GLASGOW — Martha Thomas has witnessed many changes at the Glasgow Daily Times in the 46 years that she has been employed here.
She has seen the newspaper go from being put together manually to being designed with the aid of computers.
Thomas began her career with the Glasgow Daily Times when she was 19.
“I was going to Mrs. Morrison's business school and apparently they called her a lot for typists. That's what I initially came in for. I was taking classes there,” she said. “When I got here I ended up being in composing and commercial printing.”
She is one of a select few who began their careers with the Daily Times when its offices were located in downtown Glasgow off South Green Street. She and others who worked at the downtown office refer to it as “the old building.”
Working with her at the downtown location was Alice Piper, who started out in classifieds but eventually moved to sales in display advertising. Piper worked for the newspaper for more than 35 years.
“We came about the same time, but I believe she was here a little bit before I,” Piper said. “She was always a good friend. I enjoyed working with her.”
Frances Bastien also worked with Thomas for several years. Bastien was editor of The Glasgow Republican and a reporter for the Daily Times.
“Martha was just a wonderful person to work with. I was trying to remember, she worked more or less job printing and not in the news room when I was there. She was just a wonderful coworker and a person. I'm pleased to have known,” Bastien said.
The newspaper made the move from downtown Glasgow to its current location along Happy Valley Road in the early 1980s.
Thomas worked in the newspaper's composing department at both locations.
Composing is the department that was responsible for designing advertisements and putting the newspaper together each day.
When working in the commercial printing department, Thomas and others put together retail tabloids.
Her husband, Billy, also worked for the Daily Times. He has worked for the newspaper twice for a total of 25 years, working in the camera department, stripping color and burning plates before moving to the small job shop department where he printed handbills for auctions, business cards, books and brochures. He left the newspaper in 1992 to take another position.
For 10 years, Thomas was responsible for putting together the Barren County Fair book for the Temple Hill Lions Club. The fair book was inserted in the newspaper a few weeks prior to the start of the county fair.
Thomas worked primarily with Doug Belcher with the Temple Hill Lions Club in putting the fair book together.
“She was very efficient in her job and went out of her way to make sure she got everything correct,” he said. “She was really good to work with. I enjoyed making contact with her and she was always very professional.”
Six years ago Thomas became the news clerk for the Daily Times. Her responsibilities as news clerk ranged from typing announcements for the community calendar, typing obituaries, birth announcements, engagement announcements and wedding announcements, as well as press releases, livestock reports, property transfers and marriage licenses.
Many of those items are now submitted to the newspaper by readers via its website.
When Thomas made the move from the composing department to the newsroom, it was the first time in many years that she was not working in the same department as her long-time coworker Teresa Furlong. They worked together for more than 30 years.
Furlong went from the composing department to the advertising department, where she continues to work today.
Not being able to work with Thomas, is “going to be different,” Furlong said.
“She's always been here. I'm going to miss her,” Furlong said, adding that there have been a lot of good times over the years and a lot of laughs.
A reception was held on Thursday in honor of Thomas' retirement, during which she got to reconnect with former coworkers, readers and others she has come to know over the years while at the Daily Times.
Of all the things Thomas says she will miss about the Daily Times, she said it will be mostly the people. She also said she will miss getting to know what's going on in the community before the newspaper is printed.
“Now, I'll have to actually wait until I see the paper or read it online,” she said.