Martha Purdon Comer (September 8, 1906, Maysville KY – March 5, 2003, Maysville, KY)
Comer graduated as the salutatorian from Maysville High School in 1924 before attending Brenau College in Gainesville, GA and later Maysville Community and Technical College where she earned her degree. After graduation, she worked for the Daily Independent newspaper in Maysville which had been founded by her father, James Purdon, in 1906. Martha later took over the editor position in 1935 after the death of her brother. Comer married her high school sweetheart and the couple had two daughters. In 1968 the Daily Independent merged with another newspaper, the Ledger, and became the Ledger Independent. Comer was named editor of the newly formed paper and remained its editor until 1977. Comer supported numerous statutes to improve the area around her home of Maysville such as the completion of the Mary Ingles Highway, the building of the Maysville Floodwall, and the creation of the Maysville Community College. Comer retired in the 1990s, though she continued to assist the paper as an editorial consultant until her death. Comer had much success and recognition during her lifetime. In addition to being invited to meet President John F. Kennedy, she was named Maysville’s Most Distinguished Citizen, Most Distinguished Alumna of Maysville High, 1956 Woman of the Year, and was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame. After her death, the road leading into Maysville Community College was renamed in her honor.
“Martha Comer, Legendary Editor,” Kentucky Post, March 7, 2003, 11a.
“Martha Comer Led Maysville Paper,” Cincinnati Enquirer, March 7, 2003, B4.
“Maysville Names Lady of Year,” Kentucky Times Star, April 27, 1956, 2A.