LeMars, Central Telephone Co.

Location: 22 First Avenue NW, LeMars, Iowa

[Early History as Published in the local newspaper---1903]

LeMars Sentinel, August 21, 1903

The New Company has its System in Operation in LeMars and Plymouth

"We are trying to make your service better all the time."  This is the
keynote of the LeMars Telephone company which is now doing business in
LeMars, with headquarters in the Colledge building on Sixth street.  The
new company began business this week and the hello girls in its employ
have been kept busy at work ever since.  There are two hundred and fifty
phones in operation in the city already and others are being put in and
connected every day.  A number of the rural lines are also in operation
and by the first of September the entire local system will be work and
every detail of the work will be complete.

The company is making no charge for phones during the remainder of this
month and the service is given free until the first of September.

The new company has lines built from LeMars to Dalton, Struble, Mammen,
Remsen and O'Leary and rural lines to Crathorne and Merrill are in
process of construction.  The town of Struble also has a telephone
system operated by this company.

With its present organization and method of operation the new company is
in splendid shape to give service and satisfaction to its patrons.  The
material used in the construction of the system is the best that can be
obtained and the most durable and expensive that can be procured in the
different markets of the United States.

The LeMars Telephone company of LeMars is incorporated under the laws of
the state of Iowa, with an authorized capital of $50,000 made up of
shares of $100 each.  The capital stock is divided into common and
preferred stock, $25,000 each.  Any patron may become a stockholder in
the company and may purchase either common or preferred stock.  The
preferred stock pays an annual dividend of eight per cent payable on
January 15 and July 15 of each year, and payable semi-annually
thereafter on the same date.  No dividends shall be paid on the common
stock until all dividends shall have been paid on the preferred stock
but only holders of common stock shall be entitled to vote or hold
office.  All stock is non-assessable when fully paid and the private
property of the stockholders is exempt from corporate debt.  The
indebtedness of the company shall not exceed one half of the paid up
capital stock.  The offices of the company do not receive a salary, and
are required to pay regular rates or telephone services. 

The offices of the company in the Colledge building are filled up in the
most improved modern fashion and the latest make of the central energy
switch board is used. 

The batteries in the office are supplied with electricity by the LeMars
Electric Light company, and in case of accidents the telephone company
has three reserve storage batteries making it impossible to have any
suspension in the workings of the system.  Each battery is kept charged
to an average of 100, which makes conversation easily and distinctly
heard through every phone and does not demand the raise of the voice one

The company has already secured a number of competent operators, all of
whom have had experience in telephone work.  They are Misses Hattie
Perkins, Elsie Green, Dora Pech, and Mary Coffey.

The company is here to stay and is going the right way about securing
custom and patronage.  The officers of the company are LeMars men.  The
are A.C. Colledge, president;  F.A. Post, vice president;  I.S. Mahan,
secretary and treasurer; J.U. Sammis, general counsel.  A.C. Colledge,
F.A. Post, E.A. Dalton, I.S. Mahan and E. Duke Naven form the board of

LeMars Central Telephone Co. Operators circa 1940s

Left to right: Mae Carey, Marthetta Reddix, Phyliss Wilde, Emma Trafford, Beverly Domonick, Joan Clifford, Marion Wilhelmi and Donna Nielsen.

Below article and photo was pasted in my Grandmother's scrapbook. The photo taken in March of 1951.



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