All Inductees

Jon Temple

Events, small and large, often shape our future. Dreams become reality when goals are set early in life – this is exactly what happened to Jon Temple. Jon was born and raised on a farm west of Cleburne. He grew up working with animals. His family had a dairy for several years and he also worked with mules and cattle. Jon said he was not afraid of animals, but had great respect for them. He was especially close to his grandfather, in fact he says he was with his grandfather’s shadow. His grandfather was the one who took him to see his first rodeo when he was six years old. He was totally captivated. From that moment on, the wheels in his mind began to turn. He knew what he wanted to do – to grow up and become a clown and bullfighter. He attended rodeos every chance he got. While in high school, he made his plans and shortly after graduation, he started contesting in area rodeos, riding bareback and bull riding. After participation in several rodeos, a friend of his called and asked Jon to work with him as a clown and bullfighter. They paired up and that was the launching of his career as a Rodeo Clown. Through this partnership, they worked college and open rodeos in Texas and Oklahoma.

In 1963, with the help and encouragement from friends in the rodeo world, like Jr. Meek, George Doak and John Reuth, all of whom were rodeo clowns and bullfighters he joined the Rodeo Cowboys Association. He performed across the United States and Western Four Provinces of Canada working such rodeos as “The Big Four of Northwest” and “World Wide Sports Show in Canada.” Jon traveled and continued to do his “thing” for 12 years, loving every minute of it. There were many broken bones along the way. In 1970, after another broken ankle, a bone specialist in Dallas informed Jon he should find another occupation. He said he had placed all the metal and screws in his ankle he could. So his life took another direction. He settled down, went to work for Union Pacific Railroad and raised three beautiful red-headed daughters, Maria, Jeana and Jonelle.

He continues to be active in the community. In the early 1970’s the Cleburne FFA Chapter asked the Johnson County Sheriff’s Posse to sponsor a High School Rodeo for their shop fund raiser. Having been an active member of the Sheriff’s Posse since 1963 Jon was asked to head up the show and serve as arena director. The first year there were 720 entries. By the third year, there was an unbelievable 1730 entries. Because of this exposure high schools started forming rodeo teams, then the posse was busy renting arenas and facilities all through the school year. This was the beginning of what was later formed as the North Texas High School Rodeo Association. Jon recently retired from 30 years of service with the Union Pacific Railroad. During those years he was a member of the Joshua Independent School District School Board for 12 years, serving as President the last 5 years. Jon has remained active in the Rodeo Clown Reunions and is actively involved with the Texas Special Olympics.

Carl Doering, a well- known rodeo clown of Roseburg, Oregon, once said, “Jon is a true gentleman and a great credit to rodeo.” Jon and his wife, Norma, currently live in Cleburne, Texas where they enjoy their five grandchildren.