Dubuque County Historical Society Images

Achievement Award Winners

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James V. Swift

Jim Swift came by his love of the river honestly. Mr. Swift reports, "I got river air in my lungs and river water in my veins when I was about six months old. My father was a contractor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and he built a houseboat that moved with the fleet to keep his family with him."

Mr. Swift’s father’s collection of river pictures kept him interested in the rivers and he later joined the Waterways Journal, known as "the riverman’s Bible," where he worked as historical columnist, business manager, advertising manager and vice president.

Mr. Swift has received the Commanders Award for Civilian Service from the Corps of Engineers, the Certificate of Merit from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Certificate of Appreciation form the National Association of Passenger Vessel Operators, the Plaque of Appreciation from the Golden Eagle River Club in St. Louis, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Herman T. Pott National Inland River Library.

Until his death in 2002, Jim Swift wrote the "Old Boat" column each week for the Waterways Journal, and his column was a favorite of readers throughout the inland waters.

Honored in 1989.

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