Nancy Blackburn Hamon was born in San Antonio, Texas. She attended the University of Texas and in 1942, moved to Hollywood, appearing in several movies as a dancer. She married Jake L. Hamon in 1949. An outstanding hostess as well as a civic benefactor, Mrs. Hamon has often been called upon to entertain distinguished visitors to Dallas. Since 1985, Mrs. Hamon has been a major contributor to the arts in Dallas. In 1990, she received the James K. Wilson Silver Cup Award for her generous support to the cultural arts of Dallas. In 1994, Mrs. Hamon was selected by a panel of local business and civic leaders to receive the Linz Award, Dallas' most prestigious civic honor, presented annually for civic or humanitarian efforts creating the greatest benefit for the Dallas community. Along with her support of the Dallas Theater Center and Dallas Historical Society, Mrs. Hamon's contributions include the Jake Hamon Gorilla Habitat at the Dallas Zoo, the Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Center at Southern Methodist University, a $20 million gift to the Dallas Museum of Art in 1988, and a $1 million donation to the Friends of the Dallas Public Library, Inc. in 1998 to establish the Jake L. Hamon Oil and Gas Resource Center and partially renovate the Business and Technology Division of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in downtown Dallas.
Jake Louis Hamon, legendary Dallas independent wildcatter and civic leader, was born in Lawton, Oklahoma in 1902. He studied law at the University of Chicago but left in 1920 to help support his family after his father's death. He began his oil career as a roustabout in the oil fields near Ranger, Eastland County, Texas. In 1923, Jake Hamon formed a partnership with Edwin B. Cox, first purchasing a group of Oklahoma stripper wells. This partnership was to last over 20 years. Mr. Hamon moved his company to Dallas in 1932 and became increasingly involved in civic and professional associations. In 1934 he was elected Director of the American Petroleum Institute and later served as President. In 1950, Mr. Hamon began working independently over a multistate area and in 1958 received the Carl A. Young Memorial Award from the American Petroleum Institute. He was asked to serve as a member of the National Petroleum Council in 1961. In 1974, Jake Hamon received the American Petroleum Institute's highest award, the Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement. Mr. Hamon also served as president of the National Stripper Well Association, Dallas Petroleum Club, and the Texas Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association. In 1984, he incorporated his business as Hamon Oil Company. Jake L. Hamon died during a trip to Amsterdam in 1985, at the age of 82. He is remembered as a major supporter of the Dallas Museum of Art and as a director of the Dallas Zoological Society and Dallas Cotton Bowl Athletic Association. Mr. Hamon enjoyed reading and was a strong supporter of the library, serving as Chairman of the Dallas Committee for National Library Week in 1961.