Dedication to history earns Reis award


Alexandria, KY - Journalist, historian and Alexandria resident Jim Reis is the recipient of the 2010 Kentucky Historical Society's Lifetime Dedication to Kentucky History Award.

According to Stuart Sanders, community services coordinator at KHS, the award is presented to an individual who has consistently supported Kentucky history through writing or local history organizations.

"Jim was nominated for his work and his great career," said Sanders.

Reis, 59, was a reporter for the Kentucky Post from 1969 until he retired in 2007 for health reasons. Although he was always interested in history, he covered a variety of stories at the newspaper. In 1982, he suggested that he write a few history articles and called the series "Pieces of the Past." It was so well received, he said, that Reis ended up writing more than 1,100 columns, which were later published in book form.

Despite his dedication to preserving the past, Reis was surprised to learn he was the recipient of the award.

"I thought it was fantastic to receive a lifetime achievement award," he said. "I am very proud of my long relationship with history in Northern Kentucky."

His writing did not just stop at the news desk. Reis is also a contributor to "The Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky," "Campbell County, Kentucky - 200 Years," and "Images of America: Alexandria".

Nominated by Jan Mueller, who works in the local history department of the Kenton Country Public Library, the nominating form was completed with the help of Jim's brother, Ken.

"He has devoted his life to researching local history," said Ken Reis, 62 of Grants Lick. "Everything that he writes relating to history is meticulously researched. He even studies footnotes to makes sure they are correct."

The love of history runs in the family. The Reis brothers have also served on the Campbell Country Historical Society, Ken as president and Jim as vice president, for the past 21 years. They also have been instrumental in Northern Kentucky Local History Day, a series of workshops and networking opportunities for historians and genealogists. The event has taken place annually on the campus of Northern Kentucky University since its inception in 1994.
According to Ken, Jim Reis is a trusted source for researchers.

"He has to be the single-most quoted source of anyone regarding Northern Kentucky history," Ken said.

By Deborah Kohl Kremer November 28, 2010


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