21 Things You Might Not Know About Me: Mary Ann Swan

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 | DrydenWire |


This week’s 21 Things You Might Not Know About Me features Mary Ann Swan. 

On May 22, 2018, Mary Ann was officially hired by the Washburn County Board as the County’s new Corporation Counsel. The purpose of this position is to represent the County in civil matters and advise County officials and employees acting on behalf of Washburn County.

The Corporation Counsel position is a part-time job so Mary Ann will continue her private law practice at 225 Walnut Street in Spooner in areas of general practice including estate planning, family law, real estate, and other civil matters - when it doesn't conflict with her new position with the County.

Although Mary Ann is well-known in the community, here are 21 things you might not know about her:


  1. Most exciting moment: tail hooking on a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Atlantic and watching night ops.
  2. Originally from Cincinnati, I’ve lived in MI, IL, IN, D.C., VA, and six years in Norway.
  3. I can’t wait to build a skin-on-frame Greenland kayak with my Dad this summer at the Spooner Canoe Museum.
  4. Most intriguing travel: sounds and smells of spice markets in Istanbul.
  5. Wanted to be a paleontologist and I still hunt for fossils with my kids.
  6. Favorite D.C. memento: Speaker Tip O’Neil gave me his nametag.
  7. If I could go back to school: I’d study astronomy at the University of AZ.
  8. While living in Old Towne, Alexandria I was confirmed in the Anglican church attended by patriots Patrick Henry and George Washington.
  9. I come from a tennis family:  my parents still compete in mixed doubles in the 80 + age group representing Kansas in the Senior Olympics.
  10. I secretly wanted to be Ginger (not Mary Ann) on Gilligan’s Island.
  11. My bloodline can be traced to Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  12. Most exciting moment in Washington: watching the Supreme Court’s oral argument on a case I litigated with the Defense Base Closure Commission.
  13. I interned for Senator Ted Kennedy.
  14. Worked in the Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations (until Pres. Clinton found me and replaced me).
  15. Best moments with kids: watching a meteorite shower while lying on the hood of our truck at 1 a.m.
  16. Love that my kids can raise hogs, walk safely in town and learn Shakespeare at school.
  17. I prefer the World Book Encyclopedia to Google.
  18. My WI friends once threw a going-away party for me dressed-up as cats!
  19. I’ve worked as a prosecuting attorney, and a lifeguard, taught law to international students, served up as a tennis instructor and sold strawberries from a hot truck in July.
  20. Learned “NOT TO DO” during my first years in WI: don’t fence with a snapping turtle and a stick, he will win, don’t wear goggles while swimming in the lake unless you want to see who is joining you, don’t walk close to mama goose and her goslings.
  21. My distant relative Elizabeth Howe was hung in Salem in 1692, the last “witch” to be executed.  
  22. P.S I have a black cat.


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