Joan Meyer, the 98-year-old newspaperwoman who was literally scared to death after a thuggish police raid on her home in Marion, Kansas, is the subject of a lengthy obituary in today’s New York Times (free link). Mrs. Meyer, the co-publisher of the Marion County Record, collapsed and died Saturday, the day after police descended on the paper’s office; the home she shared with her son, publisher Eric Meyer; and the home of the vice mayor. Clay Risen writes:

As at most small-town papers, job titles at The Record are nominal; everyone does everything. Editors might write articles, reporters might sweep the floors. Mrs. Meyer worked as a copy editor and the social news editor, and for decades she wrote a column about local history called Memories.

“She was a walking encyclopedia of local history,” Rowena Plett, a features reporter for The Record, said in a phone interview.

Risen adds that Mrs. Meyer “refused to let anyone, even her husband or son, touch her copy.” Truly a woman after my own heart.

The raid was supposedly related to an investigation into how the Record obtained documents about the drunken-driving history of a local caterer. But I would definitely keep an eye on Eric Meyer’s revelation that the newspaper was investigating the possibility that Police Chief Gideon Cody left his previous job in Kansas City, Missouri, after he was accused of sexual misconduct.


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