Skip to main content

Search the Special Collections and Archives Portal

Transcript of interview with Jeanne Maxwell William by Claytee D. White, July 7, 2016







Foxhunting may be the Sport of Kings but was also found among the elite in Michigan. In the early 1960s when Jeanne Williams married Ed Wilson, son of Charles Wilson, President of General Motors, she learned the art of riding to the hounds. She left that life for Las Vegas in 1965. During the heyday of Las Vegas, Williams reared her daughter, Christine, on the Desert Inn Country Club working as an artist and sculptor. The Summa Corporation’s job as Women’s Events Coordinator wooed her. She kept the wives of golfers busy with luncheons featuring speakers like Ann Landers and David Frost. These women were also treated to fabulous gifts including designer purses. But soon Williams was swept off her feet by Jack Kent Cooke, one-time owner of the Los Angeles Lakers. She moved with him to Virginia where her art suffered. Jeanne’s return to Las Vegas allowed her artistic canvas to expand with commissions from the town’s movers and shakers. This time, home was the Sahara Country Club and then in 1994, the Canyon Gate Country Club. Those homes gave her space for her art. Her artistry and skill as a sculptor were keenly honed during this period as she joined the prestigious Desert Sculptors Association and the illustrious Las Vegas Watercolor Society. Actress, singer, dancer, painter, sculptor Jeanne Maxwell Williams helped to start the arts movement in Las Vegas.

Digital ID



Jeanne Maxwell Williams oral history interview, 2016 July 07. OH-02744. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


This material is made available to facilitate private study, scholarship, or research. It may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity rights, or other interests not owned by UNLV. Users are responsible for determining whether permissions are necessary from rights owners for any intended use and for obtaining all required permissions. Acknowledgement of the UNLV University Libraries is requested. For more information, please see the UNLV Special Collections policies on reproduction and use ( or contact us at

Standardized Rights Statement





i AN INTERVIEW WITH JEANNE MAXWELL WILLIAMS An Oral History Conducted by Claytee D. White The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©The Boyer Early