In 1963, when a few great minds first conceived of the idea for a local Riverboat Days Celebration, a large part of it was to be naming the first RBD Queen. Various organizations sponsored candidates, and votes were recorded via penny donations. Potential winners were: Marilyn Mayer, from the VFW; Joyce Bingham, of the JC’s; Sandy Nichols, of the Jr. Women’s Club; Agnes Walton, of Wa-Tan-Ye/ American Legion; Margaret McGovern, of the Letter Carriers Assn.; Pat Schroeder, from the Elks; Caryl Randall, of the Power Squadron; and Agnes “Aggie” Schrader Lutz, sponsored by the Hawkeye Boat Club.
Activities during the celebration included the Mississippi “Skidaddlers,” boat races, tours of Beaver Island, a parade, balloon ascensions, and lots of things for little kids and families to do, including fireworks. The first day brought out 9,000 people, plus 1000 boats on the river. It was a terrific success and the late George Morris, one of the founders, was its first Commodore.
For many, including her daughter, Jo Gerke, the week-long festivities’ highlight was the selection of “Aggie” as Riverboat Days Queen. Her First Princess was good friend Agnes Walton -- at that time, the deputy of the Treasurer’s Office at Clinton County Courthouse. It was a fitting and a perfect selection that Clinton’s Queen of the River was also “Queen of the City” for this special occasion. Mayor Andy Dall crowned her as such, in July, over forty years ago. Aggie will always be remembered as one of Clinton’s very special people, and is revered wherever long-time river-lovers gather to talk about the past.