Jake Louis Hamon, oilman, was born in Lawton, Oklahoma, on July 24, 1902, the son of Jake Louis and Georgia (Perkins) Hamon. He grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma, and attended the University of Chicago, where he studied law until his father was shot in 1920. At that time he went to work as a roustabout in the oilfields around Ranger, Texas. In 1921 he drilled his first oil well, and shortly afterward he returned to Oklahoma, where he went into partnership with Edwin B. Cox. He spent several years as a drilling contractor and bought stripper wells that all turned out dry, before he finally hit a good well in 1926. Around 1932 Hamon and his partner moved their base of operations from Oklahoma to Dallas, in order to be nearer the East Texas oilfield. By 1934 Hamon was a director of the American Petroleum Institute. The partnership between Cox and Hamon was dissolved in 1950, and Hamon acted as an independent operator until 1984, when he incorporated under the name Hamon Oil Company.
He belonged to a number of professional organizations and received several awards. He served as president of the National Stripper Well Association, the Texas Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, and the general Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association. As a member of the Petroleum Industry Council for National Defense during World War II, he called for cooperation between industry and government. He received the American Petroleum Institute's Certificate of Appreciation in 1950, the Carl A. Young Memorial Award in 1958, and a "Roughneck Award" from the Lone Star Steel Company in Dallas. In 1974 he received the American Petroleum Institute's highest honor, the gold medal for distinguished achievement.
For fifty years he was associated with the Dallas Museum of Art, to which he contributed several works and offered financial support. Hamon was a trustee of Southern Methodist University and director of the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association and the Dallas Zoological Society. He served on the petroleum affairs committee of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce. On March 28, 1949, he married Nancy Blackburn. They had two sons and a daughter. On May 2, 1985, Hamon and his wife left on a twelve-day European art tour sponsored by the Dallas Museum of Art. The day after the trip began, while taking a nap in his hotel room in Amsterdam, Hamon died of a heart attack. He was cremated and flown back to the United States for a memorial service.
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Dallas Morning News, May 4, 1985. Dallas Times Herald, May 4, 1985. Who's Who in America, 1978–79.
Oil and Gas Industry
Oil Entrepreneurs and Wildcatters
Dallas/Fort Worth Region
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Lisa C. Maxwell,
“Hamon, Jake Louis,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 19, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
January 1, 1995
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: