker
06 Parties/Events-12/06/03 Heidi Betsy for NBH at Moroccan Restaurant
07 Parties/Events-New Years 2002/03
08 Parties/Events-3/19/03 Opening of Asian Museum, San Francisco
09 Parties/Events-7/03 July 4th party, San Francisco
10 Parties/Events-San Francisco 2003
11 Parties/Events-2/03 Rachofsky Valentine Party
12 Parties/Events-10/03 Grace Cathedral
13 Parties/Events-12/03 Birthday party at Sally Jordans
14 Parties/Events-10/03 DMA 100th Birthday Party
15 Parties/Events-Jerry Mapp Birthday Party 2003
16 Parties/Events-Party, July 7, 2003
17 Parties/Events-12/16/03 Jeann Taylor’s party at Mark Hopkins Hotel Nob Hill Room
18 Parties/Events-4/03 Beaux Arts Ball
19 Parties/Events-3/04 Argyle Club, San Antonio luncheon
20 Parties/Events-2005 Easter party
21 Parties/Events-Easter 2005
Box Folder
P/S 09 01-07 Parties/Events-Nancy Hamon 90th Birthday Party 2008
Box Folder
P/S 10 01-04 Parties/Events-Filed Together
05 Parties/Events-Easter, San Antonio
06 Parties/Events-Photos of Met party and Miluck wedding
07 Parties/Events-Greek Party
08 Parties/Events-Mansion Restaurant
09 Parties/Events-Party pictures
10 Parties/Events-Jerry Mapp’s Birthday Party
11 Parties/Events-Betty Hudson
12 Parties/Events-Martinez
13 Parties/Events-Marina Grands
14 Parties/Events-David Davis and Josh Weeden at Asian Museum
15 Parties/Events-Taxi Party, NYC
16 Parties/Events-Parties
17 Parties/Events-DMA Party hosted by Nancy Hamon
18 Parties/Events-Luncheon with guests
Box Folder
P/S 11 01-05 Parties/Events
06-07 Parties/Events- Filed Together
08-09 Parties/Events
Box Folder
P/S 12 01 Travel-York Castle
02 Travel-Helicopter Deck, York Castle
03 Travel-Reno
04 Travel-Venice
05 Travel-Spain, mostly Pamplona
06 Travel-Prague
07 Travel-Regensburg
08 Travel-Venice 1967
09 Travel-Paris 1986
10 Travel-Paris 1991-92
11 Travel-Venice with Nicolas
12 Travel-Trip to Kilgore
Box Folder
P/S 13 01 Travel-1994
02-08 Travel
09 Photographs-postcards
Box Folder
P/S 14 01 Photographs-Mural by Perry Nichols
02 Metropolitan Museum Dedication of Galleries in New York
03 Photos of Penthouse
04 Penthouse
05 Shadywood house
06 Shadywood house interiors ca. 1980
07 San Francisco apartment
08 Victor Costa’s House in Connecticut
09 Photos of Laura’s house
10 Hacienda Ja Ja, San Antonio
11 Davis Family
12 Filed Together [unidentified individuals]
13 Family
14 Making the SMU Film 2000
15 Air Force Funeral
16 Misc
17 McNay Museum
18 10/02 Howdah
P/S 15 Flat box
P/S 16 Slides and Negatives

Series 8: Three-dimensional Objects, 1952-2008

The three-dimensional objects consist of awards, plaques and various other personal objects such as a flask and letter openers and are arranged by size and medium (crystal, silver, etc.)
01 12 items
02 13 items
03 11 items