William Jackson (Jack) Hammond (1896-1966) was born 21 October 1896 in Red Oak, Texas (Ellis County). He began his education at TCU in 1915 but interrupted his studies to serve with the Army during World War I. After his service from 1917-1919, Hammond stayed on to serve with the Army of Occupation in France and studied at the Sorbonne for a year. He returned to TCU and held various odd jobs while he studied for the ministry. He was ordained in 1922, received his B.A. in 1923, and his M.A. in 1924. He taught as an instructor in the history department at TCU before entering the University of California, where he received his PhD in 1929. Hammond returned to Fort Worth and joined the history department as an associate professor in 1929 and achieved the rank of full professor in 1931. He continued teaching until his death in 1966, and served as department chair from 1934-1964. Hammond was a specialist in Latin American and American Indian history and he published numerous articles and book reviews. He is perhaps best known for his 1958 publication, La Reunion: A French Colony. For his research, Hammond traveled frequently to Mexico and kept up with current events in Latin America.
In addition to his long and productive career in academics, Hammond had an active life in local politics. He became involved in city politics in the 1930s and ran for City Councilman on the Progressive Democratic Party ticket. He served from 1935-1937. He was chosen as mayor in 1937 by the City Council. A self-described "New Deal Mayor," Hammond's one-year term in office was fraught with opposition and controversy related to his progressive politics. He advocated social action and a liberal program that stressed "human values." He was interested in civic issues like public housing, jail reform, and crime prevention and launched an aggressive campaign to challenge corruption and machine politics. As mayor, Hammond successfully advocated for the creation of a city hospital and public library.
Faced with the choice between teaching and politics, Hammond ultimately chose teaching and resigned as mayor in 1938. He remained an active and concerned citizen. Hammond participated in numerous clubs and organizations, both on campus and in the community, especially the American Legion, Tarrant County Democratic Club, Roosevelt Democrats in Texas, and the International Relations Club. He helped organize student organizations like Young Democrat and Young Republican Clubs. He was missed by TCU students and faculty and the Fort Worth community when he died of a heart attack in June 1966.