|Zeno Hemphill, son of Charley Wade and Wagie Ellen Carter Hemphill,
was born in Coleman on May 2, 1921. Zeno, the youngest of eight children,
attended Coleman schools and graduated from Coleman High School in 1938.
Following high school, Zeno was employed by the First Coleman National
Bank. Following a year’s employment at the bank he enrolled at Texas
A&M College. While a student at A&M, Zeno married Joe Morris
(see Press Morris Family). After their marriage on February 8, 1942,
they returned to College Station to complete his schooling. They
remember returning to College Station with two horses and twelve chickens!
They soon leased a small arena to rope calves, these crossbred calves were
to be the first JZ cattle. Their first child, Lucy Rebecca, was born
November 9, 1942. With World War II in full swing, Zeno’s class at
A&M was accelerated and he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree
in January of 1943. Immediately following graduation he was commissioned
with a rank of 2nd Lieutenant and went into armored force training at Fort
Knox, Kentucky. Zeno served in the assault troop in the invasion
of five Pacific islands. He was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery
in action, and also received a Purple Heart. While Zeno was serving
in the armed forces, Joe returned to Coleman County to live with her family
until his return.
Joe grew up on the ranch and attended Cotton School there on the ranch
and then Coleman schools. As a child Joe was extremely interested
and involved in ranch life. She hunted and explored the country along
the Jim Ned Creek both horseback and on foot. She also developed
a great interest in native plants, collecting seeds and planting them in
the ranch yard. She and her older sister, Patsy Mary, began helping
with the cattle workings at very young ages. Those working on the
ranch took a chuckwagon and camped out while work was in progress from
Echo on the south to Novice on the north. Joe graduated from Coleman
High School in 1938. She attended SMU and then Hardin-Simmons University
where she rode with the Hardin-Simmons Cowboy Band as one of the Six White
Horsemen. She was Coleman Rodeo Association Queen in 1938.
In 1941 she was a Ranch Girl Honor Guest at the Fort Worth Exposition and
After World War II, Zeno and Joe resumed ranch life in a home they constructed
themselves on the bank of the Jim Ned Creek. They began ranching
interests of their own and in conjunction with Press Morris. Press
died in January of 1947 and after this property was divided and most ranching
interests were under the JZ brand. While the property was operated
separately, many of the ranching activities were still in conjunction with
Carrie Morris and Patsy Morris.
On December 18, 1947, a son, Joseph Patrick, was born (see Joseph
Patrick Hemphill). As the children began school in Coleman the
entire family became quite active in 4-H, sports activities and church
activities at the First Methodist Church in Coleman. Through the
years Zeno has taken an active part in many community organizations.
He has been an active supporter of the Coleman Rodeo Association, having
served as arena director as well as president of that organization.
He also coached Little League baseball as well as taking an active part
in the Bluecat Booster Club while his children participated in school atheltics.
In addition to conservation on his own ranch, Zeno once served as District
Supervisor for the Soil Conservation Service. Zeno is widely recognized
as a horseman and a Quarter Horse breeder. At one time he was very
active in showing horses as well as judging shows as an accredited Quarter
Horse judge of the A.Q.H.A. He is presently serving as a director
on the board of the First Coleman National Bank. Joe in addition
has interests of her own. In past years she has worked with many
civic activities. While Zeno was Rodeo Association president she
acted as his secretary. One of her loves has always been Garden Club
work. In 1958 when the Town and Country Garden Club was founded she
was a charter member and has been an active member ever since. She
became a National Flower Show Judge in 1966, a Life Judge in 1969 and a
Master Judge in 1983. She is widely known for her flower arranging
and speaking on the subject of native plants. Joe and Zeno have many
common interests. Their primary interest still lies in the ranching
business where they and their son, Joe Pat, operate the family ranch.
They currently raise registered Quarter Horses and commercial beef cattle.
They have always been avid hunters and fishermen as well as conservationists.
In recent years they have become avid quail hunters and enjoy raising and
training bird dogs. Their daughter, Becky, married Dale Greaves,
August 23, 1964, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Greaves of Coleman (see
Lawrence Decatur Greaves). She and Dale live in Shallowater, Texas.
They have three children: Pam, born August 7, 1966, Cindy, March 1, 1968
and Dusty, July 13, 1971.
(Image to be added)
Left to right, Zeno, Joe, Becky and Joe Pat Hemphill, March 16, 1957