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

Official website for the family of Frank & Jesse James – Living lives, telling the story. Knowing self.

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