The James & the Arts

Jesse James by Beth Hoeckel
Jesse James by Beth Hoeckel



Beth Hoeckel is an artist who graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago, an institution supported by the Jesse James family.

Vassie James, a wife of Hugh Campbell Ward     & cousin of the outlaw, founded the Pembroke School in Kansas City. Among her descendants, Vassie left a strong legacy in the education and the arts.

Vassie’s granddaughter, Joan Olmsted married Dr. James Franklin Oates III of Evanston outside of Chicago. Dr. Oates was a life trustee of Goodman Theater that was affiliated with the Art Institute. The couple also financially support the Virginia Commonwealth University School for the Arts. Joan O. Oates is a life trustee of Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia.

Vassie’s daughter-in-law, Mary Van Etten married J. Harris Ward, a life trustee of the University of Chicago, where Mary also was a life trustee. Mary served on boards of the Chicago Public Library Foundation, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, the Field Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago, where she served as president of the Women’s Board of Trustees from 1953 to 1966.

Eric James was enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1966, and performed in a half a dozen plays at its Goodman Theater.

More of Beth Hoeckel’s art can been seen at

Correction to genealogy

Hello Eric,

I’m Ann McQuinn.  Your new website is lovely.  I’m the one that sent you the CD with the pictures from the Jesse James album that I showcased on Antiques Roadshow.

I wanted to edit our part of the genealogy to the best of  our family knowledge.

Our mother Sara Jean Race Duke born 11/20/1920 died 1/11/1972, Miami , FL

married 3/2/1947  Nathaniel Duke born 6/29/1923 still alive

Her mother was  Susan Hall (born 1888, died Feb 1948, Hunter, OK) married to Lawson Race born 8/3/1878 died , 1960, Miami, FL

Her mother (our great grandmother) was FANNIE QUANTRILL  SAMUELS HALL married to Joe C. Hall

You probably know the rest from there and thus our relation to Jesse James.

Our mother had 2 children  and we each had 2 children

– Ann Duke McQuinn born 12/3/1953 married 8/4/73  Richard West born 6/1/1953 had two children Jennifer Ann West born 4/29/1976 and Stuart Wade West born 12/10/1981, divorced Richard 1988. On 5/7/2000 married  James McQuinn born 3/20/1952 .

-Susan Duke Gebhardt born 12/16/1947 married 8/10/1968 Carl Gebhardt born 4/21/1947  and had two children Christopher A Gebhardt 12/26/1973 and Eric M Gebhardt 10/28/1978

There are no more children yet. This maybe more info than you need but thank you for the opportunity to share our portion of history.

Thank you again,

Ann McQuinn

Great Grandaughter, Fannie Quantrill Samuels

Namesake of Francis Marion James Sr. & Jr.

Francis Marion james Jr.
Francis Marion James Jr. 1880-1931, namesake of Gen. Francis Marion, also nicknamed Frank

During the War of Revolution, John M. James 1751-1823 served under the Swamp Fox, Gen. Francis Marion.  James was a spy for Marion, as he also had been a spy for Gen. George Washington. Both of John’s first and second great-grandsons, Francis Marion James Sr. & Jr., inherited the name of the general as their namesake.

Maintaining the general’s namesake, Francis Marion James Jr. named his first two children Francis Nicholas and daughter Anita Marion James. When Francis Nicholas James died in infancy, the name of Francis passed to the next surviving son to be born, Harry Francis James Sr. The senior Harry Francis then carried forward the namesake to his junior. also known as Stray Leaves publisher Eric F. James.

Among many of those who fought in the Revolution at the Battle of King’s Mountain,  they, too, would name their descendants Francis Marion, too, after the namesake of the Swamp Fox.

In this video, Dr. Joseph Stukes, retired professor from Francis Marion University who died recently in 2016, offers a 3 minute capsule biography about Gen. Francis Marion and why he became recognized as the Swamp Fox.

Ella Revett Hefti

Tom Carter, a grandson of Ella Revett Hefti, offers this new background information:

My grandmother was married to, and subsequently divorced from, Samuel Joshua Hefti of Schwanden, Switzerland.  She was born in the 1880s in Jamaica, emigrated to Canada, from whence she eloped to Chicago with my grandfather.” 

Mary Polly Ann Mullican Black

mary-polly-mullican-black-207x250Mary Polly Ann Mullican Black is my third Great Aunt.She is a sister to my great great Grandmother Elizabeth Mullican Morgan.She is the daughter of Solomon Mullican and Nancy Ridgeway Mullican.She was born in 1822 in Kentucky and died in 1902 in Linn Co,Kansas.She married Moses Black Jr  in 1844.They migrated to Linn Co,Kansas by wagon train in 1868.They had the following children  1  Dr John Simpson Black born in 1845 and died in 1930.  2 Nancy Catherine Black  born in 1847 and died in1871  3 Mary E. Black born in 1849 and died in1868.  4 Elizabeth Jane Black born in 1852 and died in 1929. 5 Siltira Black born in 1852 and died in 1927.  6 Hilda S. Black born in 1857 no deathdate.  7 William Grant Black born in 1857 and died in 1880.  8 Magdalena Black born in 1867 and died in 1936.

Official blog for the family of Frank & Jesse James

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