Braxton Bragg Comer

*

1848-1927
Industrialist, Statesman, Humanitarian


As Governor of Alabama and as a founder of a large industrial enterprise he concerned himself with the spiritual, educational and economic well-being of the people of Alabama.


Braxton Bragg Comer showed such enthusiasm and mastery of situations that all who worked with him in the governor's office, on the plantation, or in the executive suite of a cotton mill empire sensed the flair of a truly exceptional man.

"Alabama's great educational governor" is the title historians have bestowed upon Comer for his success in setting up a high school system throughout the state and championing increased appropriations for state colleges. Countless schools and college buildings today bear the name of the man who did not give in to the cries of his more conservative opponents.

Public indignation over high railroad rates won Comer election to the presidency of the Alabama Railroad Commission in 1904 and two years later, the governor's chair. As governor he helped correct the railroad abuses, signed Alabama's first prohibition law, corrected faults in the pardon and parole system, fought child labor, strengthened insurance laws, set up a tuberculosis sanitorium, and erected an educational system that has endured to this day. Comer served a brief appointment to the U.S. Senate in 1920.

Comer's industrial enterprise was Avondale Mills, which he helped found in 1897. His mills in several Alabama towns helped to fix their economy at a high level and his interest encouraged the workers to elevate the levels of their own intellectual and spiritual existence. He was a staunch churchman and valued his church service equally high or higher than his political positions. One newspaper commented after his death that no matter what the fight, "He stood at Armageddon and battled for the Lord."

Elected 1955


Sources:
Alabama Hall of Fame, 1968


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http://www.archives.state.al.us/famous/b_comer.html
Created: 1/18/96