The National Achievement Award is the highest honor presented by the National Rivers Hall of Fame to those people who are making significant contributions to America’s waterways. The National Rivers Hall of Fame with members in 36 states is the only national museum telling the stories of the people of America’s rivers.
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Honored in 1998
Joseph Merrick Jones, Jr. spent forty years of active service in the marine transportation business, including his role as Chairman of the Board of Canal Barge Company, Inc., New Orleans, Louisiana.
Canal Barge Company was founded in 1933 by his father, Joseph M. Jones and other investors with only one barge. Now the company owns and operates twenty-six vessels including towboats ranging from 800 to 7200 horsepower, an offshore supply vessel, and two 7,500 ton tankships as well as approximately 525 barges. Merrick Jones joined Canal Barge Company in 1957 and he took the reins of the company in 1963.
Canal Barge Company has been a pioneer throughout its history. In 1933, the company operated the first all welded steel tank barge to haul fuel along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. In 1939, the m/v Bull Calf was constructed, a revolutionary towboat which became the model for landing craft used in World War II.
In 1947, Canal Barge developed the industry’s first integrated tank barge tow to minimize resistance and drag. In 1957, Canal Barge pioneered the first high-speed integrated tow and towboat dedicated to the carriage of sensitive liquid chemicals and lubricating oil from the Gulf Coast to Chicago, Illinois.
Thanks to the leadership of Merrick Jones, who died in 2001, Canal Barge today is one of the most successful movers of products on the river, including “project” cargoes.