Arms Across Georgia, Book II: Embracing Our Time in History: The Heritage of the Georgia Telephone Association (1994)


A Continuing History and Record of Developments
of Telephone Operations in the State of Georgia,
the Georgia Telephone Association,
and the Peach State Chapter of the
Independent Telephone Pioneer Association
By Carolyn J. Stewart
Standard Telephone Company
P.O. Box 400
1153 Industrial Boulevard
Cornelia, Georgia 30531
Georgia Telephone Association
1900 Century Boulevard Suite 8
Atlanta, Georgia 30345
(404) 321-5368
Fax (404) 728-0374
Dear GTA Members and Friends:
It is especially appropriate as the Georgia Telephone Association (GTA) celebrates its seventy-fifth
anniversary to commemorate this historic event with an update oiArms Across Georgia. Arms Across
Georgia, published in 1987, is a wonderful documentation of the evolution of telephony in Georgia, and
its sequel will serve to continue this tradition.
The value of understanding our history is in appreciating the foundation it provides for the future.
Georgia is fortunate to be served by local exchange telephone companies which have a history and tra-
dition of aspiring to the future. Therefore, in looking back on the evolution of telephony in Georgia,
we would be remiss if we did not also acknowledge the challenges and opportunities of the future.
Today, unlike any time in the past, telecommunications is experiencing change at a pace which might
more accurately be characterized as revolutionary. It would be easy to become mesmerized by this
activity, but, hopefully, in pausing to reflect on the past, we can better put the future in perspective.
As the twenty-first century approaches, the telecommunications industry, inspired by technological
advances and guided by unlimited vision and imagination, is playing an historic role in shaping the
future. Arms Across Georgia and this sequel provide the critical focus which enables us to achieve our
A special thanks is extended to Carolyn Stewart for her dedication and perseverance in making a reali-
ty this invaluable historic documentation through Arms Across Georgia and this sequel.
Robert W. Krueger
Georgia Telephone Association
Dedicated to the men and women who make up the
1994 membership of the Georgia Telephone Association
as it enters its 75th anniversary year.
The following persons traveled the distance from their respective companies to serve on the Historical
Committee that met regularly in the Georgia Telephone Association (GTA) office in Atlanta. Each con-
tributed in his or her own wonderful way to help store the memories.
Talmadge Brazel
Charlie Deloach
Betty Gleaton
Mary Eunice Jones
John Long
Ruth Thigpen
Tommy Smith
C. Hearn
Janice O'Brien
Karen Goes
Beverlyn Bond
I've often heard the expression "thank you is not enough," but now I know what it means. Thank you
is simply not enough, but let me say it to those just listed and a few other people.
.. .To the GTA Historical Committee and former Board of Directors who launched the project.
.. .To John Silk and Jean Aiken at the GTA office. You were wonderful and everything we needed you
to be.
.. .To devoted Pioneer Talmadge Brazel for sharing volumes of information.
.. .To the writers of the special feature articles. I know you didn't have time!
.. .To the ITPA officers and members who gathered information which surrounds their organization,
especially Doris Stephens, Mary Searson Hodges, Billy Wilhams and Larry Parham.
.. .To Jim CaUaham, Tommy Smith, Ramona Blackwell, Colonel Bob Alford, the Atlanta Historical
Society and John Rose, executive vice president, OPASTCO.
.. .To my family and friends at Standard Telehone Company... also, words cannot express the admira-
tion I have for my friend, Sally Welbom, with whom 1 work at Standard Telephone and whose skills as an
organizer and detail person were much needed. Sally and Kay Shore were my partners on this project.
And finally, to each of the individual companies in the state who bothered to collect photos, newspaper
articles, et cetera, and many of whom wrote your own histories.
The words have never been more inadequate, but, thank you! thank you! thank you!
In 1966,1 waltzed down the aisle with a tall, thin fellow by the name of Milton Stewart, Jr., who
would be not only my best friend but who would build a fine Christian home and be the father of the two
most wonderful children in the world. I soon realized that I had married into a family deeply intertwined
and embedded into the telephone family of Georgia.
Following a brief honeymoon, we flew to Las Vegas, Nevada, for the USITA (now USTA)
Convention. At the close of the meeting, we drove with Mom and Dad Stewart* from Las Vegas to Dallas,
Texas; just the beginning of many special and wonderful telephone trips we shared with the family,
including Milt's only sister, Kay, and her husband. Dean Swanson.
From Dallas, we flew to Jacksonville, Florida, for my first Georgia Telephone Association
Convention. In Jacksonville, the young telephone man and his new wife, along with a large group, board-
ed the Ariadne for the first and only GTA convention aboard a ship.
People still talk about that trip and the hurricane-force winds that rocked the large vessel as if it were
a child's paper boat riding the rapids of the Grand Canyon. Motion sickness pills were at a premium, and
the dining room grew progressively emptier each day and each night.
But, what I remember is a wonderful trip and meeting the nicest people anyone could ever know.
I remember Tommy and Ruth Smith and Don and Beverlyn Bond teasing us about being newly-
weds...! remember Kay and Dean, Mansfield and Genelle Jennings, Art and Frances Barnes, Madison and
Anne New, Mitch Drew and Cam and Sidney Lanier sitting around at night laughing and telling stories. I
remember Charlie Joe and Jean Mathews, Glenn and Trudie Bryant, and Catheran and Ed Burney being
full of genuine warmth. I remember Jimmy Gleaton, Bob and Gennie Alford, and Ben Wiggins having so
much fun, and I remember Flarry and Jean White, Butch and Brenda Fisher and John and Sarah Sims
always being cheerful and so many others...! remember a camaraderie and a togetherness. I remember
warm and friendly faces to whom I could not for the life of me put a name but would later learn to know
and admire and respect. I consider myself a pretty darn good judge of people, and I liked everyone I met.
Thus, my introduction to the people of the Georgia Telephone Association. Although I did not then
know it, it was there that I became part of the telephone family of Georgia.
I had the joy and privilege of spending lots of time with Dad Stewart, who was not only one of the
great telephone pioneers in America, but the most articulate and gifted speaker and writer one could ever
be privileged to know. I immediately became intrigued with his frequent and lengthy tales of the tele-
phone industry. I began to share his love for the history of telephony which eventually led me to this
The history of telephony has become a passion for me. It was such a joy and pleasure to work on this
project; to work with John Silk, all the committee members and aU the companies. To remember all of
those wonderful years stimulated this work. I am grateful to have the privilege to be a part of telling this
inspiring story of telephony in Georgia.
'See ITPA Hall of Fame, Pioneer Profiles, H. M. Stewart, Sr.
This written record of the telephone industry
in Georgia is a follow-up to Arms Across Georgia
published in 1987. The inherent purpose of this
compilation is to recognize and bring to the fore-
front the people and events that have engraved
their place in our history and to acknowledge the
visionaries guiding us into tomorrow.
It is what we are doing today that historians will write about tomorrow. We hope to bridge the time
and generation gap and capture both the curious and concerned rallying the present generation to "circle the
wagons" for we are now into a new period of history.
It almost seems there is a laser cutting this new path in which we are all swept along. By necessity,
change brings with it value and potential. If the trend continues, the make-up of the Georgia Telephone
Association and the industry will change. We may not like all of it. We want the comfort of familiarity; the
bravest of us shirk at the unknown.
The telecommunications industry has experienced a "big bang" effect that conventional wisdom says
will see us re-inventing our industry. Industry leaders have expressed the opinion that we do not now know
what our business will be in future years; what we do know is that it will not continue to exist as it is today.
We have a legitimate concern for recording the history since it is not known how some companies will sur-
vive this black hole effect. It is not yet known how (and if) the telephone, television, computers, satellites,
and PCS, wiU wed; how transportation, home, business and entertainment wiU be intertwined; and how the
cable and cellular competitive environment wUl redefine the market.
To the largest metropolitan companies, the small rural companies, the owners, operators, linemen,
office personnel, maintenance crews, technicians, engineers and installer-repairmen, our express purpose is
to remind you that you are a part of a rapidly changing, but great, heritage that helped to mold this country
and this state.
Today, a potential billion people wiU pick up their telephones without giving a thought to what makes
it possible. They expect it to be there on demand. That is as it should be. That is when we know we have
done our jobs and done them well.
It is not known exactly how many 911 or other emergency calls will be answered; how many lonely
and immobile people will find companionship; how many business deals will be negotiated; and how many
sweethearts will exchange "sweet nothings." We are a part of everyone's life and generations and nations
will be drawn together because of the successes of our industry. The heritage is great.
Many of us will weather the vmcertainties. Others will meet the december of their days in this business
because it will be too much, too big and too costly to stay in there with the "big boys." For some, this busi-
ness is a job; for some a career and a life; but for many it is family.
The Georgia Telephone Association is a family of companies. Our early struggles, our common goals,
our conventions and our arms linked in friendship have brought a kinship. It does not matter how we
became a part of the telephone family of Georgia, it is exciting, it is the future and it is ours.
Mans Urgent Need to Communicate..............1
The Georgia Telephone Association.............16
The Independent Telephone Pioneer Association.47
The Georgia Public Service Commission.........78
Georgia Telephone Company Profiles............86
The Development of Significant Industry Issues.156
Here is the story of Alexander
Graham Bell...
... Here is also the story
of H. C. Bond, A. E. Sikes, J. S.
Jennings, John Birchmore,
Milton Stewart, Bill Tatum,
Jimmy Gleaton, J. L. Kirk, H.
W. Vaughan, W. M. New, Joe
Dyson, Fred Hodges, Jasper
Dorsey, W. B. Hardman,
Warren Bailey...
... and it is also the
story of Mary Eunice Jones,
Lee Barton, Frank Linder,
Cam Lanier, Ivey Beardslee,
Janice O'Brien, Charlie
Deloach, Scott Chesbro,
Avery Strickland, Tommy
Smith, Glenn Bryant, Charles
Mulhs, Warren Bailey, Bob
Krueger, Jack Bennett, Ben
Bennett, Fred Hodges, Jim
... and the list goes on
and on. Time and space allow
mentioning only a few of the
hundreds of great Georgians
whose lives and times we
attempt to embrace in this
This view of telephony
in Georgia and of man's
urgent need to communicate
will portray the extraordinary
and dramatic story of our
industry and of the countless
individuals, who pioneered
and who continue to fashion
the thirty-four operating tele-
phone companies in Georgia.
Here, it is impossible to tell all
of the worthy stories of the
companies and individuals
who are casting their shadows
across time.
The develop-
ment of an audible
and practical
instrument for
conveying speech
spreads across the
decades into won-
derful stories.
Success and failure,
happiness and
despair were a
eventually led to prosperity
and the telephoning of
America. The story has been
told and romanticized so
many times but is worthy of
being repeated to complete
this history.
It is believed that as
early as 1874 some form of
the invented sound came
from vibrating membrane
and inspired the determina-
tion that kept the inventors
working on an instrument for
conveying speech.
More than a few inven-
tors were scrambling to pre-
sent the first voice simulators.
Names such as Elisha Gray,
Daniel Drawbaugh, and A. E.
Dalbear were prominent in
the quest. Among pioneer
contributors in the field, the
most well-known was
Alexander Graham BeU.
Historians have given BeU
credit for the invention. Bom
March 3,1847, in Edinburgh,
Scotland, he was twenty-nine
years old when basic tele-
phone patent no. 174,465 was
granted to him on March 7,
1876. It was out of dreams
that he, after many years of
experimenting, developed the
telephone. Bell's mother, an
artist and a musician, began
to lose her hearing when he
was twelve years old, inspir-
ing him to foUow in the foot-
steps of his father and
grandfather who were weU-
known leaders and teachers
in the field of treatment of
stammering. It was this back-
ground that led him to the
possibUity of a mechanical
voice machine.
A handsome and win-
some young man, he was
popular as a lecturer on his
theory of speech articulation
and of a mechanism which
would make a current of elec-
tricity vary in intensity as the
air varies in density when
sound passes through. BeU
was an outstanding and com-
passionate man who con-
tributed much to aid the
hearing and elocution
impaired in addition to his
successes in the field of tele-
BeU moved from
Edinburgh to Ontario,
Canada, in 1872 and later he
decided to make his perma-
nent home in the United
States where he gained his
No story about
Alexander Graham BeU
woiUd be complete without
Watson, of the ever-so-
famous, "Mr. Watson, come
here, I need you." If BeU had
realized that he was making
history, he surely would have
been prepared with a more
impressive statement. This
first soimd was contrived
when BeU accidentally spilled
acid on his equipment.
Thomas A. Watson, who
was a gifted apprentice in an
electric shop, often told the
story of meeting Mr. Bell.
"One day I was hard at
work on it (a speech
machine), when a tall, slen-
der, quick-motioned man
with paleface, black side
whiskers, and drooping
mustache, big nose and high
sloping forehead crowned
with bushy, jet black hair,
came rushing out of the
office and over to my work
bench. It was Alexander
Graham Bell, whom I saw
then for the first time. He
was bringing to me a piece
of mechanism which I had
made for him under instruc-
tions from the office. It had
not been made as he had
directed and he had broken
down the rudimentary disci-
pline of the shop in coming
directly to me to get it
Bell and Watson became
fast friends. Watson was
hired as Bell's lab assistant
and later received shares of
telephone stock for his work
on the invention. It was
indeed Watson who plucked
the first sound on the reed
that induced current that trav-
eled to Bell's ear and encoiu"-
aged them during the months
of experiments and study.
Many years later Bell repeat-
ed the words to Watson over
long distance telephone in a
far city in commemoration of
that day.
Professor Bell suffered a
lengthy period of discourage-
ment before the basic tele-
phone device became a
workable instrument; popu-
lar, not only in America, but
in other coimtries.
After the patented tele-
phone came into wider use,
he began to envision a net-
work of telephone lines run-
ning underground all over
big cities, much the same as
gas and water are piped. This
was the forerunner of the
gigantic Bell Telephone
This first telephone pio-
neer was instrumental in
developing international tele-
phone calhng; the basic
method of phonograph
records on wax disc; air con-
ditioning; an apparatus to
locate metals such as bullets
in the body and the technique
for locating icebergs by
detecting echoes. He founded
the American Association to
Promote the Teaching of
Speech to the Deaf, perfected
an electric probe which was
the forerurmer of the X-ray
machine and wrote a paper
describing today's iron lung.
In the interest of time and
space, this impressive Hst can-
not be completed, but because
it is httle known, his great
interest in aviation should not
be excluded. He did much to
further progress in aviation
and wrote articles expressing
his predictions about the
future of flying long before
the Wright brothers' flight.
Thus, an intelligent,
well-educated, creative gen-
tleman led us into the field of
telephony. A. G. Bell was cer-
tainly a worthy and deserving
candidate to become one of
America's greatest heroes and
the commonly acknowledged
father of the telephone indus-
In an appropriate and
unprecedented tribute,
Alexander Graham Bell was
honored on August 4,1922,
during the time of his funeral
when telephones all over the
world discontinued ringing
for one minute in remem-
brance of him.
The October 21,1876,
issue of the New York Times
reported the successful trans-
mission of "audible speech by
Telegraph," and reported the
experiment made by
Alexander Graham BeU and
Thomas Watson. This was
the first account of the use of
a telephone.
Prof A. Graham Bell's Discovery
Successful and Interesting
Experiments Between Boston and
From the Boston Advertiser, Oct. 19.
The following account of an
experiment made on the evening
of Oct. 9 by Alexander Graham
Bell and Thomas A. Watson is
interesting as being the record of
the first conversation ever carried
on by word of mouth over a tele-
graph wire. Telephones were
placed at either end of a telegraph
line owned by the Walworth
Manufacturing Company,
extending from their office in
Boston to their factory in
Cambridgeport, a distance of
about two miles. The company's
battery, consisting of nine Daniels
cells, was removed from the cir-
cuit and another often carbon ele-
ments substituted. Articulate
conversation then took place
through the wire. The sound, at
first faint and indistinct, became
suddenly quite loud and intelligi-
ble. Mr. Bell in Boston and Mr.
Watson in Cambridge then took
notes of what was said and heard.
Mr. Bell's account:
Mr. Bell: What do you think was the matter with the instruments?
Mr. Watson: There was nothing the matter with them.
B. 1 think we were both speaking at the same time.
W. Can you understand anything I say?
B. Yes; I understand everything you say.
W. The reason why you did not hear at first was because there was a relay in the circuit.
B. You may be right but I found the magnet of my telephone touching the membrane.
W. I cut this relay out, and then the sounds came perfectly.
B. I hear every syllable. Try something in an ordinary conversational voice.
W. Shall 1 connect their battery in the circuit?
B. No; there is no necessity to connect their battery in the circuit, for the sounds come out quite
W. I am now talking in quite a low tone of voice.
B. The sounds are quite as loud as before, and twice as distinct.
W. Cut out the battery and then talk.
B. All right. 1 will cut out the battery now if you wiU keep hstening.
(Here an interruption occurred and after a short time, Mr. Bell said:)
B. I thought you were going to say something.
W. Is the battery cut out?
B. No, but I will do it now.
(Battery having been cut out, Mr. BeU continued.)
B. Do you hear anything now?
(Battery replaced.)
B. Did you hear anything?
W. No, not a sound.
B. Say something to me when I cut out the battery again.
(Battery cut out.)
W. ..........
(Battery replaced.)
B. I fancy 1 heard a trace of your voice.
W. Shall I put on our battery to see if it increases the effect?
B. ITl tell you what weTl do. We'll take off our battery and put on theirs, as before.
(The company's battery having been placed in circuit faint and indistinct sounds were heard
at the Boston end, and then came the intelligible sentence.)
W. Is our battery off?
B. Yes, our battery is off. What have you been doing? The sounds were quite soft at first but
now they are quite loud.
B. Shall I put on our battery again?
W. (indistinctly heard.) That was very indistinct. Put on our battery.
(Original battery replaced.)
B. We may congratulate ourselves upon a great success.
W. Both batteries are on now. (Another sentence heard indistinctly.)
B. Repeat the last sentence.
W. Both batteries are on now.
B. I understood that before, but I thought you said something else.
W. Remove their battery, please.
B. All right; our battery is the only one on now.
W. I have put battery cells on here.
B. How many cells have you there?
W. S-i-x-six.
B. Please whisper something to me.
W. (Sound of the whisper clearly audible, but the utterance unintelligible.)
B. I could hear you whispering, but could not understand what you said.
Perhaps we have got the batteries opposed to one another. Had you not better reverse your
battery and see what the matter is-or rather what the ejfect is?
I will try the effect of reversing my battery.
(Battery reversed.)
Is this any better?
That sentence was accompanied by that curious crackling sound.
Yes, I hear it too.
What time is it by your watch?
(Battery again reversed.)
What are you doing? I have not heard anything except...for quite a while.
I asked you what time it was by your watch. Perhaps you hear me better now, because 1
have reversed the battery again.
My battery is now cut out.
Don't you think we better go home now?
Yes, but why does your talking come out so much fainter now?
(Mr. Bell here placed the magnet of the telephone nearer to the membrane.)
Because I had moved the magnet further away from the membrane.
That was very much more distinct.
Will you try to understand a long sentence if I speak right on?
I will.
A few minutes ago I heard a fire-engine pass by the door. 1 don't know where the fire is, but
the number of the box is 196.
The time by my watch is five minutes past ten.
Had I not better go into Boston.
Yes; I think it is time to stop now.
Shall I got to Exeter place?
Yes, but look in here on your way in case I
have not gone.
Let us talk conversationally without noting.
Conversation was then carried on for about
half an hour with the utmost freedom, and
the experiment closed.
Development of tele-
phone usage in the United
States was undertaken by
Bell's financial backers. They
began by renting and lending
telephones in pairs to individ-
uals for local communication.
The instruments were crude,
with connection made by a
circuit of a single iron wire.
The resulting poor and uncer-
tain transmission was possi-
ble for only a few miles.
Bell's basic telephone
patent, granted in 1876,
expired on February 4,1894.
The intervening years were
filled with developing, financ-
ing and defending the inven-
tion. Perhaps the most
formidable threat Bell and his
associates experienced came
from the Western Union
Telegraph Company which
earlier rejected an opportuni-
ty to purchase the original
Bell patents. Already criss-
crossing most of the continent
with wires, mcluding line
switching devices and exten-
sions to large business estab-
hshments. Western Union
undertook to fabricate its own

transmitting and receiving
Such facilities allowed
Western Union in 1879 to
open the first three major
commercial exchanges of sig-
nificant size in the state of
Georgia, all of which would
later become the property of
the Bell system.
The courts had ruled the
Western Union telephone
device to be an infringement
on Bell's patent. The suit
ended in mutual commit-
ment. Although over-simpli-
fied here. Bell and his
associates acquired all of
Western Union's voice com-
munication facilities and
agreed to refrain from further
development in telegraphy
and Western Union agreed to
stay out of the telephone busi-
Agreeable settlement of
the Western Union Telegraph
versus Bell Telephone case
gave the Bell patent owners
and promoters a badly need-
ed economic boost, but other
industry problems would
continue to confront them.
In 1882, the Bell interests
acquired the stock in the
Western Electric
Manufacturing Company and
reorganized it primarily as a
telephone and telegraph
equipment company, and the
renowned American
Telephone & Telegraph
Company was formed. The
American Telephone &
Telegraph Company and the
Bell system would advance to
become two of the world's
largest corporate entities.
The Bell Company had
envisioned one large compa-
ny providing efficient tele-
phone service to the exclusion
of all other companies. Bell
continued a strong battle
against intrusion on the
patent rights which protected
them. The small companies
that erupted in Georgia and
all over the United States
were a serious threat to this
monopoly concept. Had they
been able to acquire or cause
the demise of all these infring-
ing companies, as was
attempted, the BeU system
would have emerged as an
even more magnificent monu-
ment to its namesake.
However, the lack of time and
money caused the Bell
Company to avoid develop-
ment in dubiously profitable
areas; therefore, attention was
focused on major cities of the
United States.
During that period,
untelephoned rural areas
needed communications for a
more comfortable and safe
existence and for reUef from
the monotony of life. They
were begging for the magic of
the telephone. Eagerness and
the crusted habit of providing
for themselves led pioneers to
begin to set up their own con-
nections in the natural birth-
place of independent
telephonyrural America.
"Independents" was the
name given to these non-Bell
J. L. Mathews moved to
Statesboro, Georgia, as a tele-
graph agent and operator for
the Central of Georgia
Railroad Company in the late
1890s in which capacity he
had exposure to the new-fan-
gled talking machine, of
which many had heard, but
few had seen.
Using the knowledge he
had gained, he and three
associates built one of
Georgia's earliest exchanges
in Statesboro, Georgia. G. B.
Mathews, J. L.'s brother, was
involved in the business for a
number of years and his son,
Charhe Joe, later headed the
company. Gharhejoehas
been an outstanding leader in
the state association, and his
is a true telephone pioneer
family. He was a founder of
the Peach State Chapter of
ITPA and is a member of the
Hall of Fame.
Robert C. Meaders, Jr.
was approached by a Western
Electric Company salesman
whose intent was to entice
Mr. Meaders to purchase tele-
phone exchange equipment
and set up operations in
Dahlonega, Georgia.
Mr. Meaders responded
that he didn't think people
would be bothered by using
telephones. He succumbed to
high pressure salesmanship
and agreed that if they could
get a hundred subscribers, he
would invest in the exchange.
By ten o'clock the next morn-
ing, a hundred subscribers
had committed. Three
months later the exchange
equipment had to be replaced
with a larger switchboard.
More common were
operations such as the simple
magneto telephones set up in
the late 1800s between Ben
and Lula Gleaton's home in
Doles to the farm home of
Lula's parents.
Some accounts
maligned the intent of the
independents. 1 was told that
one writer accused the inde-
pendents of setting upon the
Bell Company like a swarm of
seventeen-year locust,
that within a short period
more than a hundred
companies were started
by a throng of promoters
and stock jobbers in open
defiance of the Bell
patents. It was also told
that the BeU Company
received a hard blow by
years of pending litiga-
tion; that infringing com-
panies sprang up like
gourds in the night in an
orgy of speculative com-
No formulas, maps or
charts were available by
which this highly complex
and intricate telephone
machine and its application
could be charted. This cer-
tainly left the gate open for
opportunists in the field.
Briefly, the babe that was to
become the world's industrial
giant had to spend its swad-
dling years fighting off
infringers on the right with
one hand while charting a
course through unknown and
unfriendly waters with the
other. Impeded by these and
other deterrents, the Bell sys-
tem was unable to keep pace
with mushrooming demands
for the new convenience.
Consequently, by the time the
initial Bell patents began to
expire in the early 1890s, com-
peting telephone manufactur-
ing firms began to spring up
across the continent. Within a
few years, thousands of tele-
phone systems, financed inde-
pendently of the Bell system
and using non-BeU manufac-
tured apparatus, dotted the
landscape. This is the process
through which virtually all
non-BeU telephone exchanges
and systems, such as those
just mentioned in Georgia,
came into existence.
Nmnerous stories of
emotional reaction came out
of this era of intense competi-
tion. One such story relates
that often a company erected
a line of poles one day to find
them on the ground the next
morning, having been cut
down by the rival company
overnight. Another story
imphes that Bell Companies
dumped and burned on the
town square non-Bell tele-
phones which they had
In the general course of
expansion, the Bell organiza-
tion began to try to penetrate
the less-populated areas.
Their effort was simply a mat-
ter of purchasing the small
companies and assuming the
territory. A high tide of feel-
ing against attempted monop-
oly of the industry resulted in
an organized resistance to the
drift in that direction.
Although the full scope
and effect of competition was
not felt in Georgia, there cer-
tainly were incidents that
incited some of the early inde-
The independents can
be credited with expediting
and developing telephone
service in the United States by
filling in the gap of areas that
Bell could not have reached
economically in the same time
span. By 1900, there were
855,900 telephones in the BeU
system, and there were over
700,000 telephones being
operated by more than 5,000
independent telephone com-
The Bell Company's vig-
orous campaign to "tele-
phone" the United States
caused a leap in the nation's
overall progress. The ren-
dezvous with competitive
independents and indepen-
dent manufacturing compa-
nies helped to accelerate those
In 1894, a new trend in
telephone company owner-
ship advanced, engraving
fresh footprints in the inde-
pendent industry. "Holding
companies" was the name
given to distinguish these
major non-Bell telephone
companies by the large tele-
phone properties they
As previously men-
tioned, the industry had
divided itself into two seg-
ments: BeU companies and
non-Bell companies (indepen-
dents). With the new type of
ownership, there then became
a new language separating
the non-BeU companies. In
the vernacular of the industry
there were now: AT&T's Bell
companies; large indepen-
dent holding companies; and
small, closely-held indepen-
dent companies, although all
non-Bell companies were still
called independents. In addi-
tion, there were spread out
across rural America many
farmers-owned lines, and in
later history telephone coop-
eratives would appear on the
The bitter and costly
contest which prevailed was
said to have been further trig-
gered by the BeU system's
refusal to connect with equip-
ment and apparatus not man-
ufactured and supplied by it.
In other words, an indepen-
dent exchange using non-BeU
equipment could not obtain
long distance or other connec-
tion with a Bell-owned or con-
trolled exchange.
Since BeU operations
were largely confeed to big
cities and the independents to
smaller, outlying communi-
ties, promoters were quick to
seize the opportunity created
by this impasse. BeU compa-
nies responded by setting up
competing facilities in inde-
pendent towns and offering
service at lower rates, and the
fight was on. Before the
patent expired, Atlanta had
dual telephone service of this
It eventually became
evident that maintaining dual
telephone systems within the
same community was very
poor business. In spite of
competing rates, it imposed
unnecessary cost and incon-
venience. Most business and
many residential establish-
ments had to maintain service
with both companies in order
to obtain desired coverage.
Both companies were losing
potential toll revenue, and
there were indications that
BeU companies were being
victimized by speculators
who installed competing tele-
phone systems, "milked"
them for several years, and
then sold them to the BeU
Company for their real value
plus a sizeable nuisance gra-
tuity. These and other consid-
erations led AT&T to the
Kingsbury Commitment and
the agreement to cormect with
non-BeU manufactured equip-
The earliest stories of
Telephone Company (buUt by
a Mr. Jarrell, later purchased
by the W. C. Birchmore fami-
ly and eventually acquired by
Southern BeU Telephone &
Telegraph Company) are that
lines were built in 1897 in
Madison County, Georgia, by
stringing wire on poles which
they made themselves. Old
bottles were used as insula-
tors. These first lines were
strung to a store where a BeU
toll line existed, but toll con-
nection was refused the inde-
pendent company until the
Kingsbury letter of commit-
This agreement was fol-
lowed by broad scale consoli-
dations, mergers, and sales
until the last competing sys-
tem, the Keystone Company
of Philadelphia, was absorbed
by Pennsylvania Bell in the
The Kingsbury
Commitment made its dra-
matic appearance in 1913
when AT&T Vice President
Nathan Kingsbury sent a let-
ter to the Attorney General
committing to dispose of its
Western Union stock, change
its policy on acquisitions of
independent telephone com-
panies, and interconnect its
Bell system long distance
lines with the independent
companies under certain con-
Still, some defiance of a
monopolistic attitude contin-
ued as independents claimed
there were violations of the
commitment; the most impor-
tant being accusations that the
Bell Company continued to
acquire independent proper-
ties, selecting the cream of the
In order to preserve the
trust, the Hall Memorandum,
a letter recommitting to the
policies set down by
Kingsbury, was issued in 1922
by E. K. Hall, vice president of
AT&T. These agreements are
acknowledged as major fac-
tors in the prosperous evolu-
tion of the independent
industry, as with them the
image of monopoly was laid
to rest.
In the years to follow,
the BeU organization estab-
lished an independent rela-
tions program that has played
a role in bridging the gap and
building a band of unity and
strength within the industry.
The Kingsbury
Commitment, which had long
been a fundamental and sig-
nificant document for the
industry, was minimized
when the Department of
Justice (DOJ) on November
20,1974, filed an anti-trust
suit against AT&T. The suit
wound up in the court of
Judge Harold H. Greene who
became widely known for his
ruling on the case.
Settlement was on
August 24,1982, when both
AT&T and the DOJ accepted
the terms of Judge Greene's
Modified Final Judgment
(MFJ). In a brief, non-techni-
cal explanation, the MFJ
established the rules by which
AT&T would divest itself of
the Bell operations and ruled
for their ownership of the
Western Electric
Manufacturing concerns and
the Bell Lab Research and
Development properties. The
Bell Company divided into
seven regional operating com-
Local Access and
Transport Areas (LATAs)
were created to define respon-
sibility for properties. Each
state was then divided into
LATAs and the local
exchange carrier (LEC) was to
provide local and long dis-
tance service within their
LATA (intra-LATA) and
AT&T would provide long
distance service between
LATAs (inter-LATA).
This opened the previ-
ously monopolized field of
long distance to a wave of
competition, thus the appear-
ance of such widely success-
ful efforts as has been made
by MCI, Sprint and others.
This will explain to many the
reason the nation went
through the complex process
of equal access balloting and
every customer selecting a
long distance carrier of their
In a previous ruling, the
Carterfone decision, by the
FCC ordered that customer
premise equipment, formerly
available exclusively through
the LEC, was also tluown into
the open market and became
widely available through
wholesalers and retailers
Regulatory bodies con-
tinue to be emissaries of regu-
lation, deregulation, and
reregulation that propagate a
suspenseful future for the
It has been said that no
man can proclaim himself the
inventor of the automobile,
and it may also be true of the
telephone. The telephone,
like the automobile, has
reached its present state of
proficiency through the
visionary improvement of
many contributors.
Outstanding among the
many others that have shaped
and improved our industry,
following the patent, are
inventors Ahnon Brown
Strowger and Thomas A.
Edison. The Strowger switch
radically changed telephone
switching. It was an electric
switch that allowed con-
trolled automatic connecting.
The final essential element for
the first satisfactorily-working
telephones was something
called a viable-contact carbon
transmitter, due in large mea-
sure to Edison, in 1877. Any
telephone pioneer will tell
you that this carbon transmit-
A REA representative with GTA members.

mi j
ter can be credited with mak-
ing the telephone practical.
Not least among tele-
phony landmarks is the estab-
lishment of the Rural
Electrification Administration
(REA) loan program. It has
had a primary role in the
movement of rural telephony
in America.
"Be it enacted by the
Senate and House of
Representatives of the
United States of America in
Congress assembled, that it
is hereby declared to be the
policy of the Congress that
adequate telephone service
be made generally available
in rural areas through the
improvement and expansion
of existing telephone facili-
ties and the construction and
operation of such additional
facilities as are required to
assure the availability of
adequate telephone service
to the widest practicable
number of rural users of
such service. In order to
effectuate this policy, the
Rural Electrification Act of
1936 is amended."
The foregoing preamble
to the REA loan bill amend-
ment of 1950 appeared in a
Georgia Telephone
Association newsletter dated
1949. It was preceded by the
following comments from the
president of the GTA.
"REA Loans...The Poage
bill has now been reported
out by the Committee on
Agriculture and it is expect-
ed the Rules Committee will
give it the green light for
consideration on the house
floor at an early date. The
essence of time makes it
mandatory, therefore, that
you make your position on
this issue known to your
representative NOW."
History records that the
Poage bUl, which would make
REA funds available to tele-
phone companies, was met
with distrust by many rural
telephone operations. It was
not totally without justifica-
tion that many companies
were suspicious of the gov-
ernment's intentions to gain
control by "sticking their nose
in the telephone business."
A general negative atti-
tude remained with a few in
the industry, but the GTA
bulletins that followed
expounded the virtues of the
program and pleaded with
members to take advantage of
available funds and almost
scolded for the slow response
for application.
The Rural Electrification
Administration program was
founded in the 1930s as part
of President Franklin
Roosevelt's New Deal to
assist power companies in
bringing power to rural
America. The program was
amended in 1950 by the
Poage bill to extend the
empowerment to make low
interest, long term loans to
independent telephone con-
cerns. The REA loan program
has played a vital role in the
development of independent
telephony. Many owners and
operators of companies admit
that they could not have sur-
vived without this funding
during the periods of finan-
cial and economic struggles.
This program can be declared
a successful and integral part
of the development of rural
Just as the power com-
pany loan program prevented
the bUght of under-develop-
ment in isolated areas, the
telephone loan program was
a band-aid for this industry.
In addition, power company
and telephone company coop-
eratives were an important
outgrowth of the availability
of funding. Georgia's four
telephone cooperatives were
formed with REA funds.
Florala Telephone
Company of Florala,
Alabama, (390 subscribers)
received the first REA loan
imder the Poage bill program.
The loan was for $243,000.
The money was to be used to
retire a bank loan of $10,000,
replace the existing magneto
equipment with common bat-
tery, install an automatic
exchange and to extend new
lines into rural areas to serve
1,000 new apphcants.
Georgia's first REA loan,
$249,000, went to DanielsviUe
and Comer Telephone
Company in 1950. The funds
were designated for rehabili-
tating service to 282 existing
subscribers and to provide
service to 686 more appli-
The REA program falls
under the auspices of the U. S.
Department of Agriculture.
Recent presidential adminis-
trations have apphed pres-
sure to abbreviate the loan
Further pressure was
applied when in 1993, the
cable industry cried "competi-
tion" and pressured the
General Accounting Office to
begin evaluating the REA
program to determine if the
rural borrowers were using
REA funds to subsidize ven-
tures into the satelhte and
cable business. The conflict-
ing position of the REA bor-
rowers is that the program
should continue to assist by
allocating funds for the devel-
opment and distribution of
educational, medical, enter-
tainment, and communica-
tions efforts that will benefit
mankind by keeping rural
America abreast of the rest of
the country.
During a period of time
when the small company will
be hard-pressed to survive in
the competitive arena, history
could repeat itself as REA has
an opportunity to continue to
bolster small companies who
might otherwise sink into the
mire of competition and a
troubling economy.
As of January 1,1993,
twenty-seven GTA member
telephone companies are REA
borrowers, representing total
funds of $567,827,895, includ-
ing cash-equity funds of
The entrance of many
great people and extraordi-
nary events into the field of
telephony regretfully cannot
be included in these margins,
but these roles have left us
with a lofty heritage.
In the years that have
elapsed since the birth of
Alexander Graham Bell's talk-
ing machine, telephone com-
panies working hand-in-hand
have laced the continent with
cables, optic fibers,
microwaves, cellular towers
and satellite circuits to build
and develop a communica-
tions system for the nation.
Telephone communications
have brought the people of
the world and the industry
closer together.
Today we are all play-
ing in a new ball game. This
explosive, competitive arena
will leave its footprint in the
future of the industry. While
it is menacing to those of us
who deal with the complex
issues and agendas, mankind
is being ejected into the
future, and the communica-
tion industry is preparing for
the twenty- first century.
Some Significant Milestones
Relating to the Telephone Industry
1826 Reports of first primitive telegraph line
1835 Samuel F.B. Morse invented first practical telegraph
1844 First official telegraph message sent, "What hath God wrought?"
1847 Bell born March 3 in Scotland
1854 Watson bom in Salem, Massachusetts
1858 Reports of first concept of telephone
1860 Philip Reis fabricated a primitive telephone
1861 First transcontinental telegraph lines
1866 Western Union owned 2,250 offices and 100,000 miles of telegraph lines
1869 Elisha Gray invented telephone to transmit music
1875 Bell and Watson heard first audible telephone soimds
1876 Bell filed for patent of telephone (Febmary 14)
1876 Elisha Gray filed for patent of telephone (Eebraary 14)
1876 Bell received a valid patent for telephone (#174,465)
1876 First one-way long distance telephone call in history
1877 Bell Telephone Company organized
1877 First switchboard exchange Boston, Massachusetts
1877 Western Union telephones in Atlanta
1878 First viable-contact carbon transmitter
1878 First telephone directory was published
1878 Workable telephones in Macon dmgstore
1878 First females hired by Bell Company (Boston)
1878 Bell sued a Western Union agent for patent infringement
1878 Nation's first commerical telephone exchange (New Haven, Connecticut)
1878 10,755 Bell Company telephones in service as Theodore Vail began work as
general manager
1878 Nation's second telephone company, San Francisco, California
1879 Telephone service in Macon 10 stations - independent company
1879 Western Union opened first three telephone exchanges in Georgia - Atlanta,
Augusta, Macon
1879 First BeU Company agent exchange in Atlanta (35 subscribers)
1879 First Bell Company agent exchange in Augusta
1879 Southern BeU Telephone & Telegraph 1,246 subscribers in 11 exchanges
1879 Railroad Commission of Georgia formed
1879 First automatic switching system patented
1880 47,000 total telephones in U. S. (30,000 Bell)
1880 Southern Bell's Atlanta telephone office and equipment devastated by fire
1880 First telephone booths (unsubstantiated reports of non-BeU paystations in
Connecticut in 1878)
1880 Telephone service in Macon 34 stations - Southern Bell
1880 New Southern Bell exchanges in Augusta and Savannah
1880 American BeU Telephone Company formed (parent company of consoUdated
BeU and Western Union properties until 1899)
1881 New Southern BeU exchanges in Atlanta
1881 Telephone service started between Boston - Providence, Rhode Island
1882 First experimentation with underground telephone cable
1882 Bell acquired stock in Western Electric Manufacturing Company
1883 Telephone service in Thomasville - independent company
1884 Telephone service started between Boston - New York
1885 American Telephone & Telegraph Company incorporated
1887 Variable resistance transmitter built
1889 Atlanta and Fairburn, Georgia, connected by long distance wire
1889 Almon B. Strowger developed dial telephone
1890 211,500 Bell telephones in service in U. S.
1891 The Strowger machine-switching system patented
1892 Nation's first dial exchange - Indiana
1892 Telephone service inaugurated between New York and Chicago
1893 Telephone service in Gainesville - independent company
1893 Bell patent on transmitter expired
1894 Bell patent on receiver expired
1894 Augusta, Carrollton, Gainesville, Georgia telephone service - independent companies
1894 Holding companies appeared
1894 Telephone service in Lagrangeindependent
1896 Valdosta Telephone & Electric Company - independent company
1896 Telephone service in Savannah, Macon, Carrollton - independent telephone service
1896 Telephone service in Valdosta, Waycross, Quitman, Tifton - independent
1897 6,000 independent telephone companies operating in the U. S.
1897 USTA formed in Chicago
1899 Southern Telephone & Telegraph Company - 50 toll points
1900 855,900 telephones in Bell System
1900 700,000 telephones in independent systems
1902 Southern Independent Telephone Association formed
1902 First long distance rmderground cable
1907 Railroad Commission of Georgia began regulating telephone companies
1908 Southern Independent Telephone Association, Bainbridge, Georgia
1909 First issue of Telephone Engineer (TE&M) pubhshed
1909 Southern Bell 80 exchanges - 28,369 subscribers
1911 Telephone Pioneers of America founded (Bell system employees)
1912 Telephone service inaugurated between Paris and Honolulu
1913 Kingsbury Commitment
1913 Bell's last official action with the company - first continental telephone call
1915 Transcontinental telephone service
1918 President Wilson declared government takeover of aU telephone companies
1919 First Georgia Telephone Association organized
1919 Government returns telephone operation to owners
1920 Farmers lines began to disappear
1920 Independent Telephone Pioneer Association formed (Independent telephone compam
1922 Hall Memorandum
1922 Railroad Commission of Georgia name changed to Georgia Public Service Commissioi.
1922 39,773 independent telephone in Georgia
1922 Alexander Graham Bell died (August 2)
1922 Plant investment of $85 per station in Georgia
1922 First dial system in New York
1924 Transmission of pictures over telephone wires
1926 First out-of-state holding company investment in Georgia

1927 Public demonstration of television
1928 Southern Bell first joined GTA
1929 First president to have telephone on his desk was Herbert Hoover
1929 Stock market drop caused depression
1930 Five Georgia counties with no telephone service
1930 34,251 telephones in Georgia
1933 Governor Talmadge fired all Georgia Public Service Commissioners
1934 Federal Communications Commission established by President Roosevelt
1934 Thomas A. Watson died (owned 1,300 patents)
1936 First coaxial cable installed
1940 Georgia 7 telephones per 100 people (national average 16)
1940 Most Georgia telephone lines were now properly maintained
1940 Six Georgia counties with no telephone service
1940 219,694 telephones in Georgia
1941 240,000 telephones in Georgia
1942 First cross continent cable line
1943 Dual telephone service ended in U. S. - last city Philadelphia, Permsylvania
1946 Mobile telephone service in commercial use
1946 First car telephone reported in Atlanta
1947 370,000 telephones in Georgia
1947 First nationwide Bell telephone strike (lasted 44 days)
1948 180 independent exchanges in Georgia
1948 Georgia independent company organized a toll business
1948 Network television began using coaxial cable
1949 Congress extended REA loan program to rural telephone companies
1950 75 cents per hour minimum wage law enacted
1950 Georgia Legislature required all telephone companies to certify their territory
1950 Southern Bell inaugurated first toll free service in Georgia
1950 Danielsville and Comer Telephone Company first Georgia company
to receive REA loan
1951 First transcontinental microwave system
1958 1,000,000 telephones in Georgia
1958 REA loans to Georgia companies totaled $21,950,000
1959 Bell introduced mechanized billing to independent companies
1959 Pineland Telephone Company installed mobile phone
1960 45,000,000 telephones in U. S.
1960 World's first electronic telephone central office
1960 6,000 rural telephone lines and independent systems in U. S.
1961 Wide area telephone service (WATS) went into effect
1961 114 independent companies in Georgia
1962 Use of "profane language over telephone" bill introduced
1964 OPASTCO formed October 6
1965 56 independent telephone companies in Georgia
1965 2,535 independent telephone companies
1967 Georgia Telephone Association full-time executive hired
1968 AT&T announced the adoption of the "911" system as a nationwide emergency number
1970 Peach State Chapter ITPA chartered
1974 Justice Department filed a civil antitrust suit against AT&T charging monopolization
1978 Supreme Court upheld decision that a microwave communications operator could com-
pete with AT&T's long distance service
1982 Judge Greene signed the modified agreement between AT&T and the Justice Department
1983 AT&T consent decree
1984 FCC decision to use a lottery to assign cellular licenses
1984 FCC Cable Act banning provision of video programming by telephone companies in their
franchised territory
1985 End user access charge fee takes effect
1986 GTE and United Telecom sign letter of intent to merge GTE Sprint and US Telecom into US
1986 Eirst price cap proposal made by FCC
1987 1,426 telephone companies in U.S.
1987 39 telephone companies operating in Georgia
1987 BOCs forbidden to enter manufacturing or long distance business but given some latitude
as relates to information processing
1988 GTE forms joint venture with AT&T for switch manufacturing
1989 GTE completes sale of its part of US Sprint to United Telecom
1990 36 independent telephone companies in Georgia
1992 1,400 telephone companies in U. S.
1993 145,117,000 independent company subscribers in U. S.
1993 3,642,597 access lines in Georgia
1993 1,327 independent telephone companies in U. S.
1993 31 telephone companies in Georgia

Organized independent
telephony had its inception in
the state of Georgia in 1919
when a handful of small tele-
phone company operators
met to form a state organiza-
tion with the belief that with
unity would come strength to
deal with common issues and
Other state, regional
and national organizations of
this type being set up aU
across the country provided
the inspiration and motiva-
tion for their efforts.
It is supposed that some
of the participants in this
organization had been
involved in earher attempts
by telephone company man-
agements in Georgia, South
Carolina, and Florida in 1902
and 1908 to form a Southern
Association, both of which
disappeared and about which
httle is known.
The Georgia
Independent Telephone
Association was the name
given the first state organiza-
tion, and the following offi-
cers were duly appointed.
Georgia Independent
Telephone Association
President - R. L. Stewart,
Moultrie, Georgia
Vice President - W. R. Bowen,
Fitzgerald, Georgia
Secretary-Treasurer - T. R.
Nunnally, Monroe, Georgia
R. L. Stewart was
reported to be the driving
force behind the move to
I have as yet been
unable to discover the rea-
sons this organization did not
continue to function. It is sus-
pected that the companies
were so small that the strug-
gling operations of the busi-
ness allowed httle time for
attending to the Association.
Also, vast changes in owner-
ship weakened the unity.
There is reason to
believe there were still many
problems and misunder-
standings within the industry
as indicated by stories told to
me by telephone pioneers.
The need for organized
effectiveness persisted.
Records indicate that the
Association name was
changed to the Georgia
Association of Independent
Companies and was reacti-
vated on February 13,1923, at
the Hotel Ansley in Atlanta,
Georgia. The following slate
of officers was elected.
Georgia Association of
Independent Telephone
1923 - Atlanta, Georgia
President - William R. Bowen,
Fitzgerald, Georgia
1st Vice President - W. R.
Hunter, Quitman, Georgia
Vice President - J. M. Denton,
Douglas, Georgia
Vice President - P. D. Fortune,
Lafayette, Georgia
Secretary-Treasurer - J. L.
Mathews, Statesboro, Georgia
General Counsel - J. Prince
Webster, Atlanta, Georgia
The directors elected at
the same 1923 meeting were:
W. R. Bowen, Fitzgerald
J. N. Dent, Douglas
A. A. Fincher, Canton
P. D. Fortune, Lafayette
W. D. Horton, McRae
W. R. Hunter, Quitman
W. A. Jennings, Hawkinsvhle
J. Smith Lanier, West Point
J. L. Mathews, Statesboro
W. M. New, Washington
As the annals of time
settled the controversial
issues, a harmonious blend of
the Bell Company and
Independents began to take
shape. With restructuring,
the Bell Company was invit-
ed for the first time to join the
Georgia Association. This
1923 organization did not
escape the ups and downs of
the early years of the indus-
try, and once again the roots
were not strong enough to
withstand the menacing
problems that besieged this
organization. Acts of legisla-
tion and regulation placed
demands that were compli-
cated by the economy and
lack of the availability of
proper equipment-most
independent companies were
operating with previously
used equipment.
Late in the 1920s,
Georgia's population neared
three million and the num-
ber of small independent
companies serving the state
continued to increase. The
industry was well ensconced
and the companies again
attempted to solidify at a
meeting held in 1929 at the
Ansley Hotel in Atlanta.
The voting members
again elected to include the
Bell Company in the Assoc-
iation and selected these offi-
cers to serve.
As a further action at
the meeting, voting privi-
leges were designated
according to the number of
connected telephones which
the company had:
0 - 500 - One Vote
Over 500 Telephones - Two
For much of this time
the Bell Company and
Independents enjoyed a
mutually satisfying associa-
tion, both learning from and
helping each other.
experiencing conflict with
the Bell companies and dis-
couraged state organizations
from including them in their
In November, 1937,
another meeting convened in
which the actions taken at
the February meeting were
nullified, and the existing
officers and directors were
confirmed on the grounds
that the vote had not been
taken in conformity with the
bylaws of the organization.
^ /J EllUay Telerhone
in A/ie an<A ai .
tacA s

___loth.t/ay ^_Fj6bruary ^ ::y
Georgia Telephone Association

'Htadquanmi tZOi Hcaly Bnitdiag
' AcUmt. Oor|!la
Georgia Telephone
Novembei^ 1929
Atlanta, Georgia
W. R. Bowen
Vice President
C. G. Beck
Secretary-T reasurer
J. Prince Webster
(C. G. Beck was elected
as director of the organiza-
tion and he is thought to
have been elected vice presi-
Transcripts of a meet-
ing held in Atlanta at the
Piedmont Hotel on February
12-13,1937, indicate that
remnants of dissension
reared its head once again.
A plan to exclude Southern
Bell Tele-phone & Telegraph
Com-pany from the
Association membership
was proposed and passed by
a vote of seven to three. This
vote excluded from member-
ship a number of duly elect-
ed officers and directors. It
should be noted that from
time to time USITA, the
United States Independent
Telephone Association, was
Meanwhile, there were
broad benefits derived from
coming together and learn-
ing from each other, keeping
in touch and gaining infor-
mation about equipment
availability, frequent
changes in ownership, et
cetera, and technology
For more than forty-
five years preceding the
establishment of a perma-
nent office in Atlanta, the
business of the Association
was handled on a part-time
basis by various individuals.
From its inception rmtil
about 1943 or 1944, the busi-
ness of the Association was
handled by J. Prince
Webster, an attorney in the
city of Atlanta. He was fol-
lowed by R. S. "Bob" Griffin
of Monroe, Georgia. He was
succeeded by H. M. Stewart
of Cornelia, Georgia. Next
in succession was Mr. S. B.
-4 Membership certificate presented to Eilijay
Teiephone Company upon joining the Georgia
Teiephone Association.
"Sam" Green of Ellijay,
Georgia. Mr. Green was fol-
lowed by Henry Cabiness of
Cabiness-Hoag, an account-
ing and engineering firm. Mr.
Cabiness served for a period
of one year and was followed
by E. R. "Gene" Britt of
Metter, Georgia. Mansfield
Jennings of Hawkinsville suc-
ceeded Mr. Britt and served
until a full-time executive was
engaged and the Atlanta
office was established.
The adolescent organi-
zation was for years plagued
by such problems as legisla-
tion, competition, regulation
by the Georgia Public Service
Commission, dissension, eco-
nomic depression and lack of
leadership. Devotion to the
state organization was pre-
empted by struggles that left
httle or no time to invest
away from the problems at
Perpetuation of the
organization through these
lean years was due to a hand-
ful of telephone pioneers,
including those just named, to
whom much credit is due.
It was not until the mid-
and late-1940s that the fledg-
ling Association began to take
on a new identity. The econo-
my improved, the REA loan
program was extended to
rural telephone companies
and the demand for tele-
phones took a big jump,
leapfrogging the Georgia
Telephone Association into
the limehght. The Association
was now in a position to pro-
vide leadership and to be a
forum for dealing with the
issues of the small, indepen-
dent telephone companies.
As the companies Paramount among the
thrived, so did the aspects of membership in
Association, and in 1967, the GTA is the opportunity to
first permanent office was attend the conventions. These
established in Atlanta. This gatherings are held annually
proved to be the real turning and meet at popular resort
point solidifying a strong and locations in or near the state
viable organization. Only of Georgia. GTA members
three executive secretaries like to believe that Georgia
have served the organization conventions compare favor-
in the twenty-seven years ably with their counterparts
since the office was opened. across the country. These two
or three day meetings are a
Robert W. "Bob" Hayes successful means of keeping
was the first to hold that posi- the participants and members
tion. His resignation, after abreast of the latest informa-
seven years, was followed by tion available in the industry,
election of Charles Lindsey. Erequenting the educational
Mr. Lindsey retired after thir- conferences are distinguished
teen years, and John Silk has representatives of govem-
served in the position since ment, the Eederal Commun-
1987. ications Commission, the
Rural Electrification
The Association is now Administration, AT&T, for-
an essential organ of the mer Bell system companies,
Georgia independent tele- other telephone companies,
phone industry. Active par- and the United States
ticipation, common goals and Telephone Association, as
stubborn persistence were the well as popular political fig-
prerequisites that anchored ures. After the program
the GTA and framed the curriculum is adjourned,
bonds of unity that would there often are long, pleas-
preserve it as the arms of tele- ant dinners among good
phony reach over the state of friends. These friendships
Georgia. form a bond of kinship
among the telephone family
of Georgia.
Robert Bob Hayes, first
GTA executive secretary,
A Charies Lindsey, second GTA
executive secretary, 1974-1987.
Georgia telephony is
still adapting to deregulation,
growth and changing technol-
ogy. Joint efforts and the one-
ness of Association
membership provide opti-
mum resource
advantages. This
unity is reinforced
each year as com-
pany representatives
are able to profit
from attending pro-
grams and receiving
designed around
overcoming obsta-
cles to progress.
T John Siik (far iefti became executive secretary in 1987.
^ GTA directors and officers for 1961. Seated L-R; E. R.
Britt, secretary/treasurer of Metter; Madison New, first vice
president of Thomaston; J. P. Gieaton, president <rf Tifton;
H. C. Hearn, Jr., second vice president of Ciaxton. Standing:
Jim Evitt of Ringgoid; Downing Musgrove of Homerviiie; John
Cozart of Fit^eraid; Cam B. Lanier of West Point; H. M.
Stewart of Comeiia; Aubrey Sikes of Glennvilie; W. C.
Deioach of Biakeiy; Raiph Lineberger of Gray; Jim Cailaham
of Atianta; Horace Vau^n of Chickamauga; Arthur Fincher
of Canton; and J. E. Kirk of DaHon.
An eariy Georgia Teiephone convention at the Atianta BiHmore Hotei. Among the
group are Waiter McDonaid, Crawford Piicher, Mr. Seigle, H. M. Stewart, Sr., Charlie
Eberhart, Jim Caiiaham, Gene Britt, C. Hearn (standing), and Charlie Joe Mathews.
A A GTA meeting in Atianta. L-R; Gene Britt, Judge Emrey, Joe Stone (Southern
Beii vice president), Jim Caiiaham.
T Ladies luncheon sponsored by Art Barnes and Lindsey Supply Company.
Maiy Eunice Jones, J. T. Jones (Waverly Hall Telephone Company),
E. B. Judge Emrey (Southern Bell Georgia manager, retired),
H. M. Stewart (Standard Telephone Company).
^ Geoigias one millionth telephone celebration in
1958. L-R: Cam Lanier, Sr., Cam Lanier, Jr., Charlie
Joe Mathews, and J. Smith Lanier.
Did timers are recognized at GTA convention.
Sam Green of Eiiijay Telephone Company was GTA secretary
from 1952 to 1956. The battered, black suitcase contained
Association records and files.
Georgia telephone leaders. L-R: Glenn Bryant (Coastal Utilities),
Jimmy Gleaton (Plant Telephone Company), E. R. Britt (Pineland Telephone
Cooperative), C. J. Mathews (Statesboro Telephone Company).
A Wilbur Council and Madison New greet each other at a GTA convention.

t. ... '
MB ^ik M
WK!^^mSkmi tssoam

Si 1
Mac McWhorter, Georgia Public Service
Danny Bryant (Coastal Utilities) and
Charlie Joe Mathews (Statesboro Telephone
Company) visit with GTA guest.

A Jim Callaham, H. M. Stewart, Sr.,
Mrs. Callaham, Glenn W. Ellard.

At 1900 Century
Boulevard, Suite 8, Atlanta,
Georgia, on most days, you
can find John Silk
behind a modest,
but very nice, desk
in an office which
he is quick to boast
was decorated by
his competent staff
composed of Jean
Eakin, Ramona
Blackwell, and
Carol Laur.
A Jean Eakin, administra-
B W c"J;druSior" The office has a comfort-
president. able conference room where
much of the business of the
Georgia Telephone
Association is transacted.
In the GTA office you
will always find a bright and
professional attitude, sea-
soned by the epitome of mod-
esty and hospitality, and this
is the management style of
John Silk, executive vice presi-
dent of the GTA.
Jean Eakin is the won-
der-woman administrative
assistant in the office.
Ramona Blackwell heads up
the GTA Credit Union, and
Carol Laur is member ser-
vices representative.
John's leadership has
energized the GTA organiza-
tion and its membership, and
he takes pride in the rmity
and goodwill that exists with-
in the organization.
Here he gives an abbre-
viated update of the activities
of the organization since he
came to the helm in 1987.
1987 -1994
By John Silk
"The Georgia Telephone
Association (GTA) was estab-
lished seventy-five years ago
to provide Georgia's local
exchange carriers (LECs) a
forum within which to
address issues of mutual
interest and concern. Never
has this mission been more
critical than in the past seven
years which have witnessed
some of the most significant
changes ever to confront and
challenge the telecommunica-
tions industry.
"The GTA's success
during this period has been
made possible and highhght-
ed by the involvement and
participation of its members.
It is through this commitment
that GTA has succeeded in
assisting its members to meet
these challenges and in serv-
ing as a positive force during
these evolutionary times.
With no end in sight, it is criti-
cal that GTA's evolution
keeps pace with that of the
industry and continues to per-
form this invaluable role.
"Some of the issues in
which GTA has been actively
involved include de-pooling,
intra-LATA competition, dis-
tance learning, county-wide
calling, 800 portability, local
transport restructure and
many more new and exciting
innovations. These innova-
tions, made possible by tech-
nological advancements, have
forever altered the pre-exist-
ing relationships. Oppor-
tunities abound in this
increasingly competitive
environment with partners
and competitors alike seeking
to achieve the delicate balance
necessary to ensure the best
possible telecommunications
services are available to the
citizens of Georgia.
"Internally, GTA has
experienced many changes
designed to improve its abiU-
ty to meet these challenges.
Horizons have expanded and
new roles have been rmder-
taken. Several new commit-
tees have been established:
Distance Learning, Economic
Development, and
Operations. Existing commit-
tees have seen their roles
greatly expanded and re-
focused. The most recent
addition, the Executive
Roundtable, has provided a
unique opportunity for GTA
members' top management to
have an open forum within
which they can tap each other
as one of their most valuable
"GTA also continues to
play a significant role in the
regulatory and legislative are-
nas. Like the industry, regu-
latory and legislative bodies
are being challenged to keep
pace with technological
advancements which have
rendered more traditional
forms of regulation obsolete.
These are uncharted waters
where questions are many
and answers are few. Many
options are being tried and
the stakes are high. GTA's
ability to serve as a
spokesman for its members in
this arena is especially impor-
"There have also been
significant ownership realign-
ments within GTA's member-
ship during this period.
Rochester Telephone
Company has purchased
Statesboro Telephone
Company and Fairmount
Telephone Company. TDS
has purchased Blue Ridge
Telephone Company and
Camden Telephone
Company. Charles Fail has
purchased Chickamauga
Telephone Company. Most
recently, ALLTEL has pur-
chased GTE's holdings which
were previously merged with
Contel. While too many to
list, GTA's members have also
expanded into other lines of
business including cellular,
cable and other competitive
telecommunications fields
indicative of the convergence
of technologies.
"GTA's offices have also
experienced a physical
facelift, having been expand-
ed and completely renovated.
During this period, GTA has
computerized and seen its
operations significantly
enhanced through technologi-
cal advancements."
GTA, like the industry it
serves, is being challenged to
successfully evolve with its
members at a time when there
are no constants and change
is dominant in a truly dynam-
ic environment. GTA's ability
to continue to assist its mem-
bers in meeting this challenge
will depend on its members'
commitment to active
(1923 -1967)
1923-44 J. Prince Webster (Secretary, Treasurer, Attorney) Atlanta Attorney
1944- 45 A. M. "Arhe" New - President, Thomaston Telephone Company
1945- 46 R. S. "Bob" Griffin - Monroe
1946- 52 H. M. Stewart - President, Standard Telephone Company
1952-56 S. B. Green - ElHjay Telephone Company
1957-58 Henry Cabiness - Cabiness-Hoag Accounting and Engineering Firm
1959-66 E. R. "George" Britt - President, Metter Telephone Company
1967 Mansfield Jennings - President, Hawkinsville Telephone Company
(1967 - Present)
1967-74 Bob Hayes - First Paid Full-time Executive, Atlanta Office EstabUshed -
Atlanta Attorney
1974-87 Charles Lindsey - Atlanta, Georgia
1987-Present John Silk - Atlanta, Georgia

A Don Bond (Public Service Telephone Company).
T Charlie Deloach (Georgia Telephone Corporation).
A A panel discusses industry issues.
A Sid Linton (GTE South) and Lila Corbin (Quincy
Telephone Company, retired).
A Kelly Bond (Public Service Telephone Company), George Carswell, (Wilkinson
County Teiephone Company), and MiK Stewart (Standard Telephone Company).
Bill Tatum (Trenton Telephone Company) pre-
sides at a GTA meeting.
Mansfield Jennings, Jr. (Hawkinsville
Paul Hart (USTA), standing. L-R: Chairman Bobby Baker IGPSC), John
Selmon (Ringgold Telephone), Fred Hodges (Bulloch Telephone
Cooperative), Bobby Jones (Waverly Hall Telephone), Mansfield Jennings, Jr.
(Hawkinsville Telephone).
Cass Robinson,former GISC member.
T Glenn Bryant (Coastal Utilitiesl.
Howard Hall (Plant Telephone Company, Retired).
Fred Hodges (Planters Telephone Cooperative and Bulloch County
Rural Telephone Cooperative) and George Carswell (Wilkinson
Telephone Company).
Ben Bennett (Pineland Telephone Cooperative)
and Don PaiBn (Contel, Retired).
Executive Roundtable . L-R: John Selmon
(Ringgold Telephone), Fred Hodges (Bulloch
Telephone Cooperative and
PlantersTelephone Cooperative).
A Durand Standard (Coastal Ultilities), George Carswell
(Wilkinson County Telephone) and Tim Griffin are members of
this GTA panel.
A Ben Bennett (Pineland Telephone Cooperattve), Don Bond (1
Telephone Company) and Dean Swanson (Standard Telephone
A Harry White (Northern Telecom, Retired)chats with
Betty and Howard Hall (Plant Telephone, Rrtired).
A Lila Corbin, Retired from Quincy Teiephone.

A Freeman Leverett, GTA attorney, with Ben land Maxine) Milier,
past president USTA and iTPA.
A Executive Roundtable. L-R: Allan Bryant
ICoastal Utilities), irby Johnson IDarien
Teiephone), Maiy Lou Forsyth IDarien Telephone),
Mike Gra^ linterstate Telephone), George Dyson
IWilkes Telephone), William Hinesiey IBrantiey
A Southern Beiis Georgia Industry Relations group, 1988. First Row: Jennifer Woifson, Pat
Condra, Bev Brodie, Jan Martin. Second Row; Shirley Lowery, Pat Phillips, Tricia Wanner, Ellen
Bridges, Fran Davis. Third Row: Rod Robertson, Rich Patsios, Bob Kelley, Bob Ragsdale.
A Ben Bennett at podium;
Woody Williamson |REA) at
far right.
Beverlyn Bond (Public Service
Telephone Company).
T Harry and Alice Mathews (Statesboro
Executive Roundtable. Jim Johnson (Standard Telephone) and Earl Phillips
(Coastai Utiiities).
Fred Hodges and George Dyson (Wiikes Telephone Company).
A Ben Bennett (Pineland Telephone Cooperative).
A George Carswel) and John Silk standing in front of podium.
Ed Haymans (Coastal Utilities) with guest speaker at
GTA convention.
T Cam Lanier, III.
A Panel at 1989 GTA Convention discusses independent caliing cards.
A Jeny Hendnx (Southern Bell), Bob Krueger (Hawkinsville
Teiephone) and Michael Mclnerney (Standard Telephone), discuss
intra-LATA competition on this panel In Savannah.
T Kelly Bond (Public Service Telephone
L-R: Durand Standard and Ed Dayman (Coastal Utilities) with
Bruce Schoonover (Staurulakis, Inc.).

A dinner cruise is enjoyed by John Harrison
(Ellijay Telephone) and Doris Stephens (Standard
Telephone, retired).
A Mance Jennings (Hawkinsville Telephone Company) at
GTA convention at Disney World.
T Cam Lanier, Bill Scott and Doug Cox (Interstate Telephone
ABill Tatum and Ben Bennett.
A Executive Roundtable. Janice OBrien (Glenwood
Telephone), John Harrison (Qlijay Telephone) and Voncel
Gregory (Blue Ridge Telephone).
A Jim Blackburn (consultant) and Sid Linton (GTE South)
A Don and Beveriyn Bond (Public Service Telephone Company).
A John Silk (GTA executive vice president), Bobby Baker (GPSC).
Nov. 22-23
Nov. 10-11
Nov. 15-16
Nov. 14-15
Nov. 9-10
Nov. 8-9
Oct. 27-28
Nov. 16-17
Nov. 12-13
Nov. 17-18
Nov. 15-17
Nov. 11-12
Nov. 9-10
Sept. 14-15
Sept. 13-14
Sept. 11-13
Nov. 4-5
Sept. 9-10
Sept. 7-9
Oct. 21-25
Oct. 9-11
Sept. 17-20
Sept. 9-12
Sept. 15-18
May 24-27
June 5-8
June 12-14
Apr. 20-23
June 13-15
June 14-16
June 11-13
June 10-12
June 15-17
June 17-19
June 16-18
June 15-17
June 13-15
June 23-25
June 18-20
June 21-24
June 19-21
June 24-28
July 8-10
June 15-18
June 20-23
June 19-22
June 18-21
June 24-27
June 22-25
Henry Grady Hotel, Atlanta
General Oglethorpe, Wilmington Island, Savannah
General Oglethorpe, Wilmington Island, Savannah
Henry Grady Hotel, Atlanta
Henry Grady Hotel, Atlanta
Henry Grady Hotel, Atlanta
Dempsey Hotel, Macon
Dempsey Hotel, Macon
Henry Grady Hotel, Atlanta
Henry Grady Hotel, Atlanta
Bon Air Hotel, Augusta
DeSoto Hotel, Savannah
Bon Air Hotel, Augusta
General Oglethorpe, Savannah
General Oglethorpe, Savannah
Dinkier Plaza, Atlanta
Biltmore Hotel, Atlanta
Corsair Motel, Jekyll Island
Corsair Motel, Jekyll Island
Atlanta Biltmore Hotel, Atlanta
Atlanta Americana Hotel, Atlanta
Stuckey's Carriage Inn, Jekyll Island
Atlanta Marriott, Atlanta
SS Ariadne-Convention Cruise
Regency Hyatt House, Atlanta
Savannah Inn & Country Club, Savannah
Marriott Motor Hotel, Atlanta
DeSoto Hilton Hotel, Savaimah
Marriott Motor Hotel, Atlanta
Mills Hyatt House, Charleston, SC
DeSoto HUton Hotel, Savannah
Myrtle Beach Hilton, Myrtle Beach, SC
Peachtree Plaza Hotel, Atlanta
Holiday Irm, Jekyll Island
DeSoto Hilton Hotel, Savannah
Stouffers Pmelsle, Lake Lanier
Holiday Inn, Jekyll Island
Savannah Inn & Coimtry Club, Savannah
Atlanta Marriott, Atlanta
Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL
Stouffers Pinelsle Resort, Lake Lanier Islands
Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Savannah
Holiday Inn, Jekyll Island, GA
Holiday Inn, Chattanooga, TN
Sandestin Hilton, Destin, FL
Grove Park Inn and Country Club, AsheviUe, NC
Hyatt Regency, Savannah, GA
Walt Disney World Village, Lake Buena Vista, FL
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Hilton Head Island, SC
Omni Hotel, Charleston, SC
Marco Island Resort and Golf Club, Marco Island, FL
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Palmetto Dunes Plantation,
Hilton Head Island, SC
"Expanding Horizons"
JUNE 24-28,1989
1945- 1946
1946- 1947
1947- 1948
1948- 1949
1949- 1950
1950- 1951
1952- 1953
1953- 1954
1959- 1960
1960- 1961
1961- 1962
1962- 1963
1963- 1964
1967- 1968
1968- 1969
1969- 1970
1970- 1971
1971- 1973
1973- 1974
1974- 1975
1975- 1976
1976- 1977
1977- 1978
1978- 1979
1979- 1980
1980- 1981
1981- 1982
1982- 1983
1983- 1984
1984- 1985
1985- 1986
1986- 1987
1987- 1988
1988- 1989
1989- 1990
1990- 1991
1991- 1992
1992- 1993
1993- 1994
R. L. Stewart, Moultrie, Georgia
W. R. Bowen, Fitzgerald, Georgia
W. R. Bowen, Fitzgerald, Georgia
W. M. New, Thomaston Telephone Company
J. E. Kirk, Douglas Telephone Company, Moultrie
A. F. Fincher, Jr., Thomaston Telephone & Telegraph Company
A. M. New, Thomaston Telephone Company
A. C. Seward, Central Telephone Company/Southeastern Telephone Company
W. C. Martin, Southeastern Telephone Company
E. P. Burney, Walker County Telephone Company
H. M. Stewart, Standard Telephone Company
J. H. Wright, Whigham Telephone Company
John Birchmore, Danielsville & Comer Telephone Company
Downing Musgrove, Homerville Telephone Company
Charlie Joe Mathews, Statesboro Telephone Company
J. P. Gleaton, Plant Telephone Company
Jim Evitt, Ringgold Telephone Company
Glenn E. Bryant, Coastal Utilities, Inc.
Cam B. Lanier, Jr., Interstate Telephone Company
W. M. Jennings, Jr., Hawkinsville Telephone Company
Madison New, Thomaston Telephone Company
Joseph R. Dyson, Wilkes Telephone & Electric Company
Dean C. Swanson, Standard Telephone Company
Cam B. Lanier, Jr., Interstate Telephone Company
Art W. Barnes, Chickamauga Telephone Company
H. M. Stewart, Jr., Standard Telephone Company
Don E. Bond, Public Service Telephone Company
Fred L. Bailey, Plant Telephone Company
Gene Blanton, General Telephone Company
W. C. DeLoach, Georgia Telephone Corporation
Daniel M. Bryant, Coastal Utilities, Inc.
Thomas L. Johnson, Mid-Continent Telephone Company
Jackie Tumlin, Brantley Telephone Company
H. C. Hearn, Jr., (Dixie Telephone) Continential Telephone Company
Frances V. Barnes, Chicamauga Telephone Company
Fred W. Hodges, Bulloch County Rural Telephone Co-op
Tommy C. Smith, Citizens Telephone Company
Betty A. Gleaton, Plant Telephone Company
George H. Carswell, III, Wilkinson County Telephone Company
Mary Eunice Jones, Waverly Hall Telephone Company
Sid Linton, GTE South
Harry S. Mathews, Statesboro Telephone Company
William R. Tatum, Trenton Telephone Company
A. M. (Ben) Bennett, Pineland Telephone Cooperative
Don Partin, GTE Systems of the South
Bob Krueger, Hawkinsville Telephone Company
A President George Carswell passes the gavel to Mary Eunice Jones
for 1987-88 term.
A President Jones passes the gavel to Sid Linton for
1988-89 term.
President Linton passes the gavel to Harry S. Mathews for 1989-90 term.
President Mathews passes the gavel to
William R. Tatum for 1990-91 term.
President Bennett passes the gavel to Don Partin for
1992-93 term.
A President Tatum passes the gavel to A. M. Ben Bennett for
1991-92 term.
The Georgia Telephone
Association has for some time
been enhanced by a group of
individuals who participate
as representatives of the
companies that provide the
services, products and equip-
ment that feed, and some-
times lead, the industry.
For many years these
individuals were referred to
as "suppliers." These well-
known and visible friends
attended functions and were
so well-informed and so
much a part of the group
activities and old friendships,
when 1 first began attending
meetings, there was no way
of telling which members
owned and operated compa-
nies and which were supph-
ers. The names and faces of
many old and dear friends
come to mind at this writing.
As the industry and the
Association grew, the Asso-
ciates followed the trend to
organize and become more
effective and efficient. John
Silk made the following com-
ments about the value of their
membership in GTA.
"The Georgia Telephone
Association's Associate
Members have played a vital
role in the Association's ser-
vice to its members. It is
GTA's Associate Members
which provide the telephone
companies with an array of
products and services to assist
them in effectively and effi-
ciently operating their compa-
"Since divestiture, the role of
GTA's Associate Members
has changed significantly.
The problems and solutions to
which they are looked for, by
the telephone companies, have
become much more complex.
Whether it is technological
advancements, more sophisti-
cated accounting procedures,
engineering consulting ser-
vices, economic and policy
analysis (and the list goes on),
the stakes have been raised.
Margins for error have been
reduced, if not eliminated; and
there are no answers with
accompanying guarantees.
"Associate Members' partic-
ipation in the Association's
activities is manifested in
many ways. They are active
on many committees includ-
ing: the Education and
Training Committee, the
Operations Committee, the
Convention Committee and
serving in a supporting role on
many others. Associate
Members are also one of the
primary sponsors of the
Association's annual conven-
tion, as well as other activi-
"The relationship between
GTA's Associate Members
and the telephone companies
is complementary, supportive
and vital. It is a role which.
like the rest of the industry, is
evolving. With the changes
occurring, their list of clients
and customers is changing
and expanding and increas-
ingly is likely to include com-
peting interests. GTA,
through the involvement and
participation of its Associate
Members, provides a forum to
assist with their adaptation to
today's evolving environ-
It has been determined
that these Associate Members
have earned their place in the
history of Georgia telephony.
Chairman, Rick Rummel
First Vice Chairman,
John Schoeneck
Second Vice Chairman,
Paul Ibanez
Kevin Costello
1994 COMMinEE
Dick AUen
Jim Boyd
Paul Butler
Sam Campbell
Kevin Costello
Randy Dooling
Klaus Eastridge
Jerry Farrell
Maxine Manning
Leo Montgomery
Rick Rummel
John Schoeneck
Manny Staurulakis
Eddie Swing
entertain at convention in Orlando;
Maxine Manning (Communications Data Group), George
Carsweii (Wiikinson County Teiephone) and Marion
Sliarp (Camden Telephone Company).
Butch and Brenda Fisher and Jackie Tumlin.
A me Manning learn tor the 75th GTA convention
Larry Parham (Standard Teiephone) on far right.
A l-k: bd Burney (Walker County Telephone Company), Tommy
Smith (Citizens Teiephone), John Sims (Engineering Associates),
Ham Foster (Graybar Eiectric Company).
Harry White (Northern
Telecom, retired).
Affiliate members Bob Bruce and Jim Pounds.
-4 Don Bond (Public Service Telephone Company) and
Mansfield Jennings (Hawkinsvilie Telephone Company).
Mr. & Mrs. Vernon Ingram (Plant
Telephone Company).
Ruth and Tommy Smith (Citizens Telephone Company).
Art and Frances Barnes (Chickamauga Telephone Company).
T Ruth and Tommy Smith (Citizens Teiephone Company).
A Mary Eunice Jones (Waveriy Haii Teiephone Company).
A GTA members gather for a deiicious buffet meai

A The Mansfield Jennings family
(Hawkinsville Telephone Company).
A L-R; Dean and Kay Swanson (Standard Telephone Company), Ruth Smith
(Citizens Telephone Company), and Don Upton (Contel of the ^uth).
Ramona Blackwell (GTA Credit Union) and Jean Eakin
IGTA administrative assistant).
Mr. and Mrs. Lee Barton (Hart Telephone Company).
The Mathews family.
A The Bonds (Public Service Telephone Company), Betty
Gleaton and Karen Goes (Plant Telephone Company).
A Mr. and Mrs. Rich Patsios (Southern
Beil Industry Relations) and Bruce
Schoonover (Staurulakis, Inc.) in the
A Art Barnes (Chickamauga Telephone) and
Maty Eunice Jones (Waverly Hall Telephone).
A Betty Gleaton (Plant
Telephone Company).
A Voncel and Blond Gregory (Blue
Ridge Telephone Company) and
Charlie and Susan Mathews
(Stateshoro Telephone Company).
T Mr. and Mrs. John Long (Coastal Utilities).
^ L-R: Frances and Art Barnes
(Chickamauga Teiephone), Mrs.
Kimbrough, and Led L^better
T At the GTA convention in Chattanooga are
Vernon Ingram and Betty Gleaton (Plant
Telephone) with Manny Staurulakis
(Staurulakis, Inc.).
A Lynn Guamella (Hart Telephone
Company) appreciates the entertain-

Martha and Bill Scott with Cam
Lanier in the background
(Interstate Telephone Company).

Chatting at the Disney World convention are Marion Sharp (Camden
Telephone) and Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Ingram (Plant Telephone).
By: Ramona Blackwell, President
The GTA Credit Union
was chartered August 28,1975,
with the help of Ben Bennett,
Danny Bryant and Charles
Lindsey. With their guidance
and determination, the Credit
Union began operating
January 5,1976, providing an
inexpensive benefit for
employees of member compa-
nies of the Georgia Telephone
Association. Member compa-
nies also included associate
and affiliate member compa-
nies. Employee family mem-
bers were also invited to join.
The members of the first
board of directors were Fred
Bailey, Danny Bryant, Ben
Bennett, Charles DeLoach, Art
Barnes, Ed Burney, Don Bond,
Madison New and Charles
The Credit Union was
well received by member com-
panies and obtained steady
growth throughout the first
year. By the end of 1976, total
membership was 507 and
assets of $237,161 which is
considered an accomplishment
for a credit union starting out.
Within six months of opera-
tion, Contelco Credit Union,
serving Continental Telephone
Company, Gulf Division, was
approached to consider a
merger with GTACU. After a
vote of both memberships, the
merger took place effective
January 31,1977, increasing
membership to 829 and total
assets of $331,465. This also
broadened the membership
outside Georgia and into
Alabama and South Carolina.
GTA Credit Union has
always been located in the
office of the Georgia
Telephone Association, there-
fore relying on the help of a
designated Credit Union rep-
resentative located at each tele-
phone company. These "reps"
are kept informed on Credit
Union policy and procedures
and are able to help employees
with questions regarding the
Credit Union. This arrange-
ment helps shorten the dis-
tance between the GTACU
office and member.
GTA Credit Union
reached its first milestone of $1
million in assets August, 1980.
It was apparent the Credit
Union needed a full-time man-
ager to oversee the daily oper-
ations. Nancy Coltrane was
hired in September, 1980, and
served as manager until
January, 1988. During this
time, the Credit Union contin-
ued increased growth and ser-
vices for members, including
mortgage loans.
The 1990 merger
between GTE and Contel
Telephone Companies was
first thought to be detrimental
to the continued success of
GTACU. But, with strong cap-
ital/ reserves and the loyalty of
the members to their Credit
Union, this period supported
the concept that GTACU was a
service needed and used.
The current board of
directors consists of Mary
Eunice Jones, Don Barnes,
Lionel Austin, Frances Carson,
Gordon Duff, Mary Fugate,
Bob Krueger, Durand
Standard and Dennis Vickers.
John Silk serves as
secretary/treasurer and
Ramona Blackwell serves as
president. All directors are
AGTA Credit Union Board of Directors. L-R: Durand Standard (Coastai UtiiitiesI, Lionei Austin
(Trenton Teiephone Company), Frances Carson (Eliijay Telephone Company).
elected from the membership
and serve as volunteers. They
take their responsibility seri-
ously and attend courses and
seminars to better understand
their roles in the Credit
Union. Since 1988, they have
participated in an annual
planning session to establish
goals for each year. This exer-
cise has proven to be valuable
over the years and new ser-
vices and policies have result-
Today, GTA Credit
Union has over $5 milhon in
assets and is currently serving
2,200+ members. The mem-
bership base has been modi-
fied in recent years to include
"sister companies" associated
with member companies.
Also, active recruitment of
associate members of the
Georgia Telephone
Association has resulted in
membership in nearly every
state. In 1993, the South
Carolina Telephone
Association requested mem-
bership for their interested
telephone companies and the
field-of-membership was
updated to include them. The
Credit Union is federally
insured and in excellent
standing with the Georgia
GTA Credit Union Board of Directors. L-R: Don Barnes (ALLTEL), Ramona Biackweli (Credit Union
president), Gordon Duff (Citizens Teiephone), Mary Eunice Jones (Waveriy Hail Telephone), Mary
Fugate (Ringgold Telephone).
Department of Banking and
Finance which is its primary
GTACU continues to
offer a variety of savings
options including regular sav-
ings, Christmas and Vacation
Club Accounts and IRAs.
Loan options include signa-
ture, auto and a wide range of
ofher consumer and mortgage
loans. A MasterCard credit
card is also available. Student
loans and a $1,000 scholarship
are the latest additions to the
services offered by fhe GTA
Credit Union.

The ITPA creed...

We believe...That the Independent telephone industry
Adopted by the Independent Telephone Pioneer
Association (ITPA), the creed sets forth noble ideals and stan-
dards which have provided a blueprint for a philanthropic orga-
nization that has exceeded aspirations even the founders could
have envisioned.
An army of members across the nation has had a pervasive effect on the states
and communities they represent. The recent technologic revolution we have wit-
nessed has served to remind us of the values, principles and spirit of pioneering.
ITPA has provided a wealth of leadership and has gained distinction within
the industry for selflessness and a willingness to serve through their many clubs
and projects.
The Peach State Chapter of ITPA is the pride of Georgia telephony. It is for
this reason we have elected to dedicate a significant portion of this journal to the
Peach State Chapter of ITPA, its "workhorses" and its honorees.

H. M. Stewart, Sr. and Doris Stephens are
cornerstones of the Peach State Chapter of fTPA.
Application was filed on August 5,1970, by H. M. Stewart, Sr. of Cornelia
and forty-nine others to organize a chapter of ITPA in the state of Georgia.
The petition, signed by the fifty prospective members, contained minor
details of the organization plans. Earl Kidd (chairman) of Metter, Don Shearer of
Sylvania and Charlie Joe Mathews of Statesboro drafted the Bylaws. The work of
this committee resulted in an approval for charter by the national organization.
Jimmy Gleaton of Tifton chaired the nominating committee.
The signatures of the following pioneers appeared on the petition for charter.
A Billy Williams, Region VIII national vice presi-
dent, with other devoted pioneers raise money to
support ITPA national project.
A Mary Searson Hodges, Talmadge Brazel, Jimmy Berry and Earl
Kidd have provided a wealth of leadership to the Peach State
^ A hearing-impaired child uses a
telephone equipped with a hearing
device supplied by a Peach State
Pioueer Club. This student now
attends Georgia Tech on a presiden-
tial scholarship.
Hugh E. Allen
Joseph Arich, Jr.
Talmadge T. Brazel
Hardy J. Bush
Charles D. Case
James T. Casper
William B. Cox
Benjamin F. Dbcon
Daisy B. Dunn
Jim Evitt, Jr.
John A. Farrar, Jr.
W. H. Foster, Jr.
T. Evans Gates
Delores F. Giddens
J. P. Gleaton
Rex Goss
Dominick J. Grandinetti
Jo-Ann B. Griffin
Joseph E. Harris
H. C. Hearn, Jr.
Mary R. Hopkins
Jimmie R. Hunter
Delma Clarence Jackson
Faye R. Jones
Earl D. Kidd
Milo R. Kingsbury
Mary B. Little
W. Madison New
Charles W. Oberleitner
Attica J. Powell
L. Kenneth Powley
Mrs. Zelma B. Rash
Mrs. Ferril Schuler
Daniel T. Shearer
Albert N. Seward
Virginia E. Shoffner
Clay F. Bidwell
Aubrey E. Sikes, Sr.
William C. Stanley
H. M. Stewart
R. H. Stone
Alvin C. Straton
Hugh D. Suggs
Frank Veal
Winifred D. Waller
Garvice G. Wells
J. Frances Whaley
Mrs. Mary Carter Wilson
Bryon D. Godbee
Wilham R. Payne
Mary V. Spooner
Mrs. Lilhan C. Taylor
Harry L. Turner
Mrs. Billie J. Lain
W. L. Mollands
Mr. Stewart and the planning committee met and set up an organizational meeting of the Peach State Chapter,
ITPA, to be held at the Marriott Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, on October 10,1976. At this charter meeting, a nominating
committee presented the following who were elected as charter officers and directors:
President, Earl D. Kidd - Metter, Georgia
Vice President, W. B. Cox - Cornelia, Georgia
Secretary/Treasurer, Charles W. Oberleitner - Moultrie, Georgia
C. J. Mathews - Statesboro, Georgia
Dan Shearer - Sylvania, Georgia
John Sims - Atlanta, Georgia
Ron Beatty - Moultrie, Georgia
Earl Kidd - Metter, Georgia
Harry White - Albany, Georgia
W. B. Cox - Comeha, Georgia
Charles W. Oberleitner - Moultrie, Georgia
Roy Osborne - Claxton, Georgia
Director Emeritus:
H. M. Stewart - Comeha, Georgia
President, Larry Parham
Vice President, John Sikes
Treasurer, Mays Joyner
Secretary, Billy G. Williams
Darrell BeU, Greater Atlanta Club
Beverlyn Bond, Flint River Club
Talmadge Brazel, Pine Tree Club
Claude Cummings, Unity Pioneer Club
John Gulick, Director-at-Large
John Harrison, North Georgia Mountain Club
Mary Hodges, Dixieland Pioneer Club
Mays Joyner, Director-at-Large
Norman McKinney, Greater Atlanta Club
Frank Merritt, North Georgia Pioneer Club
Larry Parham, H. M. Stewart, Sr. Pioneer Club
John Sikes, Coastal Empire Club
Ron Smith, Chapter Director-at-Large
Doris Stephens, Chapter Director-at-Large
Tom Treadwell, Lookout Mountain Club
Harry White, National Director
Billy G. Williams, Greater Atlanta Club
1974- 1975
1975- 1976
1976- 1977
1977- 1978
1978- 1979
1979- 1981
1981- 1982
1982- 1983
1983- 1984
1984- 1985
1985- 1986
1986- 1987
1987- 1988
1988- 1989
1989- 1990
1990- 1991
1991- 1992
1992- 1993
1993- 1994
Earl Kidd
Dan Shearer
Carl Anderson
San Shawhan
Doris Stephens
Albert Harrison
Ronald Beatty
Earl Phillips
David Spell
Edward Ha}anans
Bill Ford
Harry White
Harry Davis
Earl Kidd
Talmadge Brazel
Jim Berry
John Long
John Bunting
Bill Duff
Billy WiUiams
Ron Smith
Larry Parham
Life members are those who have engaged in the telecommunications industry for a period of forty years and
who have been members of the association for not less than fifteen years.
Luther }. Barrentine
Edmund Bibisi
Ellis H. Bryant, Jr.
Rex Gosa
Dominick J. Grandinetti
R. J. Parker
Kenneth L. Pawley
Tommy C. Smith
Lillian C. Taylor
Mary C. Wilson
Ruby B. Burrell Doris C. Stephens
James B. Eppes, Jr. George B. Stoffregen
William R. Hall Lucille M. Wheeler
J. C. Moss
Talmadge T. Brazel
Glenn E. Bryant
Arthur W. Barnes
Frances V. Barnes
Edward P. Burney
Wesley E. Clark
Dora S. Holder
Lillian O. Keown
Pauline L. Keown
Linda R. Kidd
Charlona H. Martin
Mell J. Price
Sam Turner
Betty C. Wallin
Ivey B. Beardslee
John F. Bunting
Albert E. Harrison
By: Becky Gwaltney, Incoming President
Home Pioneer Club, Smithfield, Virginia
Those of us called Pioneers can think back on other days.
And remember times when work was done in completely different ways.
Some of us remember work as handling lots of cords.
And being the voice to the local folks behind the old switchboard.
That was back when pay phone calls only cost a dime.
When operators helped with everything and even gave out the time!
Iron wire was once the thing that kept the toll lines hot.
We thought it was the best to usenow we've found it's not.
Repairmen cleared the troubles then the best way they were able.
And now they use a microscope on fiber optic cable!
Technology's given us many things; it's turned our lives around.
We're doing away with telephone polesputting cable underground.
And we recall step offices with the clicking and the clack.
They're gone for good. I'm sure, my friends, and they won't be coming back.
Remember all those party lines? They were all some folks could get.
"Private only" is now the goal, though we're not there quite yet.
We can hardly count the changes. The computer age is here!
What we have now could be obsolete within another year!
There are some things that never change, like things you feel inside.
The feeling you get within yourself to do a job with pride.
Yes, our industry is changing in oh, so many ways.
May those of us now working make these the "good new days."
The Peach State Chapter of ITPA regularly bestows its highest award upon selected, exceptional individuals
who have distinguished themselves in a field of many outstanding and formidable contributors.
Only these twenty Georgia Pioneer Club members have received that prestigious award.
H. M. Stewart, Sr. 1978
Edward P. Burney 1981
James L. Kirk 1982
George Rose 1984
Glenn E. Bryant 1984
James E. Evitt, Sr. 1984
Earl D. Kidd 1984
Avery Strickland 1985
Henry Davis 1986
Jim Berry 1986
Talmadge Brazel 1987
Charlie Joe Mathews 1988
James Perry Gleaton 1989
Doris Stephens 1990
H. C. Bond 1991
Hoke Thomas Jones, Sr. 1992
James Lawrence Kirk, II 1992
Robert B. Alford 1993
Ered S. McGehee 1993
Tommy C. Smith 1993
These lives are a tribute to their company, their club and their state. The following brief histories profile their
stories and are a commendation for their lofty and noble achievements in the telephone industry in Georgia.
Note: Some of these profiles were written by the individuals or company which nominated the honoreefor this Hall of Fame
recognition. It is difficult to identify or recognize individual writers since some were group Pioneer efforts.
H. M. Stewart, Sr.'s entire life
was devoted to providing know-
ledge, experience and ideas to the
telephone industry. He began as a
night switchboard operator in 1916 in
Centreville, Alabama, while a student
m high school. He served in several
capacities with Southern Bell before
joining Kellogg Switchboard and
Supply Company in Kentucky as a
field representative in 1923.
His employment with the
Kellogg Company was broad and
educational. In August, 1930, he was
promoted to the post of southwestern
district sales manager with offices in
Dallas, Texas. He initiated the design
of the Masterbuilt line of switch-
boards during his tenure at Kellogg.
Three years later, Stewart left
the Kellogg Company to become
business manager of the Texas
Telephone Association in Austin. In
1937, he resigned to assume a similar
position with the Pennsylvania
Independent Telephone Association
and Toll Clearing House located in
Harrisburg. During the time he
worked for the associations, he was
featured on a number of symposiums
and district, state and national tele-
phone conventions. He wrote articles
for trade journals and published peri-
odicals and tracts of concern and
interest to the telephone industry.
As Stewart became familiar with
the structure of the telephone indus-
try, he began to dream of acquiring
and developing a telephone system.
He had been exposed to many facets
of the art of telephony and was anx-
ious to test out his experience and
ideas. A lack of financial resources
prohibited him from achieving his
dream during the '20s when profes-
sional promoters were buying up
telephone exchanges, and then the
Depression further frustrated his
attempts to purchase a system.
When Stewart heard about a
small, dilapidated telephone system
for sale in Clarkesville, Georgia, he
immediately inquired about the com-
pany and subsequently negotiated the
purchase of Standard Telephone
Company, in 1939, with exchanges in
Clarkesville and Cornelia.
Because the telephone plant in
Clarkesville required major rehabilita-
tion and improvement and had limit-
ed earning capacity and available
credit, Stewart determined that he
should remain in Harrisburg and hire
a local manager for the property in
Over the next five years, open
wire lead cable was replaced with
new lead covered cable (250 pair of 22
Brown & Sharp gauge copper con-
ductors insulated from each other
with waxed paper wrappings and
encased in a lead sheath). New cre-
osote pine poles, fir crossarms and
chestnut poles were installed, and a
"used" three-position, magneto
switchboard equipped for 450 cus-
tomer lines replaced the old Cornelia
board. Clarkesville's telephone plant
was completely rehabilitated before
the war effort brought construction of
all commercial telephone plants to a
In early 1944, Stewart accepted a
position with Telephone Services, Inc.
of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, at a substantial
increase in salary. This enabled him
to move toward enlarging Standard's
base of operation by pursuing the
purchase of adjoining telephone
In 1945, when the economic sit-
uation in northeast Georgia was look-
ing up and the war was drawing to a
close, Stewart decided to move to
Georgia to devote his full-time efforts
to expansion and development of
Standard Telephone Company.
Under the leadership of Stewart,
the company became a model of
state-of-the-art telecommunication
service and a recognized leader of
independent telephony.
In addition to developing his
own telephone system, Stewart was
dedicated to improving telecommuni-
cations throughout the country and
state. He was a director of the United
States Independent Telephone
Association for twelve years and
received the organization's
Distinguished Service Medallion. He
served several years as secretary and
two terms as president of the Georgia
Telephone Association and was the
first person inducted into the Georgia
Telephone Association's Hall of
He was chairman of the organi-
zation committee that formed the
Peach State Chapter of ITPA, and the
first Pioneer Club in the chapter is
named in his honor. He is a lifetime
member of the Independent
Telephone Pioneer Association.
Mr. Stewart's induction into the
Peach State Chapter Hall of Fame in
1978, after sixty years in the telecom-
munications industry, recognized this
great leader for his achievements and
LaFayette, Georgia, is the birth-
place of Edward Pound Burney. Son
of Walter and Grace Burney, he was
born on February 7,1915. At the age
of twelve he began working on the
lines at the Walker Gounty Telephone
Company operated by his father,
Walter Burney.
Burney was educated in the
LaFayette schools and Georgia
Military Academy, MillegeviUe,
Georgia. He served in the Army
Signal Corps from 1940 to 1945.
Following his discharge, he returned
to LaFayette to help manage the tele-
phone company. When his father
died in 1946, he was named vice pres-
ident and general manager and assist-
ed his mother in the management
responsibiUty of Walker County
Telephone Company.
In 1947, he married Mary
Catheran Wheeler. Their progeny
include Susan, Leah, Nancy and
Grace, seven grandchildren and two
Ed Burney was active in the
Georgia Telephone Association, as
and served as president of GTA in
Burney well remembers when a
fire destroyed the telephone compa-
ny's central office in 1940. With the
help of the Kirks, Vasser Lamb and A.
B. Pogue, service was restored in two
weeks. At that time, service changed
from magneto to common battery. In
1954, automatic dial service was
Through the years Burney
implemented many notable "firsts" in
the industry including the first inde-
pendent company in the south to
offer tel-touch dialing and the first
southern independent with electronic
switching. This was in keeping with
his philosophy to provide improved
service to his subscribers.
Burney served his community
through his association with the
Rotary Club, Lions Club, BPOE Elks,
Mason and Shriner-Yaarab Temple.
In 1976, he assumed the position
of chairman of the board of Walker
County Telephone Company and saw
the company continue to grow and
bring modern, dependable telephone
service to its service area.
Walker County Telephone
Company merged with CONTEL in
1985, and Ed and Catheran Burney
retired and moved to Florida where
he spends time with his friends on the
golf course.
The Peach State Chapter
installed Edward P. Burney in the
Hall of Fame in 1981 in tribute to his
long, outstanding career in the tele-
phone industry and for his contribu-
tion to the development of indepen-
dent telephony.
James Lawrence Kirk's tele-
phone career began in Sullivan,
Illinois, as a night operator while in
high school. He continued to work in
the telephone industry constructing
telephone lines in Illinois and
Nebraska and for several years man-
aged the City Mutual Telephone
Company in SulUvan.
During this period, Kirk saved
$2,000 and inherited $2,000 from his
father. In 1911, he used this money,
along with a $2,000 loan and promis-
sory notes, to purchase a telephone
system in Florida which included
Jasper Telephone Company and
Jennings Telephone Company. One
year later he bought Live Oak
Telephone Company and moved his
family to Florida. These companies
were sold in 1920, and the family
moved back to Illinois.
In 1921, Kirk purchased the
Scott Telephone Company, Arcadia,
Horida, and in 1923, he bought the
Mississippi Valley Telephone
Company, headquartered in
Carthage, Illinois. He then added the
Thomaston (Georgia) Telephone
Company, the Jasper County
Telephone Company, Newton,
Illinois, and Central lUinois
Independent Telephone Company,
Rutland, to his holdings.
Kirk sold the Scott Telephone
Company. On his return trip to
Illinois, he and his wife stopped off in
Moultrie, Georgia, where they pur-
chased the Consolidated Telephone &
Telegraph Company, being sold at a
receivers sale. Thedate was July 10,
Consolidated Telephone
Company consisted of exchanges at
Barwick, Boston, Doerun, Morven,
Norman Park, Pavo and Moultrie.
Later Barwick was sold and Berlin,
Coohdge, Hahira, Lakeland, Meigs
and Ray City were added. The Kirk
family moved to Moultrie, the tele-
phone company's headquarters.
During 1927 and 1928,
Thomaston Telephone Company,
Jasper County Telephone Company
and Central Illinois Independent
Company were sold. The children
were told the family made a "pretty
penn/' on the sale.
Kirk's attempts to purchase the
Dalton (Georgia) Telephone
Company were unsuccessful until
1928 when he finally persuaded Mr.
McCutchen to sell. The following
year he purchased the Douglas
(Georgia) Telephone Company and
added the Chatsworth (Georgia)
Telephone Company in 1930.
Kirk's telephone property hold-
ings continued to grow as he pur-
chased systems in Scottsboro,
Alabama, and Dothan, Alabama. The
Mississippi Valley Telephone
Company was sold in 1958.
In 1961, after more than fifty
years in the telephone business, the
Kirk family sold their Alabama and
Georgia telephone properties to
General Telephone Company. The
Kirk telephone system was, at that
time, the largest family-owned group
of companies in the United States.
A legendary telephone man,
James Lawrence Kirk was named to
the Peach State Chapter Hall of Fame
in 1982.
George W. Rose was born in
Warrenton, North Carolina, in 1909.
While a high school student in
Tarboro, North Carolina, he took on
his first job maintaining Addresso-
graph billing records for Carolina
Telephone & Telegraph Company.
He later moved to Siler City and
went to work for Central Carolina
Telephone Company as a clerk. By
this time, he was destined to be a tele-
phone man, and in 1933 moved to
Erie, Pennsylvania, to work in the
traffic department of Pennsylvania
Telephone Corporation.
Two years later he returned to
his native state of North Carolina as
office manager for the Central
Carolina Telephone Company in
Southern Pines. He also married
Hilda Cranford that year; a happy
marriage that would produce three
sons, David, Robert, and Samuel.
Rose moved to Newton, Iowa,
in 1937 and worked four years as a
traffic superintendent for Iowa State
Telephone Company.
His knowledge and experience
of telephone traffic engineering gave
him the opportunity to return to
Carolina Telephone & Telegraph
Company in Tarboro in 1941. And
then in 1945, he became traffic direc-
tor and division manager for GTE
Florida. During the '40s and '50s, he
worked with telephone people
around the nation as chairman of the
National USTA Traffic Committee.
During this time he also spearheaded
the first Elorida Telephone
Association workshop on traffic. This
workshop became a model for other
operating departments.
While Rose made many notable
contributions to telephony during his
forty-nine years of service, he was
also devoted to Pioneering and spent
years supporting and promoting the
work of this organization at the
national, regional and local levels. He
served as Region VIII vice president
of the Independent Telephone
Pioneer Association for thirteen years.
He was president of the Horida BeU
Pioneers, president of the Sunshine
Pioneer Club and secretary/treasurer
of the Horida State Chapter. He is a
member of the Horida Hall of Fame.
Rose was inducted into the
Peach State Chapter HaU of Fame in
1984. During the induction ceremo-
ny, ITPA President Richard Morris
called him "Mr. ITPA" because he
possessed a wealth of knowledge
about the Pioneer organization. He
was widely known as an institution in
Pioneering and richly deserving of
this stellar award.
Glenn E. Bryant was born in
Brent, Florida, in 1915 and spent his
early years in Pensacola, Florida.
After high school, he attended the
University of Alabama and married
Trudie Poston of Pensacola in 1936.
The attack on Pearl Harbor and
the declaration of World War 11
brought the Bryants to Hinesville,
Georgia, where Bryant, a civil servant
with the government, managed the
federal housing at Camp Stewart.
Following the war, Bryant
decided to purchase the Hinesville
Telephone Company from J. L. Kirk
even though the company's future
looked discouraging at that time. As
expected, the early years were diffi-
cult as Bryant and his small staff
worked dihgently to achieve modest
growth. The company turned the cor-
ner in the '50s as they became a toll
center and the Coastal Telephone
Company was purchased. However,
it was the '70s and '80s when major
progress was made.
Bryant has devoted much of his
adult life to public service and area
development. As a civil service
employee, he spent a great deal of his
own time caring for the needs and
comforts of the pubhc housing resi-
dents. He served one term as mayor
pro tern of Hinesville followed by
eight years as mayor. He was chair-
man of the Liberty County Hospital
Authority from 1957 to 1970, and aide
de camp to the Governor in 1967.
In 1971, Bryant was elected to
the Liberty County Board of
Commissioners where he served for
eight years. During his tenure as
mayor and commission chairman,
many noteworthy projects were
accomplished including a new city
hall, a new regional jail, a new and
improved airport, a downtown city
park, a new high school, a county
hospital, a shopping center, the con-
struction of neighborhood recreation
facilities throughout the county, a
water and sewage expansion, a mod-
em oxidation treatment plant, a new
golf course and coimtry club and low-
rent housing.
His deep and abiding interest in
the poor and underprivileged
inspired him to almost single-hand-
edly do the legwork and surmount
obstacles to obtain a grant to build the
Liberty County Community Service
which houses the county's health
department, family and children ser-
vices, mental health, vocational reha-
bilitation and employment security.
Representing the people of the
Third Senatorial District in the
Georgia General Assembly from 1979
to 1988, Bryant drafted and sponsored
legislation fostering small businesses
and utihties at the state level.
Bryant's other affiliations
include Elk, a Free and Accepted
Mason, a Shriner, past president of
the Lions Club, past vice president
and president of the Coastal Empire
Chapter, Association of the U. S.
Army, past president of the Coastal
Empire Council of the Boy Scouts of
America and recipient of the Silver
Beaver Award for distinguished ser-
vice to boyhood, and past president
and director of the First District of the
Georgia Municipal Association.
Land to construct a football sta-
dium at Georgia Southern College
was donated by Bryant, and the
Glenn E. Bryant scholarship fund has
been established at the college.
Telephone associations which
Bryant supports include U. S.
Independent Telephone Association,
Georgia Telephone Association and
the Independent Telephone Pioneer
Glenn E. Bryant's distinguished
telephone career and pubhc service
merited the recognition bestowed
upon him by induction into the Peach
State Chapter Hall of Fame in 1984.
James "Jim" E. Evitt, Sr., the
founder of Ringgold Telephone
Company, was a man with a dream
who foresaw the future development
of the telecommunications industry.
With a pioneering spirit, yet modern
thinking, Evitt proceeded with his
vision to provide telephone service to
his home community, Ringgold,
With no training or experience
with the telephone, he purchased a
small telephone switchboard in April,
1912, and began telephone service
with only eight subscribers for
Ringgold and the surrounding area.
Mr. Jim went far beyond the call
of duty to give the best telephone ser-
vice possible. The entire county prof-
ited by the telephone system. He
would drive, day or night, in any
kind of weather over muddy and
sometimes hazardous roads to deliver
important, long distance telephone
messages, news of a birth, death, acci-
dent or illness. During two wars, he
had the sorrowful task of taking mes-
sages to families of service men and
women, and he always acted with
genuine compassion and helpfulness.
Jim Evitt, Sr. wore several hats
in the northwest Georgia town, one of
which was pharmacist. He bought
Ringgold Drug Company in 1920 and
became the only druggist in the only
The switchboard was located on
the second floor of his drug
store building, so he could serve
both businesses under one roof.
He personally took care of trou-
ble reports, building and repair-
ing lines, billing and collecting
accounts. He climbed poles
until 1940. Afterward, it was a
familiar sight to see him on a
ladder clearing trouble and
directing construction and
maintenance work.
drug store in Catoosa County, a posi-
tion he held for thirty years. He also
served as Catoosa County Superior
Court Clerk for twenty-one years,
Ringgold town councilman and direc-
tor of the town's only bank.
A respected, civic-minded citi-
zen, Evitt played a conspicuous part
in the development of Catoosa
County. He spearheaded many
drives to promote projects of growth
and progress. He personally had con-
structed, and paid for, 75 percent of
the concrete sidewalks in Ringgold's
business district. He was instrumen-
tal in having a new courthouse built
to replace the pre-Civil War days
structure. Evitt organized a group of
citizens to raise the money required to
install city water.
Being a graduate of Ringgold's
public schools and a lover of all
sports, Mr. Jim generously supported
the school athletic programs. He was
a charitable man, giving liberally to
every worthy cause, including
churches of every faith in the county.
Many times when underprivileged
children would come into his drug
store poorly clad, he would quietly
take them to the nearby department
store and buy them shoes and clothes.
Regardless of his varied busi-
ness interests, the telephone company
was Mr. Jim's primary concern. He
was well-known as a telephone man.
Evitt had great faith that inde-
pendent telephone service would
someday become an integral part of
our free enterprise system. He envi-
sioned unbelievable developments
that later came into being. Even the
Depression did not dim his vision of
the future. While many other compa-
nies were selling out, his confidence
never wavered. His calm faith in the
return of prosperity inspired other
independent telephone companies to
Jim Evitt, Sr. tied his part of the
country to the twentieth century and
instilled in those he knew, especially
his own family, a sense of service.
His wife, Annie Ward Evitt, and son,
James Evitt, Jr., carried on his dedica-
tion and vision after his death in 1948.
Today his dream and vision for
Ringgold Telephone Company, and
the customers and community he
served, continues under the leader-
ship of his granddaughter, Alice Evitt
Bandy, who assumed ownership in
1973 following the death of her father,
James Evitt, Jr.
Jim Evitt, Sr., a man with a
dream who worked to make it come
true, was inducted into the Peach
State Chapter Hall of Eame in 1984.
His daughter Alice Evitt Bandy,
accepted the award on his behalf
from Mrs. Jamie Clark, a devoted
employee of Ringgold Telephone
Earl D. Kidd received his first
training in telephony in 1942 in the
U. S. Army Signal Corps while sta-
tioned at Camp Crowder, Missouri.
After being discharged from the ser-
vice, Kidd went to work with
Southwestern Telephone Company
(later named General Telephone
Company of the Southwest) in Texas
as a plant man's helper constructing
open wire lines, installing and repair-
ing magneto telephones and keeping
the old magneto switchboards work-
Kidd's first construction vehicle
was a 1938 Chevrolet truck with a
small tool box in the bed and a ladder
rack. Line construction practices
were crude by today's standards;
poles were set by hand. Open wire
grounded circuits were sometimes
mounted on timbers nailed to the top
of fence posts or driven into the top of
a four inch iron pipe. The wire was
tied to small porcelain knobs nailed to
the timbers.
Later, he became a combination
man and was assigned several mag-
neto exchanges in the Texas
Panhandle where the sand storms
and ice storms kept everyone busy.
In the mid-50s, he assisted in cutting
over some of the magneto exchanges
to dial.
His next assignment was to the
engineering department in south
Texas, where he engineered and
designed outside plant facilities for
dial conversions and for large indus-
trial plants springing up along the
Texas coast.
By 1958, Kidd was getting itchy
feet, so he moved to Alaska with the
Philco Corporation as an engineering
He was assigned to the Air
Force, designing outside plant facih-
ties on Air Force installations
throughout Alaska and serving as an
advisor on communications projects.
While in Alaska, Kidd became
involved in the organization of Trans-
Alaska Telephone Company, an inde-
pendent with plans to provide the
first or improved telephone service to
twenty-two villages. He did most of
the outside plant engineering and
supervised the construction and
installation of these systems until
1961 when his son became ill and he
returned to the "lower forty-eight."
He joined the Capehart
Corporation where he designed out-
side plant facilities for missile sites in
Missouri, North Dakota and South
Dakota. He was also the technical
representative to the ballistic systems
groups during the nuclear blast test-
ing of buried cable facilities at the
Atomic Proving Grounds in Las
Upon completing his assign-
ment with the missile program, Kidd
joined McGrath Engineering
Company of Topeka, Kansas. As the
company's project engineer, he pre-
pared a complete acquisition invento-
ry and continuing property record of
the Kirk Telephone System which
was being purchased by General
Telephone Company.
In 1963, Kidd joined the North
Florida Telephone Company in Live
Oak as outside plant design engineer
and three years later accepted the
position of general manager of the
Pineland Telephone Co-op in Metter,
Georgia. Under his leadership, the
company's financial condition
improved significantly and Kidd was
commended by the REA for this
Following his wife's death, Kidd
left Metter in 1974 to become assistant
general manager of the Chickamauga
Telephone Corporation and the
Ooltewah-Collegedale Telephone
Company. For the next three years,
he assisted the owners with the over-
all management of the two compa-
In 1977, he accepted the position
of director of operations with the
Walker County Telephone Company.
Over the years, Kidd was
involved with the scouting program,
with httle league baseball and in sev-
eral civic clubs. He was a charter
member of ITPA's Last Frontier
Chapter in Alaska and was a key
organizer and later president of the
Florida State Chapter. After coming
to Georgia, he was instrumental in
organizing the Peach State Chapter
and served as its first president. Kidd
became an ITPA life member in 1982
after completing forty years in the
telephone industry and twenty-two
years as an ITPA member.
For exemplary service to the
telephone industry and to furthering
the goals of pioneering, Kidd was
inducted into the Peach State Chapter
Hall of Fame in 1984.
Avery Strickland was bom on
March 7,1910, and has resided in
Brantley County, Georgia, most of his
life. He graduated from Nahunta
High School in 1931, attended Berry
College and received his teacher certi-
fication at Georgia Teachers College.
He taught school and was principal of
Waynesville Elementary School. In
1936, he married Lena Jacobs and
went to work for the Georgia Forestry
Commission maintaining telephone
lines. He worked on the old Timber
Protective Organization phone lines
which stretched through Brantley's
timber country.
The Forestry Commission was
unhappy with the phone service it
was getting in Brantley County, so
they gave Strickland a leave of
absence to purchase the phone com-
pany and get it working well. The
Stricklands bought the company with
fifty-two subscribers in 1945.
Brantley Telephone Company imme-
diately began to grow and improve as
they added operators and upgraded
the service.
The Stricklands have five chil-
dren: Dr. A. W. Strickland, Jane
Hinesley, Myra Hellemn, Arlene Bass
and Gail Tumlin. They have always
believed that a family that prays and
works together stays together, so all
the children became a part of the busi-
ness. In addition to their busy lives
with the family and operating
Brantley Telephone Company, the
Stricklands were very active in church
and community affairs.
Avery Strickland was honored
for his contributions to telephony and
his feUowman when he was inducted
into the Hall of Fame in 1985.
Henry Davis spent fifty years in
the telephone business after going to
work at the age of fourteen for M. C.
York, then owner of Standard
Telephone Company of Clarkesville,
Georgia. Davis's father owned a farm
and a good team of mules which
Henry used to haul poles for the tele-
phone company.
When Davis wasn't hauling
poles, he began to notice what the
linemen needed and have it ready
when called for. Based on the interest
and attention shown by Davis, York
decided to make a telephone man out
of him. At that time, there were few
telephone craftsmen of Davis' race.
He was a man with a simple
philosophyone that oftentimes
removed the color barrier that pre-
vailed for so much of his life. He
believed you should "treat people
nice, and they'll treat you nice. And if
they don't, that's somebody who
hasn't been raised right."
When H. M. Stewart purchased
Standard Telephone in 1939, Davis
was the only plant employee the com-
pany had. He carried a detailed map
of the entire system in his head and
knew the name, telephone number
and location of every subscriber. He
knew the crossarm pin numbers of
the subscriber line wires and the "per-
sonalities" of various telephone
instruments and their behavior pat-
Davis continued in general
plant installation until 1953 when be
was promoted to combination man.
He spent his last five years with the
company testing and repairing tele-
phone instruments.
When Davis retired from
Standard Telephone in 1967, he may
well have been the best known and
most highly respected man in
Habersham County. His work with
the telephone company took him into
nearly aU business places and most of
the homes throughout the county.
His personality and devotion to peo-
ple did the rest.
He was honored by being invit-
ed to be Grand Marshal of the
Mountain Laurel Parade, an annual
festival in his hometown of
Clarkesville, Georgia.
Davis was inducted into the
Peach State Chapter Hall of Fame in
1986 in recognition of a man who
took great pride in being a telephone
man, a devoted family man and a
good neighbor.
Jim Berry, bom October 17,
1932, spent most of his life in
Habersham County, Georgia. After
graduating from high school, he
attended the University of Georgia
and the Atlanta Business College
before entering the U. S. Navy in 1951
for a four-year tour of duty.
After completion of his military
obhgation, he returned to Cornelia
and married Jean Webster. They had
three childrenTim, Denise, and
Berry began his telephone career
at Standard Telephone Company in
1961 as a stock clerk. Over the years,
his ambition and abihties enabled him
to advance in the organization to the
position of director of traffic engineer-
ing. While working full-time, he
attended Piedmont College and
earned his B.A. degree in 1972. He
was always eager to attend industry-
related schools and training to aug-
ment his skill and knowledge.
Berry's co-workers remember
him as a generous, thoughtful indi-
vidual with a positive outlook and a
hvely sense of humor. During his
career at Standard Telephone, he was
named Employee of the Year in
recognition of his dedication, loyalty
and achievements.
H. M. Stewart, Sr., owner of
Standard Telephone Company, was
probably one of the most influential
people in Berry's life, and he strived
to emulate many of Mr. Stewart's out-
standing qualities.
Berry joined Contel in 1979 and
worked there until his retirement in
1988. During his tenure at Contel, he
was instrumental in organizing the
company's Pioneer Club.
He first became involved in pio-
neering as a charter member of the H.
M. Stewart, Sr. Pioneer Club. He was
totally devoted to the goals and objec-
tives of the organization and, in 1978,
was named Pioneer of the Year for his
service to the club.
At the state level, he served as
Peach State Chapter president and
secretary/treasurer. His enthusiasm
and dedication earned him the John
Knox Johnston Award, Peach State
Chapter Pioneer of the Year,
Pioneering Spirit Award, and numer-
ous certificates of appreciation. He
was the recipient of the chapter's
most coveted award when he was
inducted into the Peach State Hall of
Fame in 1986.
Talmadge Brazel's first experi-
ence in telephony came in 1939 when
he was offered a job constructing tele-
phone Unes for the Timber Protective
Organization (known today as the
Georgia Forestry). His first job was
constructing a line from Blyth Island
at Brunswick to a fire tower crossing
the Satilla River. In those days there
was no modem equipment to dig the
holes and set the poles, so it was all
done by hand. All anchor holes were
dug with a hand auger known as a
In October, 1939, Brazel
returned to his home in Moultrie and
began work for the Consohdated
Telephone Company, later known as
the Kirk Properties. The starting
salary was twenty-five cents per hour,
no pay for overtime, no paid vacation,
or any kind of fringe benefits. This
was considered good pay as first-class
carpenters and brick layers were
being paid ten cents per hour and you
were lucky if you had a job. He
vividly remembers his first day on the
job digging up existing poles, cutting
the sap or bark off and re-setting
In December, 1939, Brazel assist-
ed in cutting over the first automatic
switchboard in Coolidge from mag-
neto to dial. It was a ten-line Kellogg
Relaymatic with three-digit dialing.
At that time, the Moultrie district
served thirteen towns, some of which
had a paystation only. There were
less than 500 phones within the entire
Moultrie district and approximately
fifteen miles of lead cable.
In 1941, there were only four toll
circuits serving Moultrie. When
demand increased for more and bet-
ter service, two new circuits were
required from Moultrie to Albany.
Since most of the toll lines followed
the railroad right-of-way, everything
had to be carried in by manual labor.
To accomplish this, a mule was rent-
ed from one of the two stables in
Moultrie. The mule pulled poles and
cross arms to the job site and then
pulled the two circuits at the same
time using a running board. It cost
one dollar per day to rent and feed
the mule.
In the early part of 1950, during
a great sleet storm that struck many
northern states, Brazel assisted in
restoring service to thousands of cus-
tomers along the Mississippi Valley in
Illinois. It wasn't easy for a Georgia
boy accustomed to eighty-degree
weather to change overnight to fifteen
degrees below zero.
Brazel has taken part in the
industry's technology evolution from
the one-wire grounded system with
magneto switchboard and phones to
the most complex communications
systems. He had a part in bringing
telephone service to towns that had
never had a telephone exchange,
some of which began with a ten-line
Over the years, he has served in
many capacities. As construction
foreman, his work crew did their own
engineering, construction, installation
and maintenance. When they would
cut an exchange from magneto to
common battery, they would discon-
nect the magneto, cut a condenser in
one side of the ringer and use the
same phones. The first plastic cable
(900 pair non-color coded) cable was
installed in Moultrie during his
career. He would later install the first
color-coded cable and the first
stalpeth cable in Moultrie.
Talmadge's love for people led
him into community service and local
politics. He has devoted many years
to helping handicapped citizens and,
together with others, built a center for
the handicapped from an old wooden
building with six children and one
volunteer to a modem facility with a
full-time staff.
He is also dedicated to pioneer-
ing and has held offices in his local
club and the Peach State Ghapter. He
became a life member of ITPA in 1982
after completing forty-nine years in
the telephone industry and was Peach
State Chapter Pioneer of the Year in
1980. While president of the Peach
State Chapter, Talmadge shared his
formula for success in pioneering: "It
only takes one," which means that it
only takes one pioneer to say, "I'll do
it" or "If it is to be, it's up to me," and
then personally ask others to pitch in
and help. Talmadge demonstrated
this commitment to pioneering over
and over again.
Because of Brazel's affinity for
antique telephone equipment and his
love of the telephone business, he has
been involved in many projects to
preserve the telephone industry's her-
itage. He restored and installed a pre-
1900 telephone system at the Georgia
Agrirama Development Authority
Park in Tifton and helped set up other
antique telephone displays in the
Talmadge Brazel, tmly a tele-
phone pioneer in the state of Georgia,
was named to the Peach State
Chapter Hall of Fame in 1987.
Charlie Joe Mathews attended
Statesboro High School, graduating
in 1934. He spent a year at Georgia
Teachers College before transferring
to the Georgia Institute of
Technology where he graduated in
1940 with a degree in Electrical
His career with Statesboro
Telephone Company spans sixty
years beginning at age twelve as chief
water boy for the hnemen. Climbing
the poles looked more interesting
than the ground work, so he moved
on to that position. He worked sum-
mers at the telephone company until
he graduated from Georgia Tech.
After graduating from college,
Mathews returned to Statesboro
Telephone as vice president and chief
engineer until 1942 when he volun-
teered for military service during
World War II. He received his com-
mission into the Navy and was chief
engineer on a destroyer escort. In
1946, Lieutenant Mathews was dis-
charged from the Navy and returned
to Statesboro Telephone Company
where he served as president of the
Mathews married Jean Smith
on March 14,1948, and they have
three children: Charlie Bland (who
married Susan Swicord), Harry Smith
(who married Alice McCann) and Joe
Edward (who married Beth Proctor).
They have six grandchildren: Joe
Edward Mathews, Jr., Eugenia Ann
Mathews, Harry Smith Mathews, Jr.,
Charhe Bland Mathews, Jr., Allen
McCann Mathews and Pratt Edward
In 1983, Mathews became chair-
man of the board of directors.
Coincident with this move, his son,
Harry, was named president and son.
Joe, was appointed vice president of
the business office. Two years later,
son, Charlie, became vice president of
data processing.
He retired from Statesboro
Telephone Company in 1992 when
the company merged with Rochester
Telephone Company.
Mathews has been a member of
the Statesboro Jaycees, serving on
their board of directors; the
Statesboro Rotary Club, serving on
their board of directors; the American
Legion; and the Statesboro-BuUoch
Chamber of Commerce, serving on
their board of directors.
He is a member and deacon of
First Baptist Church and a director
for the First Banking Company of
Southeast Georgia. He has been a
member of the Georgia Southern
Foundation since its beginning and
has served on its board of directors
and is also a Mason.
The Georgia Telephone
Association has benefitted from
Mathews' knowledge of the tele-
phone industry as he has been a
prominent member and active leader
for many years. He served as direc-
tor and president of the Association.
Charlie Joe Mathews was
inducted into the Peach State Chapter
Hall of Fame in 1989 by his peers
who admire and respect him for his
special role in Georgia telephony.
From his birth, James Perry
Gleaton was destined to be a tele-
phone pioneer. His grandparents,
Benjamin and Lula Gleaton, installed
the first magneto telephone in Doles,
Georgia, running a Hne from their
home to the farm of Lula's parents. A
second line was strung to the com-
missary where Ben worked; they pur-
chased a Western Electric switch-
board from Montgomery Ward; and
they were in the telephone business.
In 1913, the switchboard was
moved to their son Henry's home.
With the help of a hired operator,
Henry and his wife, Eliza, provided
service until 10:00 p.m. each evening.
The following year their son, James
Perry Gleaton, was bom. The family
continued to operate the telephone
exchange until 1919 when they
moved to Warwick, Georgia.
In 1928, the Gleatons purchased
the inoperative Warwick Telephone
Company, consisting of one Western
Electric No. 1240D switchboard and
about twenty-three telephones, and
James Perry began his telephone
Upon graduation from high
school in 1933, Gleaton continued to
work with the Warwick exchange,
did contract work and was later fully
employed by Southern Bell
Telephone Company in Albany.
After his marriage in 1935, he trans-
ferred with the Bell Company to
Albany, Camilla, and Tifton. He con-
tinued to be involved in the family
telephone and power operations.
In 1946, the Gleaton family pur-
chased Omega Telephone Company
and changed the compan/s name to
Plant Telephone Company because
the exchange was located in the
starter plant capital of the world. In
1949, an exchange was constructed in
Lenox, and Tifton was chosen for the
company's headquarters.
Hemy Perry Gleaton died in
1949 leaving the operation of the tele-
phone and power business to his wife
and son. After much dehberation,
Jimmy Gleaton left the BeU Company
to mn the Warwick Power and
Telephone Company and Plant
Telephone Company.
In 1950, Gleaton purchased the
Pearson and Willacoochee Telephone
Company from A. E. Fender for one
doUar cash in hand and assumption
of two notes. This purchase included
129 telephones, one switchboard, all
of the poles, telephone lines, wires.
cross arms, underground cables and
all fixtures of the company.
One year later. Plant Telephone
and Power Company was incorporat-
ed to operate electric power distribu-
tion facihties and telephone service in
Warwick and telephone exchanges in
Omega, Lenox, Pearson and
WiUacoochee. This incorporation
allowed the company to obtain fund-
ing to improve and expand its sys-
Between 1954 and 1956, Gleaton
purchased the Pinehurst exchange,
the Soperton Telephone Company
and the Denton Rural Telephone
Company. In 1960, a tower was erect-
ed for mobile telephone and paging
Gleaton's business acumen
brought about another business ven-
ture in 1961 when he joined with sev-
eral other businessmen to establish
Southern Telephone Supply
Company. Located in Atlanta, this
center would allow small telephone
companies to purchase cable, wire,
phones and other telecommunica-
tions equipment in smaller quantities
and realize the larger quantity price.
During the '70s, the company merged
with Buckeye Supply Company and
was later purchased by ALLTEL
Supply, a major distributor of
telecommunications eqmpment and
materials nationwide.
Gleaton successfully guided the
development of his company as it
progressed to computers, expanded
its toll facilities, and converted to one-
party service.
When Gleaton died in 1978, he
had spent a lifetime in the telephone
business achieving much success. He
was honored in 1989 with induction
into the Peach State Chapter Hall of
Like many of the telephone
industry's outstanding women, Doris
Stephens began as a switchboard
operator. She was employed by
Standard Telephone Company in
Clarkesville, Georgia, in March, 1950.
Welcoming challenges and readily
accepting responsibihty, it was natur-
al that she would capitalize on the
constant flow of opportunities that
came her way.
Following conversion of the
Clarkesville exchange to dial opera-
tion, Stephens was transferred to the
Cornelia exchange as assistant chief
She advanced to cashier in the
business office, general office recep-
tionist, commercial supervisor, direc-
tor of commercial operations, manag-
er of the service bureau and customer
service coordinator and was responsi-
ble for customer service training and
served as the compan/s liaison with
the Georgia Public Service
Her slate of accomphshments is
long and her devotion to pioneering
is untiring. Stephens was a key orga-
nizer of the H. M. Stewart, Sr. Pioneer
Club and served as its charter presi-
dent. Her quiet, unassuming and
productive leadership style has been
effectively applied to pioneering
activities at the state level. She has
served as president and director of
the Peach State Chapter. In 1983, she
was honored as Pioneer of the Year in
the state of Georgia.
In due time, Stephens was elect-
ed to the official board of the ITPA
where her talents and capabihties
were quickly recognized and put to
work. She served as chairman of the
awards committee, chairman of the
planning committee before being
elected second vice president. In
1985, she became president of ITPA
and set about promoting the goals
and objectives of pioneering across
the country. During her tenure many
new clubs were formed and member-
ship increased. Under her direction,
the organization surpassed its pledge
to St. Jude's Children's Hospital,
which was chosen as the national pro-
Inducted into the Peach State
Chapter Hall of Fame in 1990,
Stephens became the first and, so far,
the only woman to be so honored.
H. C. Bond was born June 6,
1906. The son of Hiram Columbus
and Bessie Marie Moore, he was
raised in Macon, Georgia. After his
education, he worked at the Terminal
Station in Macon and in 1927, he
moved to Reynolds and began his
telephone career. He married Mintie
Theus in 1932, and they had two chil-
dren, Don and Barbara.
Bond was second generation
telephone. His father purchased the
Roberta Telephone Company and
later added the surrounding towns of
Reynolds, Butler, Culloden, and
Lizella. AH were incorporated under
the name of Public Service Telephone
Company in 1954.
During the 1930s, much of
Bond's time was spent changing the
"grounded" circuits to "metallic" to
eliminate the noise generated by the
new electric co-op lines made possible
by the advent of the Rural
Electrification Administration pro-
The war years brought a short-
age of employees, so during daylight
hours everyone had to work in the
office and at night they worked the
Bond spent the 1950s obtaining
REA financing and completely rebuilt
the system. He replaced the "magne-
to" equipment with "dial" equip-
ment, extended service into the rural
areas and rebuilt the toU facilities.
ITuring his lifetime. Bond was a
member of the Georgia Telephone
Association, USTA, and various com-
munity, civic and rehgious organiza-
tions and was very active in the Eirst
Baptist Church of Reynolds where he
served as Sunday School teacher,
Simday School director, deacon and
superintendent of deacons.
H. C. Bond became the fifteenth
member of the Hall of Eame in 1991
when he was honored by the Peach
State Chapter.
Hoke Jones was bom in Blue
Ridge, Georgia, in 1907. He attended
higli school in Ohio and received hon-
ors and degrees in electtonics from
the Ohio Electrical College.
He owned and operated Jones
Vending Company in Blue Ridge
prior to purchasing Blue Ridge
Telephone Company in 1953. He con-
tinued to operate both businesses
until his death in 1986.
His dream was to see Blue
Ridge Telephone become one of the
best independently owned companies
in Georgia. He loved the people who
lived in this remote part of the state
and knew the growth and develop-
ment of this area depended in large
part on having access to the world via
the telephone.
Before he died, he dedicated
himself to the task of building the
company from 400 subscribers to over
6,000 subscribers. He sought REA
financing to assist in upgrading tele-
phone facilities. As communications
technology evolved in the industry,
Jones took advantage of the advance-
ments to improve service for his cus-
Fannin County customers were
some of the first to have access to dig-
ital switching technology.
Jones embarked on another ven-
ture to enhance the life of the commu-
nity in 1968 when he began building a
cable TV company. At this time, the
residents could only receive two
channels of poor quaUty on their tele-
Generously giving his time and
financial assistance, he supported
many worthwhile endeavors in the
community. The Mineral Springs
Center for Mentally Handicapped
Children and Adults was the ftuition
of Jones' efforts to estabhsh a school
for Fannin County's mentally handi-
capped citizens. He bought bonds
and raised money to build the Fannin
Regional Hospital. His position on
the boards of the Fannin County Bank
and the Ducktown Banking Company
(Tennessee) enabled him to aid his
fellow citizens with loans to build
homes and open businesses. And as
justice of the peace for fourteen years,
he expedited solutions for the prob-
lems experienced by residents of the
Jones faithfully supported the
work of his church by tifhing. Two
days before his death he gave a large
amount of money to purchase vans,
pave the driveway and expand the
church's building.
A longtime employee of Blue
Ridge Telephone praised Jones for the
lessons he learned from him and for
his abihty to run the company effi-
ciently and to help the community as
well. He said, "This telephone com-
pany and our community gained
much from the wisdom of Mr. Jones."
Hoke Thomas Jones was hon-
ored with induction into the Peach
State Chapter Hall of Fame in 1992 in
recognition of his fhirty-three years of
service to the independent telephone
industry and for his love for and
devotion to the people of Fannin
James L. Kirk, II, grandson of
James Lawrence Kirk, is a third gener-
ation telephone man. Bom in
Thomaston, Georgia, he grew up in
Carthage, Illinois. While attending
school, he spent his spare time work-
ing for the telephone company owned
by his family.
After receiving an accounting
degree from Horida Southern
College, he accepted a position as
general manager of the Mississippi
Valley Telephone Company in
Carthage, Illinois. One year later, he
moved to Florida as chief accoimtant
for a television station and worked
there until 1956. That year he relocat-
ed to Moultrie, Georgia, as vice presi-
dent of Consohdated Telephone
Company, a company originally
owned and operated by Jim's grand-
father, James L. Kirk.
In addition to his responsibili-
ties as vice president of Consolidated
Telephone Company, Jim Kirk
opened an accounting firm in
Moultrie and formed Kirk
Broadcasting, Inc. which operated
seven radio stations and a MUZAK
Before his retirement, Kirk sold
Consolidated Telephone Company
and Kirk Broadcasting, Inc. and
entered the Taco Bell fast food mar-
Kirk has worked diligently in
his local community supporting the
YMCA, Colquitt Regional Medical
Center, and the county library, to
name a few of the organizations that
have benefitted from his leadership.
For his exceptional contribu-
tions to the telephone industry, Kirk
was named to the Peach State
Chapter Hall of Fame in 1992.
Robert "Bob" Butler Alford was
born in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 3,
1908. Following graduation from
Tech High School in 1925, he was able
to pay his way through college with
his skills as an electrical worker.
Alford graduated with a B.S.E.E.
degree from Georgia Tech in 1932.
Shortly thereafter, he joined the elec-
trical department of the City of
Atlanta where he worked until his
appointment in 1934 as junior engi-
neer on the staff of the Georgia Public
Service Commission. Eollowing the
initial appointment, he performed
services as dictated by the
Commission in the investigation of
the services rendered by the public
utilities, together with rural electrifi-
cation surveys all over the state to
determine the economic feasibility of
fhe formation of rural elecfric co-ops.
In July, 1940, Alford married
Virginia Holmes, "the girl of his
dreams." Later that year, he volun-
teered for active duty in the Army
Reserve, where he had served as a
commissioned officer since 1932. His
initial assignment was assistant pro-
fessor of Military Science and Tactics
at Georgia Tech. Major Alford went
overseas in 1943 where he distin-
guished himself, earning several cam-
paign cifations during the various
campaigns in the European theater.
During the Normandy invasion
in June, 1944, Alford's son, Robert B.
Alford, Jr., was born. Alford was pro-
moted to Lieutenant Colonel before
departing for the United States in
November, 1945. Upon his return to
Atlanta, he rejoined the Georgia
Public Service Commission as a staff
engineer. He rendered valuable assis-
tance to the Commission's chief of
staff in analyzing the complex data
filed by utilities in connection with
rate applications and assisted in the
preparation of orders after the deci-
sions were reached by the
Commission. Alford's second child,
Gail, was born in 1947.
Alford became director of the
Utihties Division in July, 1957, and
directed the work of some fifty staff
members consisting of engineers, rate
analysts, and accounting administra-
tive personnel.
Alford was a member of two
important committees for the
National Association of Regulatory
Utility Commissioners (NARUC).
His work on the NARUC
Communications Committee
involved many studies of communi-
cation problems facing the telephone
companies throughout the nation.
In 1962, Governor Ernest
Vandiver appointed Alford to the
Board of Registration for Professional
Engineers and Land Surveyors where
he served for ten years. That same
year, he retired from the Army
Reserve with the rank of Colonel.
When Alford retired from the
Georgia Public Service Commission
on July 1,1974, he had spent forty-one
years helping transform the telephone
industry from simple magneto sta-
tions requiring dry cell batteries to
sophisticated telecommunications
As a registered professional
engineer and master electrician,
Alford affiliated with the Georgia
Society of Professional Engineers and
became a charter member of the
Georgia Engineering Society. The
Atlanta Chapter Armed Forces
Communications and Electronics
Association awarded him a citation in
1967. He is past Commander of the
American Legion and a 32 degree
Mason and Shriner.
He is a member of the Northside
Methodist Church where he served as
building superintendent for a number
of years following his retirement from
the GPSC.
Colonel Bob Alford, a giant
among Georgia's telephone pioneers,
was inducted into the Peach State
Chapter Hall of Fame in 1993.
Fred McGehee was born in
Tyler, Texas, and educated in the
Florida public school system, Georgia
Military Academy and the University
of Horida.
His career in the telephone
industry began in 1948 when he
joined West Florida Telephone
Company in Marianna, Florida, as
assistant manager and secretary/trea-
surer. In 1963, he was named presi-
dent and general manager of the com-
When West Florida Telephone
sold out to Continental Telephone
Corporation, McGehee relocated with
the company to Atlanta, Georgia. He
was CONTEL's vice president indus-
try affairs rmtil his retirement.
During his career, McGehee was
a visible and erudite personality in
telephone industry circles. He served
two terms as president of OPASTCO
and was one of the first lifetime mem-
bers of that organization. McGehee is
past president and honorary hfe
member of the Horida Telephone
McGehee is a former USTA
Board member and chairman of the
USTA traffic committee. In 1988, he
received the USTA Pacesetter Award
for "three decades of coordinating
and promoting the working relation-
ships among industry organizations
and associations...and for skill at
achieving 'consensus out of confu-
sion'." (Copied from TE&M,
November 15,1988.)
McGehee generously used his
talents to advance the principles and
spirit of Pioneering. He served on
numerous national ITPA committees,
including awards and membership,
and holds the position of director
emeritus on the national Board. And,
to develop corporate support and
pohdes on behalf of ITPA, McGehee
organized and served as chairman of
the Holding Company Council. ITPA
continues to reap the rewards of his
vision and dedication to this project.
The catalyst in chartering the
Charles R. Wohlstetter Pioneer Club,
McGehee served on the board and as
president during the club's transition.
Fred McGehee became the nine-
teenth member of the Hall of Fame in
1993 when he was honored for his
distinguished telephone career and
contributions to pioneering.
Bom in Georgetown, South
Carolina, in 1921, Tommy Smith
graduated from Seminole High
School in Sanford, Florida. At age
eighteen, he enlisted m the Florida
National Guard, and after one year,
he was mobilized into the U. S. Army
and sent to Ft. Benning, Georgia, to
train officer candidates. He was
shipped overseas to North Africa and
experienced combat duty at Anzio
Beachhead. Before returning to the
United States, he was sent to Rome
and Marsalles, France, for a beach-
head landing.
After an honorable discharge
from the Army, Smith worked for
United Enterprises, Inc. in Columbus,
Georgia. While visiting his wife's
home in Leslie, Georgia, in 1945, he
learned the LesUe-DeSoto Telephone
Company was for sale and purchased
the independent telephone exchange
with ninety-nine subscribers the fol-
lowing year.
Smith had a vision to make his
telephone properties a showplace and
to provide top quality telephone ser-
vice to his customers, so he proceeded
full steam ahead to realize his dream.
He rebuilt plant, improved switching
facilities, acquired Plains Telephone
Company and Vienna Telephone
Company and established an
exchange in Lake Blackshear.
Citizens Telephone was one of
the first rural companies to convert to
buried cable as they upgraded service
from eight-party to four-party and
finally to private lines. When extend-
ed area service became the hot issue.
Smith pushed forward to provide
county-wide FAS for Sumter County
in cooperation with Southern Bell and
later joined with three independent
telephone companies to bring FAS to
Dooly County.
Always on the leading edge of
technology. Smith's company utilizes
digital switching and expects to con-
nect all its central offices with fiber
facilities by 1994. Cable television is
another service now offered by
Citizens Telephone.
Smith's real challenge came in
1976 when Jimmy Carter, a native of
Plains and Citizens' most famous sub-
scriber, was elected President of the
United States. This was an unparal-
leled experience for a small indepen-
dent telephone company; however.
Smith and his staff at Citizens
Telephone met and exceeded all
expectations presented by this chal-
lenge. Nobody will ever know just
how hard it was to handle the White
House communications staff, the mul-
titudes of press and media and the
At the same time Smith was
steering his company through the
tumultuous times of growth, techno-
logical advancements, and deregula-
tion, he was also active in church and
community development. He is a
deacon and a faithful choir member at
Leslie Baptist Church.
Smith is one of the foremost
authorities on historical telephone
equipment. He has built a museum
in Leslie to house his extensive collec-
tion of telephones, switchboards and
other telephone memorabilia as a trib-
ute to "those who worked long and
hard to make the independent tele-
phone industry what it is today."
A member of ITPA since 1970
and a charter member of the Peach
State Chapter, Smith was awarded
life membership in 1986.
He has worked and supported
the Georgia Telephone Association
throughout his telephone career and
served as the Association's president
and director.
Following the death of his first
wife in a tragic boating accident.
Smith married Ruth King in 1965. His
children are: Claire D. Smith
Stapleton, Mary Gail Smith Ledger,
and Jessica Frances Smith Deriso.
Smith has witnessed the
breakup of AT&T and the Bell system
and saw an even stronger indepen-
dent industry emerge. He watched
carefully as the Federal
Communications Commission rede-
fined the industry's relationship with
customers' equipment and inside
wiring. He acted rapidly to deploy
new switching technologies. None of
these changes have caused him to
doubt what he considers the most
important aspect of the telephone
QUALITY SERVICE. As he frequent-
ly reminds his employees, "we can
give the customer something else oth-
ers cannot - hometown service."
The ITPA Peach State Chapter
honored Tommy C. Smith for his long
and distinguished career by inducting
him into the Hall of Fame in 1993.
The Peach State Chapter of ITPA is made up of individual
clubs sponsored by the telephone companies which have employed
the qualified, individual pioneers. Pioneer Clubs are fostered by
members who build a better world through their personal commit-
ment to the purposes and missions defined by the organization.
Briefly, we abstract some of Georgia's Pioneer Clubs.
Coastal Empire
Pioneer Club
The Coastal Empire Pioneer
Club was chartered in July, 1978, with
twenty-six members. Founding offi-
cers included Edward L. Haymans,
president; John Guhck, vice president;
Eugene Tanner, secretary; Frances
Stephens, treasurer; and directors
Charlotte Goff and D. L. Brett. The
club's sponsor is Coastal Utihties, Inc.
Over the next ten years. Coastal
Empire Pioneer Club took on various
projects and fund-raisers including,
but not limited to, bake sales, fruit
sales and fish fries. Proceeds were
used for memorials and love offerings
to fellow employees, Christmas gifts
to the Midway Nursing Home,
Liberty County Special Olympics, and
the local high school's Beta Club.
After a period of inactivity,
interest was renewed and in 1988 the
club undertook a project selling tele-
phone items from the Surrey Group.
Proceeds from this project assisted the
formation of the Liberty County
Abuse Shelter.
By 1989, the club was thriving.
They sponsored a German food booth
at the Oktoberfest and raised over
$300 to be sent to the Low Country
Pioneers in Hilton Head, South
Carolina, to assist people hit by
Hurricane Hugo. When an opportu-
nity arose the following year to sup-
port a member's son selected to tour
the Soviet Union, the club held a fish
A bike raffle sponsored by Coastal
Empire Club raises funds to be donat-
ed to the PAAAR project, a national
project to support Alzhiemers
fry to raise money for this worthwhile
That same year the club began
several projects which have since
become annual events. Among these
are the July Fest Fish and Shark
Tournament to aid the Cystic Fibrosis
Foundation, a softball tournament to
support various local charities, and a
quarterly trash pickup for Adopt-a-
In 1991, the club raised $300 for
the Alzheimer's Association, $1,200
for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, $600
for a family with a child with a heart
defect and $3,600 for various employ-
ees and their families.
The Pioneer Club funded a
$1,000 scholarship in 1992 for children
of Club members. In just one year's
time, the club set aside $15,000 to
fund the scholarship.
Club members tackled a signifi-
cant project in terms of manpower
(500 hours) and financial require-
ments in 1993 when they helped
sponsor their area's first Habitat for
Humanity home. That same year
they raffled a bike and raised $1,432
for PAAAR (a national project to sup-
port Alzheimer's Association).
Proceeds from the annual July Fest
surpassed previous years resulting in
a donation of $2,300 for Cystic
Fibrosis. Roimding out the year's
projects were a golf tournament to
fund a drug awareness program for
the local school system, $1,000 donat-
ed to the March of Dimes and local
4-H Club and $4,400 for various
employees and needy citizens in the
Members of the Coastal Empire
Pioneer Club anticipate that 1994 and
ensuing years will render many
opportunities to improve the quahty
of life for themselves and for their fel-
ACoastal Empire Pioneer Club members keep their
community clean and attractive.

Pioneer Club
The Dixieland Telephone
Pioneer Club was established at an
organizational meeting held at the
Willow Lake Golf Club on September
6,1985. The charter meeting was
held in honor of H. M. Stewart, Sr., of
Standard Telephone Company,
Cornelia, Georgia, and was presided
over by Mary Searson Hodges of
Pineland Telephone Cooperative,
Metter. Charter officers and directors
Mary Searson Hodges, President
Harold McCranie, President Elect
Catherine Barrs, First Vice President
Walt Corbett, Second Vice President
Shirley Hearn, Corresponding
Ruth Thigpen, Recording Secretary
Brenda Scott, Treasurer
A. M. (Ben) Bennett,Chairman
Charlie J. Mathews
Fred Hodges
Ivey B. Beardslee
C. E. (Ed) Mullis
Harry H. White
Ernest R. Austin
Blanche Roberts
Wilham N. (Bill) Taylor
Raymond Kemmerli
Eugene R. Britt
George H. Lane
Betty Gleaton
H. C. Hearn, Jr.
Woodrow Leonard
Earl D. Kidd
Dixieland Telephone Pioneer
Club on May 20,1988, presented char-
ters to the North Georgia Mountain
Telephone Pioneer Club (founding
president, John Harrison) and on May
26 to the Flint River Telephone
Pioneer Club (founding president,
Beverlyn Bond). In July, 1988, mem-
bers gave assistance in chartering
Ringgold Telephone Pioneer Club
and Progressive Pioneer Club at
Rentz. These four clubs represented a
total of approximately 150 new
Pioneer members. Mary Searson
Hodges was a key organiz-
er of these new clubs, and
m 1989 she became the
happy recipient of the pres-
tigious John Knox Johnston
Regional Pioneer of the
Year Award.
Dixieland Telephone Pioneer
Club has ten member telephone com-
panies in southeast Georgia which
include Brantley Telephone Company
(Nahunta), Bulloch Telephone
Cooperative, Darien Telephone
Company, Pembroke Telephone
Company, Pineland Telephone
Cooperative (Metter), Planters
Telephone Cooperative (Newington),
Progressive Telephone Cooperative
(Dubhn), Statesboro Telephone
Company and Hearn Corp. (Claxton).
The club grew from 168 members in
1986 to a membership of 217 in 1990.
Since its inception, the Dixieland
Club has received many service
awards for its good works. Among
its many worthwhile projects, the
Dixieland Club members have
worked long hours generating funds
for the National Alzheimer's
Foimdation and St. Jude Children's
Research Hospital.
From the program of the charter
meeting of the club are taken the fol-
lowing words: "Today's Pioneer
seeks to preserve the history, tradi-
tion, and ideals of Independent tele-
phony and to promote this objective
in the minds and hearts of present
and future generations." As proven
through its meritorious accomphsh-
ments, the Dixieland Telephone
Pioneer Club indeed carries on the
proud heritage of independent tele-
A Mary Searson Hodges, key organizer of the Dixieland Telephone
Pioneer Club and other clubs in the state.
Flint River
Pioneer Clul)
The Flint River Pioneer Club was chartered May
26,1988, by the Citizens Telephone Company, Inc., :
Waverly Flail Telephone Company, Inc. and Public
Service Telephone Company. The Dixieland Pioneer
Club of Metter, Georgia, was instrumental in the organi-
zation of the club. Beverlyn Bond was the charter presi- .
dent of the club.
Greater Atlanta
Pioneer Club
Charles Wohlstetter
Pioneer Club
In March 1986, Don Weber,
president and chief executive officer
of Contel Corporation, gave approval
to Fred McGehee, Contel corporate
vice president of industry affairs, to
form a committee to organize a
Pioneer Club for Contel corporate
headquarters in Atlanta.
At that time, there were already
a number of active Pioneer Clubs
within the Contel system. Through
McGehee's efforts, twelve additional
clubs were formed throughout the
Contel system.
The following people served on
the organizing committee:
Larry Day, Customer Services
Tom Ask, Human Resources
Tom Gimbert, Contel Cellular
Carolyn Holt, IRM
Martin Jackson, Treasurer
Jim Miller, DCRIS
Brenda Shaw, CBM
Reiner Gerdes, Contel Labs
Fred McGehee, ITPA Coordinator
Harry Sadler, Network Services
Billy Williams, Marketing
Harry Sadler was selected to
chair the committee throughout the
organizational stage, and member-
ship solicitation was begun. By April,
eighty-eight applications had been
received. In honor of Contel's chair-
person and co-founder, the club was
named the Charles Wohlstetter
Pioneer Club. Billy G. Williams was
selected charter president. Other offi-
cers were: Larry Day, vice president;
Carolyn Holt, secretary/treasurer;
and Fred McGehee, Martin Jackson,
Larry Ash, Dave Rowley, Judy RoUe
and Brenda Shaw, directors.
The Charles Wohlstetter Pioneer
Club was issued a charter on June 1,
1986, in Atlanta, as part of the
National Independent Telephone
Pioneer Association. The original
charter was established with 111
members with figures swelling to
over 300 members, including Future
Since its inception, the club has
been involved in many activities,
Atlanta food bank program
Magazine drives
Membership drives
Atlanta Union Mission
Battered women's shelter
Annual Monte Carlo night
Served Thanksgiving and Christmas
Hurricane relief funds
Book sales
Festival of Trees
ALS Association of Georgia, Inc.
Big Brother/Big Sister organization
Home tours-American Cancer Society
Clothing drive
Charter banquet
'50s theme dance
St. Judes Hospital
Hunger walk
Blanket drives
Earthquake funds
Christmas gift shop
Alzheimers program
Eagle Ranch work day
The Earning for Learning
Georgia Public Television pledges
Dogwood Pestival
The Pioneer Club and its mem-
bers have received numerous awards
from both the National ITPA and
Peach State Chapter.
In conjunction with the
Contel/GTE merger in 1990, the
club's board of directors and mem-
bership approved changing the name
of the club to expand the club's per-
ception and scope in the Atlanta area
and encourage Pioneers both inside
and outside the merged company to
join the club.
A "Name the Club" contest pro-
duced the new name, the Greater
Atlanta Pioneer Club, to become
effective April 15,1991, in concert
with the Contel/GTE merger.
The company's transition, reas-
signments, relocations and resigna-
tions had a great impact on the club's
membership. The club became inac-
tive despite an effort to keep the club
alive by naming Pred McGehee,
retired, as interim president.
After the merger was complete,
the Greater Atlanta Pioneer Club
requested and received GTE's sup-
port and began efforts to reorganize
as the first Pioneer Club in a non-tele-
phone operation (specifically non-reg-
ulated). In November, 1991, Pred
McGehee announced that faiUng
health prohibited him from continu-
ing as interim president. He request-
ed that Billy Williams, retired, func-
tion as president of the club and that
Jerry Gordon, an active GTE employ-
ee, be secretary/treasurer.
As of December 31,1993, the
Greater Atlanta Pioneer Club
remained inactive with a membership
of thirty-five.
On May 20,1988, the North
Georgia Mountain Pioneer Club was
formed with forty-two charter mem-
bers. The members were employed
by Blue Ridge Telephone Company,
Ellijay Telephone Company,
Fairmount Telephone Company and
Nelson-Ball Ground Telephone
Company. The Dixieland Pioneer
Club of Metter, Georgia, sponsored
the formation of the new club, with
Mary Watson Searson spearheading
the organization efforts. The charter
officers of the club were President
John Harrison, Vice President Jim
Long, Secretary Gwendolyn
McArthur, Treasurer Frances Carson,
and Chaplain Voncel Gregory.
Unity Pioneer Club sells hot dogs
to raise money for Alzheimers
Pioneer Club
A Unity Pioneer Club donates a check to benefit
a worthwhile cause.
General Telephone Company of
Moultrie petitioned the National
ITPA office to charter a Pioneer Club.
Approx-imately fifty General
Telephone employees held their orga-
nizational meeting on January 9,1976,
and Ronald Beatty, key organizer,
The organizers voted unani-
mously to name the club the Pinetree
Pioneer Club. Charter officers of the
club were President Ronald Beatty,
Vice President J. S. Livingston,
Secretary/Treasurer Elizabeth Pilcher
and Directors Marjorie Henderson, J.
C. Hadsock, Vernon Barker, James
Morgan and Jimmy Yarbrough.
Unity Pioneer Club
The Unity Pioneer Club was
organized March 27,1986, by employ-
ees of ALLTEL Georgia, Inc. in
Commerce, Comer, Byron, and Cairo.
Jean Mize was the catalyst in the
organizational stage of the club which
was inaugurated with forty-seven
charter members.
Doris Stephens, past president
of ITPA, installed officers and direc-
tors for the club. Charter officers
were President Troy Seagraves, Vice
President Dorothy Jean Mize,
Treasiuer Virginia McClure, Secretary
Debra Worley and Directors Ronald
Allen, Wilham R. Lee, Jr., Juanita
Brown and Charles White.
Quarterly meetings are
designed to promote cohesiveness
among the club's members who are
spread statewide. Each group spon-
sors a social gathering with a confer-
ence call included to participate in the
fuU business session. This has been
very effective for the club.
The Unity Pioneer Club's annu-
al projects include hot dog sales, a
golf tournament and raffles. Proceeds
are donated to food banks, senior citi-
zens and the Alzheimer's disease
Members of this energetic club
are making a vital difference in the
quality of life in their communities as
they reach out to help those in need.
H.M. Stewart Sr.
Pioneer Club
In 1974, the first Pioneer club in
the state of Georgia was formed.
Thirty-three employees of
Standard Telephone Company signed
the original petition to organize. The
club was named the H. M. Stewart,
Sr. Pioneer Club in honor of the
owner of Standard Telephone.
Since its inception, the club has
been very active in the community by
helping those in need. Some of these
projects include donations of money,
food and clothing, nursing home pro-
grams, annual Christmas party for the
mentally disabled and annual schol-
arship awarded to a deserving high
school senior. The club has been rec-
ognized at the state and national level
on numerous occasions for communi-
ty service.
bers have served as president of the
Peach State Chapter, and Doris
Stephens has held the highest honor
as national president of ITPA.
T Intellectually disabled children enjoy
the annual Christmas party sponsored by
the H. M. Stewart, Sr. Club.
In 1977, employees of Standard
Telephone organized a future pioneer
club for people not yet eligible for
ITPA. Named the Bruce Williams
Future Pioneer Club in honor of a
Standard Telephone employee who
passed away sudden-
ly in May, 1977, it
was the first of its
kind in the indepen-
dent system. In 1993,
the club merged with
the H. M. Stewart, Sr.
Pioneer Club.
Company's support
of the H. M. Stewart,
Sr. Pioneer Club
allows the club's pio-
neering efforts to
grow each year to become a bigger,
better and stronger influence within
the community.
Helping senior citizens is a major emphasis of the H. M. Stewart, Sr. Club.
The club has also served as a
leader in pioneering. Several mem-
A A swing for wheel chairs installed in a local parit by the H. M. Stewart, Sr.
Pioneer Club.
The Georgia Public Service Commission
Relating to Funtlions ol Georgia Public Service Contiitission in the Regulation Thereof
Pursuant to Act 5 of the Slate Legislature.
The Georgia Public Service
Commission (GPSC) is
responsible for regulating
intrastate telecommunica-
tions, trucking, electric and
gas industries operating in the
state of Georgia. It is formed
of five elected commissioners.
matic telephone dialing and
announcement devices, radio
common carriers (such as
pagers and radio telephones).
The Commission does
not have regulatory authority
over cable television or cellu-
lar service.
Its role is to see that the
reasonable and adequate
needs of the consumer are
met without preventing the
provider from earning a fair
return on investment.
The Communications
Committee, one of four stand-
ing committees, oversees the
following (of which the GPSC
has legislative jurisdiction):
telephone companies, auto-
A Former Commissioner Ford Spinks IGPSCl at opening of Agrirama.
By legislative action, the
Commission is authorized to
issue orders, hear appeals,
and, when necessary, institute
court proceedings to enforce
its decisions, rules and regula-
In recent years the
Commission has been
absorbed in some degree of
conflict and controversy,
including what many feel is a
lack of proper funds to per-
form their responsibilities.
Attempts have been made to
usher in reform and legisla-
tive action, but with the sup-
port of consumer advocates
and others they have with-
stood such action.
In 1993, former state
Representative Bill Dover was
appointed executive director.
The Commissioners expect
that Dover will bring with
him an integrity, experience
and fairness that will improve
efficiency and morale as well
as use his political savvy to
convey to critics an accurate
and improved image of the
Georgia Public Service
Regular Georgia Public
Service Commission adminis-
trative sessions are held on
the first and third Tuesday of
each month in the Hearing
Room of their offices located
at 244 Washington Street, SW,
Atlanta, Georgia. All
Commission meetings and
sessions are open to the gen-
eral public.
Presently serving the
state on the Georgia Public
Service Commission are:
Mac Barber, Chairman
Robert B. (Bobby) Baker,
Bob Durden
Robert C. (Bobby) Pafford
Robert A. (Bobby) Rowan
Retired from the
Georgia Pubhc Service
Commission staff after forty-
one years of service. Colonel
Bob Alford has long had an
interest and concern for pre-
serving the history of our
industry and the role of the
At the 1993 Georgia
Telephone Convention the
Peach State Chapter of the
ITPA conveyed upon him its
highest honor when they
inducted him into the Hall of
He was a contributor to
Arms Across Georgia and was
one of the first to offer his col-
lection of historical informa-
tion to this effort.
No one is more qualified
to present the historical
review of the Georgia Public
Service Commission than
Bob. It is with that thought in
mind that he was invited to
contribute to this publication.
See nPA Hall of Fame, Pioneer Profiles,
Robert Butler Alford
hy Colonel R. B. "Bob" Alford
The Georgia Legislature
created the Railroad
Commission of Georgia in
1879. The Commission was
composed of three members,
serving six-year terms
appointed by the Governor
and confirmed by the Senate
for the purpose of regulating
railroad freight and passenger
rates. In 1891, jurisdiction
was broadened to include
telegraph and express compa-
nies. In 1906, the Legislature
amended the original Act to
provide for statewide general
election rather than appoint-
ment. In 1907, the number of
members was increased from
three to five and included reg-
ulations to encompass street
railways, cotton compresses,
telephone, gas and power com-
panies and jurisdiction over
issuance of stocks and bonds
by companies.
In 1922, the Legislature
changed the name of the
Railroad Commission of
Georgia to Georgia Public
Service Commission. In
1925, jurisdiction extended to
cover motorbuses and track-
less trolleys.
In 1927, Eugene
Talmadge, Commissioner of
Agriculture, took a great
interest in the welfare of the
farmers and learning about
some of the many problems
facing everyone living in the
rural area, ] such as lack of
communications, electric
power and many other prob-
lems facing the rural families
as a result of the Great
Depression. Banks did not
have sufficient funds to make
loans to farmers to pay taxes,
purchase equipment required
and for other purposes. In
fact, many banks failed caus-
ing some families to become
destitute. Those who sur-
vived made their problems
known to "Gene" Talmadge
who listened to their many
difficulties. Those families
having telephone service
found service to be terrible
from the companies serving
the area with the old single-
hne magneto systems. Also,
rates were high, in their opin-
ion, for multi-party service
with some hnes having from
eight to fifteen subscribers.
Transmission was poor;
operators in central offices
slow to answer; or there was
no answer at all due to line or
central office problems.
Request for relief failed due to
inability, for various reasons,
of companies to perform or
lack of regulatory authority of
the Public Service
During the period 1929-
33, road conditions presented
additional problems.
Talmadge found out that peo-
ple living in cities were also
experiencing similar difficul-
ties with other utilities pro-
viding electric, rail and bus
service. With all this informa-
tion,Talmadge found enough
support to get elected
Governor and took office in
During the summer of
1933, Governor Talmadge
held a hearing in the state
capitol to inquire why the
Commission, then constitut-
ed, couldn't reduce rates for
electric and telephone service,
also why improved service
couldn't be provided.
Commissioners testified that
rates could not be reduced
because the utility companies
were not earning a fair rate of
return, whereupon all of the
Commissioners (James A.
Perry,Gwinnett County;
Walter R. McDonald,
Richmond County; Perry
Knight, Barrien County; Jule
Felton, Macon County; Albert
Woodruff, Dekalb County)
were fired in early July, 1933,
and were replaced by citizens

reduced and utility service
The following new
Commissioners were sworn
in and took office on July 21,
Jud P. Wilhoit, Chairman,
Warren County
J. M. Forrester, Secretary
George L. Goode,
Franklin County
Thomas K. Davis,
Thomas County
James B. Daniel,
Troup County;
Ben T. Huiet,
Fulton County.
It was a matter of com-
mon knowledge that the
country as a whole was in the
midst of a business depres-
sion without parallel within
the experience of the present
generation. The U. S. govern-
ment was entering upon the
widest experimentation in an
effort to reheve the distressed
conditions. A large portion of
our population was without
employment and means of
supplying the barest necessi-
ties of life. The purchasing
power of the consuming pub-
lic was practically gone and
industry generally was in a
state of well-nigh collapse and
prostration. Information
relating to the utility situation
in Georgia indicated to the
new Commission that the
public was either abandoning
or curtailing service with the
result that most, if not all, the
utilities faced diminishing
The new Commission
mindful of its obligation as a
regulatory body, and the need
for utility service at the best
available standard, at fair and
reasonable rates, under the
comprehensive investigations
of rates, charges and services
of the utility companies under
its jurisdiction, took action
pursuant to authority within
its power. (Code Section
93211; 93307; 93310,93311
and 93316.) Therefore, on
August 3,1933, the Commis-
sion issued its Rule Nisi to all
telephone companies operat-
ing under its jurisdiction to
show cause why all local and
long distance rates on tele-
phone service should not be
reduced and all extra charges,
by whatever name may be
called, be reduced and/or
The investigation under
this Rule Nisi was begun on
September 12,1933, and as
the investigation progressed,
orders were issued reducing
the monthly charges for hand-
set or french-type telephones
from fifty cents to fifteen cents
monthly, effective October 20,
1933, and extra charges for
desk set equipment, an order
reducing the installation
charges for individual line
service from $3 to $2 on
November 1,1933; an order
reducing the extra exchange
mileage charge from sixty-
five cents to forty cents per
month per quarter mile; and a
general subscriber's station
rate order reducing subscriber
station service effective
December 1,1933. The reduc-
tions under the general order
were made upon local
exchange basis and amounts
to a reduction of approxi-
mately 20 percent to individ-
ual telephone subscribers.
Note: Separate orders
were issued after hearing on
each company.
Note: Southern Bell
service for Atlanta reduced
individual line residential
rates from $5 to $3.50 and
business rate individual line
from $10 to $7.50. (Note:
Atlanta was served by both
Southern Bell and Atlanta
Telephone Company in the
early '20s, requiring most
business houses to have two
telephones to be able to make
and receive calls.)
Following hearings on
telephone companies, the
Commission issued Rule Nisi
on Georgia Power Company
to show cause why electric
A Members of the 1959 Georgia Public Service Commission.
rates should not be reduced.
Hearings were held and after
testimony by expert witness-
es, reductions were ordered
for both residential and com-
mercial service including ser-
vice for water heating.
Georgia was served by three
major electric utilities at this
All gas companies serv-
ing Georgia customers like-
wise received orders to
reduce rates after public hear-
The Commission gave
equal treatment to express,
telegraph and railroads, all of
which required a staff of com-
petent engineers, accountants,
inspectors and clerical forces.
During the late '20s and
early '30s, the Commission's
staff consisted of a rate expert
with a secretary. It became
obvious that additional staff
would be required by the
newly appointed
Commissioners and a quali-
fied secretary to produce and
issue all orders. The
Commission's new chairman.
Honorable Jud P. Wilhoit of
Warrenton, began a search for
a qualified engineer having
experience in fhe telephone,
electric and gas utilities
industry. Curtis A. Mees and
N. Knowles Davis (a Georgia
Tech graduate) began to orga-
nize a technical staff to do the
research necessary to perform
at official hearings giving tes-
timony, cross examination of
witnesses, and preparation of
orders after Commission's
consideration of all the evi-
dence presented at hearings.
This was a gigantic task con-
sidering aU telephone, gas
and electric utilities subject to
jurisdiction of the
During the Tahnadge
campaign for Governor dur-
ing 1933, he heard hundreds
of complaints by citizens over
the state concerning not only
the poor quality of felephone
and electric service, the cost of
service and nothing was
being done for the public by
the Commission in office at
the time. It should be remem-
bered, too, that the Great
Depression existed and not
only did the public lack funds
to pay existing bills, the situa-
tion was complicated by the
fact that the utilities were hav-
ing difficulty in obtaining
funds from banks to properly
maintain systems and even
more difficulty in obtaining
funds for new facilities.
satisfactory and I was
placed under supervi-
sion of the
Commission's chief
engineer. It was soon
discovered that there
was no equipment
suitable for testing
telephone lines and
central office facilities
or any test equipment
for electric or gas facil-
ities used by utilities.
Therefore, I was given
the task of ordering
such test instruments
required to adequately
perform this mission and
report to the Commission
results for necessary action.
A Bob Alford (GPSC) at
Fitzgerald Cutover.
By December, 1933,
Governor Talmadge began a
search for a qualified young
engineer to investigate the
hundreds of complaints in his
office and asked the City of
Atlanta Superintendent for
Electrical Affairs for help and
if he knew of someone who
might be interested in such a
gigantic task. At that time I
was a recent Georgia Tech
engineer graduate with expe-
rience in the technical field
including electric and tele-
phone facilities.
In January, 1934,
Governor Talmadge invited
me to interview for the posi-
tion on the Public Service
Commission staff. During the
interview, my education and
experience was discussed in
detail. After learning more
about the job, I became
extremely interested in the
position on the new
Commission's technical staff
and the Governor called
Chairman Wilhoit and direct-
ed that I be given the special
assignment pursuant to the
Governor's direction.
Upon interview by the
Commission's chairman, my
qualifications appeared quite
My work started by
assorting hundreds of com-
plaint letters given by the
Governor. The more urgent
ones were given priority and
travel schedule established to
minimize travel since state
employees had to furnish
their own cars and were reim-
bursed at five cents per mile.
Lodging expense was paid
pursuant to the least cost.
There were many tourist
homes available on the most
traveled highways where
lodging cost was usually one
dollar per night. In large
cities the hotels had reason-
able rates. Expense accounts
were filed every two weeks
and were subject to audit,
usually by a (designated
Commissioner. Meals were
priced on a reasonable basis
and often times boarding
houses, when available, were
the best bargain.
Having a list of com-
plaints against the utility, the
person was interviewed and
most were surprised to have
someone investigate their
problem and have their utility
service restored to their satis-
faction. Some were amazed
to see how tests were con-
ducted since nothing like this
had ever
Most of the
poor tele-
phone service
on rural lines.
Many had ten
to fifteen sub-
scribers per
line that ter-
minated on
the magneto
with power
supplied by
dry cell bat-
teries. The
subscriber's waU magneto
telephone also had dry ceU
batteries and when batteries
were weak or discharged,
voice transmission was
reduced or eliminated, thus
making telephone service use-
less. By using a voltmeter, it
could be determined where
the problem was. Sometimes
the single wire line was on
trees or even on the ground
due to lack of maintenance by
the financially challenged
telephone company.
Sometimes having a supply of
dry cell batteries, I would
replace the old ones and
restore service to the amaze-
ment of the telephone cus-
tomer. While in the telephone
company area, a courtesy call
was made to let the owner
know that 1 was testing the
character of service. Tests
were made on the condition
of the switchboard cord cir-
cuits that were used to con-
nect the caUing party to the
central office or to another
subscriber hne. Many times
poor contacts between the
switchboard cord and plug,
which was connected to the
subscriber line resulted in
poor transmission. The con-
nection had to be firm and the
degree of wear was deter-
mined by using "No" and
"NoGo" gauges. To improve
A A linemans climbing
hooks marred pole -
contact, the cords were
replaced and the switchboard
plug, too, if found necessary.
The large independent com-
panies could afford more
modern common battery
facilities and some even had
dial systems. Not only inde-
pendent companies received
attention but the Commission
also received complaints from
Southern Bell subscribers as
to rates, service and over-
charging on long distance
calls. This problem was not
too prevalent, but tests made
on random calls were timed
by stop watch and results
reported first to the company
representative and final
results to the Commission for
appropriate action.
When Franklin D.
Roosevelt was elected
President, economic condi-
tions in Georgia were gradu-
ally improving and telephone
companies were beginning to
receive requests for more ser-
vice. The larger independent
companies were able to nego-
tiate loans from banks or
equipment manufactmers.
The Rural Electrification
Administration was estab-
lished by Congress to provide
electric service in the less pop-
ulated counties. The rural
electric cooperatives were
formed and electric power
lines were built, many of
which paralleled the rural
grounded lines, thus causing
static in the grounded tele-
phone lines and complaints
began to be filed with the
Public Service Commission
after no actions were taken by
those small companies
because of the cost involved
in installing another wire.
To correct the interfer-
ence, the Public Service
Commission had to issue Rule
Nisi orders to show cause
why service could not be
improved and failing therein
why rates should not be
reduced. The hundreds of
complaints were investigated
by the Commission's techni-
cal staff and after filing
reports with the Commission
and conducting hearings,
orders were issued according-
ly. The larger companies
comphed. The others went
out of business or were taken
over by the larger companies
and later telephone coopera-
tives were formed, and in
1950, the REA Act was
amended to permit coopera-
tives or companies to borrow
funds at two percent, which
was the same rate as the elec-
T Alford listens as Commissioner Walter McDonald (GPSC) speaks to GTA Convention.
trie cooperatives were
Some of the small com-
panies were reluctant to mort-
gage their property and after
complaints by subscribers or
elected representatives, the
Commission sent representa-
tives to Washington and with
the help of senators or repre-
sentatives in Congress we
were able to help get the loan
applications approved. This
resulted in immediate action,
and soon contracts were let to
build a new system, thus con-
verting from magneto or com-
mon battery to automatic dial
In 1940,1 was granted
leave of absence to enter mih-
tary service. Being in the
Reserves, I was assigned to
ROTC duty at Georgia Tech,
which was a most pleasant
duty for three years. Then I
was reassigned to duty for
service overseas. Obviously,
there was not much activity at
the Commission for regula-
tion of utilities. There was no
construction for new facilities
in areas not having satisfacto-
ry utility service, electric,gas
or telephone.
At the end of World
War II in 1946,1 returned to
my old job as utilities engi-
neer. Since the military forces
were returning home, a
tremendous demand was
made for telephone, electric
and gas service, which pre-
sented a real problem since
manufacturers had not yet
started production for new
equipment. The Commission
held a large conference at the
Capitol where testimony was
given by the manufacturers as
to their problems. With this
information, the Commission
called on its elected represen-
tatives to provide assistance
in coping with the delay. It
was not long before the
Commissioner Cas Robinson (GPSCI
addressing industiy issues at GTA meeting.
required materials and equip-
ment became available.
During 1946, the
Commission was receiving
numerous complaints from
the returning veterans con-
cerning their inability to
obtain electric, gas and tele-
phone service for their new
homes and growing families.
The Commission brought
pressure on all the utilities to
expand their work forces and
obtain aU the facilities
required to meet the demand
of the citizens. The expansion
of telephone, electric and gas
facihties,especially telephone
and electric service, brought
about many problems as to
service areas in various coun-
ties; whereupon, the
Commission requested the
State Legislature to provide
for Certificates of Public
Convenience and Necessity
under the Grandfather
Clause, which required public
hearings and issuance of
orders to the various indepen-
dent companies and Southern
Bell. Certificates were issued
for exchange and toll facilities.
Subsequent to this, applica-
tions were filed for expansion
of certificated exchanges
including toU.
When the Rural
Electrification Administration
amended the original act to
permit telephone companies
to borrow REA funds, many
of the independent companies
took advantage of the oppor-
tunity. Naturally, with this
tremendous growth, it
became necessary for compa-
nies to file applications for
rate increases to meet their
obligations. AU of the result-
ing paper work made it neces-
sary to add to the technical,
accounting, engineering and
other personnel staff of the
Commission in order to ade-
quately serve the public.
It is interesting to note
that during the period 1934-
1943 staff personnel served at
the pleasure of the
Commission. Those who
failed to perform according to
prescribed specifications were
fired, with or without notifi-
cation. This situation was
common throughout all state
agencies. It was soon evident
that a state merit system was
needed to obtain maximum
efficiency for state agencies,
and a state merit system was
established in 1943 and pro-
vided for certain standards of
proficiency and education to
qualify for staff positions at
wage scales set to compensate
employees accordingly.
Those who enjoyed their job
and continued to pursue fur-
ther education and those who
remained in their particular
state assignment were entitled
to pension and health benefits
and other advantages.
John Silk, executive vice
president of the Georgia
Telephone Association,
shares this view pertaining to
the Commission.
"The Georgia Pubhc
Service Commission
(GPSC), like the members
of the Georgia Telephone
Association (GTA), has
been, and will continue to
be, confronted with many
challenges brought on by
divestiture. As the
industry evolves techno-
logically, so must the reg-
ulatory process. Ideally,
this evolutionary process
can occur concurrently.
"The technological,
social and economic
changes occurring are
unprecedented. New
technological advances
are arriving on the scene
daily. The concept of uni-
versal service and its
method for funding are
being questioned, and
there is no economic
model to account for the
integration of competitors
in a previously monopo-
listic environment.
"The regulator's role
and responsibility are
made more comphcated
because the authority does
not rest with one entity.
There are federal and state
regulatory and legislative
bodies, and aU parties
reserve the right to turn to
the judiciary when unhap-
py with the results. The
Joint Board can, and does,
serve as a point of inter-
face. However, it carmot
account for all of the
potential players and
"It is very likely that the
fifty states will, as is fre-
quently the case, serve as
test grounds for new regu-
latory models. We have
already seen this occur-
ring relative to specific
services and, in isolated
cases, the more basic regu-
latory concepts. However,
this is a process which,
with no precedents, at
best is based on trial and
error; and the stakes are
"In Georgia, we are
fortunate to have a con-
centration of telecommu-
nications interests which
affords our state unique
opportunities to truly take
a leadership role.
Georgia's success in
assuming this role can
place it at the forefront of
economic growth and
development as the
showcase of the nation."
7'^ I - I?
/ 14 < ^ i / \ 'U I
^:/ V T^-V, f y N^,0 N , 'IV-
1 ALLTEL Corporation
2 Alma Telephone Company
3 Blue Ridge Telephone Company (TDS Corp.)
4 Brantley Telephone Company, Inc.
5 BuUoch Rural Telephone Cooperative, Inc.
6 Camden Telephone & Telegraph Company, Inc.(TDS Corp.)
7 Chickamauga Telephone Corporation (Fail, Inc.)
8 Citizens Telephone Company, Inc.
9 Coastal Utilities, Inc.
10 ALLTEL Corporation
11 Darien Telephone Company, Inc.
12 EUijay Telephone Company
13 Fairmount Telephone Company (Rochester Tel. Corp.)
14 ALLTEL Corporation
15 Georgia Telephone Corporation
16 Glenwood Telephone Company
17 Hart Telephone Company
18 Hawkinsville Telephone Company
19 Interstate Telephone Company
20 Nelson-BaU Ground Telephone Company
21 Pembroke Telephone Company, Inc.
22 Pineland Telephone Cooperative, Inc.
23 Plant Telephone Company
24 Planters Telephone Cooperative, Inc.
25 Progressive Rural Telephone Co-op, Inc.
26 Public Service Telephone Company
27 Quincy Telephone Company (TDS Corp.)
28 Ringgold Telephone Company
29 Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph Company
30 St. Joseph Telephone & Telegraph Company
31 Standard Telephone Company
32 Statesboro Telephone Company (Rochester Tel. Corp.)
33 Trenton Telephone Company
34 Waverly Hall Telephone Company, Inc.
35 Wilkes Telephone & Electric Company
36 Wilkinson County Telephone Company, Inc.
Dalton, GA
Alma, GA
Blue Ridge, GA
Nahunta, GA
Statesboro, GA
St. Marys, GA
Chickamauga, GA
Leslie, GA
Hinesville, GA
Dalton, GA
Darien, GA
Ellijay, GA
Fairmount, GA
Dalton, GA
Blakely, GA
Glenwood, GA
Hartwell, GA
Hawkinsville, GA
West Point, GA
Nelson, GA
Pembroke, GA
Metier, GA
Tifton, GA
Newington, GA
Rentz, GA
Reynolds, GA
Quincy, EL
Ringgold, GA
Atlanta, GA
Port St. Joe, EL
Corneha, GA
Statesboro, GA
Trenton, GA
Waverly Hall, GA
Washington, GA
Irwinton, GA
The length of these company histories is directly related to the amount of material submitted.
ALLTEL Georgia
Today's ALLTEL
Georgia has deep roots in the
Georgia telephone industry.
Its early beginnings date back
to 1895 with the formation of
Harmony Grove Telephone
Company and Jefferson
Telephone and Telegraph
Company. In 1904, the two
companies were incorporated
as Harmony Grove Telephone
Company. Later, in 1917, the
community of Harmony
Grove was renamed
Commerce and Commerce
Telephone Company
In 1968, Mid-Continent
Telephone Corporation pur-
chased Commerce Telephone
Company. A decade later,
Byron and Cairo telephone
companies merged with
Commerce Telephone and
became Mid-Georgia
Telephone Corporation. More
changes occurred in October,
1983, when AUied Telephone
Company of Little Rock,
Arkansas, merged with Mid-
Continent Telephone
Corporation to become
today's ALLTEL Corporation.
The most
recent acquisition,
and by far the
largest, involves
the transfer of
properties be-
tween GTE and
March, 1993,
ALLTEL and GTE signed a
definitive agreement to trade
telephone service areas in sev-
eral states, including Georgia.
In October, ALLTEL and GTE
completed the exchange and
ALLTEL officially acquired
GTE's 285,000 customer lines
in Georgia. (Note: GTE and
Contel Corporation had
merged in 1990.)
The exchange made a
dramatic impact on
ALLTEL's presence in the
state. ALLTEL Georgia grew
from some 44,000 customer
lines and 121 employees
before the GTE acquisition to
more than 347,000 customer
lines and over 900 employees.
The number of exchanges also
increased from 21 to 131
ALLTEL Georgia's ser-
vice areas stretch from the
rolling foothills of Dalton to
the Horida state line in Cairo.
Georgia's operations are
served by four districts locat-
ed in Moultrie, Perry,
Commerce and Dalton. In
1993, the company's state
headquarters moved from
Commerce to Dalton.
Records show that W.B.
Hardman was the first presi-
dent of Commerce Telephone
Company. In 1918, he was
succeeded by Dr. L.G.
Hardman, past governor of
Georgia. Other presidents
include Thomas Johnson in
1971, followed by Steve
Maginnis in 1984 and Don
Barnes in 1987.
Scott Chesbro was
named president of ALLTEL
Georgia in 1993. He previous-
ly served as president of the
company's northeast region
in Jamestown, New York.
Over the years, ALLTEL |
has evolved from magneto |
switchboards to the dial sys- I
tern and digital switches.
Today, eighty-three percent of
ALLTEL Georgia's offices are
served by digital switching
equipment. Over the next five
years, ALLTEL wiU Invest
more than $343 million in
capital improvements in
Georgia to replace such
equipment as analog switch-
es, buried air core cable and
analog subscriber carriers.
Service improvements
through fiber optics also con-
tinue. In 1991, ALLTEL began
to construct a 150-mile fiber
optic ring from Commerce to
White Plains and WinterviUe.
The project is scheduled for
completion in 1996.
With local roots in com-
munities throughout Georgia,
ALLTEL also has a strong
national presence as the
fourth largest independent
telephone company. ALLTEL
provides local telephone ser-
vice to 1.5 miUion customers
in twenty-two states. ALLTEL
subsidiaries provide cellular
telephone service, informa-
tion services and communica-
tions products distribution.
The corporate head-
quarters is located in Little
Rock, Arkansas. The southern
region, headquartered in
Matthews, North Carolina,
serves more than 657,000 cus-
tomers in Georgia, Florida,
North Carolina, South
Carolina, Alabama,
Mississippi, Kentucky and
The ALLTEL family of
companies includes ALLTEL
Mobile, Systematics, Com-
puter Power, Inc., Houston
Wire and Cable (FIWC), ALL-
TEL Supply and ALLTEL
Publishing Corporation.
The exact beginnings of
telephone service in the first
exchanges of the Alma
Telephone Company (ATC)
are uncertain. Old Bell
Company and Georgia Pubhc
Service Commission records
tell us that in 1927 Alma had
seventy-four telephone sub-
scribers and NichoUs had sev-
enteen. Little else is known
about that period in the com-
pan}/s history except that
some of the exchanges were
purchased in 1927 by
Southeastern Telephone
Company, a holding compa-
ny with other telephone oper-
ations in Georgia.
More accurate records
began in 1936 when Mr. and
Mrs. J. G. Bennett purchased
the Patterson exchange from
W. E. Quattlebaum, who also
owned ofher Georgia proper-
ties. The Bennetts moved
from Waycross to Patterson to
operate the company.
Today, Alma Telephone
Company is rural telephony
at its best. There may not
have been any other way to
describe this area other than
rural when Mr. and Mrs.
Bennett began operating the
In 1940, they purchased
the Ahna and NichoUs
exchanges from the
Southeastern Telephone
Company and moved to
Alma. It was then that the
Ahna Telephone Company
was formed, made up of the
three exchanges of Patterson,
Alma and NichoUs. At the
time, Patterson had eighty-
eight subscribers, Ahna
eighty-six subscribers and
NichoUs eighteen
subscribers, which
operated with a
Linwood Bennett
served as the only
lineman at the time.
In 1949, ATC converted
to dial service and then in
1958, the company was grant-
ed an REA loan to be used for
an expansion program to
serve the rural residents of aU
Bacon County and parts of
Pierce and Coffee counties. A
new, modem office and aU
modem equipment cut over
July 16,1960, brought the
company's net investment to
over $1 million. Five new
tmcks and a company car
enhanced the company's ser-
vice equipment. By this time,
the company was serving
1,762 subscribers in its three
By the end of 1986, all
parfy lines were eliminated in
the three exchanges and digi-
tal equipment had been
instaUed. The total number of
access lines was 4,656 at the
end of that same year.
A Employees of Alma Telephone Company.
bills in person. More recently,
the NichoUs office was tied to
the Alma office with fiber
optics, with plans in the
works to do the same with the
Patterson office in late 1994.
Also, plans are underway to
make the Ahna central office
a host switch with two
remotes (NichoUs and
Patterson) and fom urban
concentrators branching off
from it. It is hoped that by the
end of 1994, SS7 and CLASS
features will be instaUed and
benefiting all subscribers.
In addition to serving its
subscribers, ATC takes pride
in serving its community.
ATC and its employees are
active members in the Lions
Club, Exchange Club, Local
Council of Child Abuse, and
the Chamber of Commerce,
just to name a few. ATC also
purchased, renovated, and
utilizes a building listed on
the historic register to help
beautify the city.
While "rural" may
describe the concentration of
population in the area, do not
be fooled into thinking rural
telephone is second rate to the
larger phone companies.
While only serving 6,000 sub-
scribers, ATC was one of the
first LECs to offer equal
access. Around the time ATC
was celebrating its fiftieth
anniversary, the commercial
office was being renovated to
handle the many customers
who wish to still pay their
The Bennett famUy has
constantly looked to the
future, and their partnership
with four other independent
LECs to form Cellular Plus is
testament to this. Rural tele-
phony has come a long way,
and the Bennetts and Alma
Telephone Company are
proud to say they were, and
stiU are, a big part of the
Blue Ridge Telephone
Company is located in the city
of Blue I^dge, Georgia, in the
northern part of the state. The
telephone company serves
most Fannin County residents
with three exchanges: Blue
Ridge, Lakewood and Dial.
Blue Ridge, only ninety min-
utes from downtown Atlanta
and one hour from Chatta-
nooga, has become a popular
vacation destination. The
nearby Ocoee River will host
the 1996 Olympic's whitewa-
ter sports events.
The city of Blue Ridge
was named after the Blue
Ridge Mountains which form
the southern part of the great
Appalachian Mountain sys-
tem. The city, incorporated in
1887, boasts the highest eleva-
tion railroad point in Georgia
at 1,751 feet. From the numer-
ous cold water trout streams
and recreational rivers in the
area and Lake Blue Ridge, the
county rises to rugged, forest-
ed peaks over 4,000 feet above
sea level.
In the early 1930s, the
Tennessee Valley Authority
(TVA) purchased the local
power company and was
then required to purchase the
local telephone company. The
TVA inquired if Southern Bell
was interested in purchasing
the telephone company.
Southern Bell was not inter-
ested; however, J. C. "Doc"
Thomason, general superin-
tendent of Southern Bell, was
interested in the Blue Ridge
service area.
In the late 1930s, Mr.
Thomason purchased the tele-
nessee Valley
Authority for $2,500.
At that time it is estimated
that Blue Ridge Telephone
Company provided service to
seventy-five telephones. Mr.
Thomason moved the office
to the Fannin County Bank
building on West Main and
Depot Streets. Shortly after
purchasing the company, Mr.
Thomason purchased a small
dial switchboard, and Blue
Ridge Telephone Company
was the second exchange in
Georgia to go dial.
In 1951, the company
was sold to Hoke T. Jones and
his brother-in-law. Jones
bought out his brother-in-law
in 1964 and retained owner-
ship until his death in 1986.
Approximately 382 tele-
phones were being served at
the time of purchase from
The felephone company
applied for a Rural Electri-
fication Administration loan
in 1959 to upgrade and pro-
vide telephone service to
approximately 1,800 cus-
tomers in the area. Properties
for the current telephone
company office on East First
Street were purchased in 1961
and 1970. In 1962, Blue Ridge
Telephone Company installed
a modem XY switch.
Southern Bell Telephone
Company and Blue Ridge
Telephone Company agreed
in 1964 for Blue Ridge Tele-
phone Company to provide
extended area service (EAS)
to Blue Ridge, Georgia;
Mineral Bluff, Georgia;
Lakewood, Georgia;
Ducktown, Tennessee;
CopperhiU, Tennessee;
McCaysviUe, Georgia;
Epworth, Georgia; and
Liberty Hill, North Carolina.
Eight-party service was elimi-
nated in 1966, and in 1971,
direct distance dialing was
implemented and four-party
service was discontinued.
Using two construction
crews. Blue Ridge Telephone
Company was able, in 1980,
to plow in over 200 miles of
cable and wire. The trouble
index was reduced that year
to just over 3.8 troubles per
100 access lines per month. In
1982, the company began
replacing existing plant with
T-carrier from the Southern
Bell boimdary to the Blue
Ridge exchange to the
Lakewood exchange to the
Dial exchange for the purpos-
es of EAS and toll transfer.
Blue Ridge Telephone
Company was one of the first
companies m the state of
Georgia to convert entirely to
digital switching. The
Lakewood exchange was cut
over in December, 1984, and
the remaining exchanges in
1985. Emergency 911 was put
into service in 1985.
Hoke T. Jones passed
away in 1986. His son,
Thomas H. Jones, assumed
management of the company.
Three years later Jones sold
Blue Ridge Telephone
Company to Telephone &
Data Systems, Inc. (TDS).
TDS is a diversified telecom-
mimications company operat-
ing over ninety-two telephone
companies in twenty-nine
states through its subsidiary,
Blue Ridge Telephone
Company became a part of
TDS TELECOM'S southeast
region. The region office was
then located in Leesburg,
Alabama. Local employees
continued to operate and
manage the telco. Joseph E.
Hicks, southeast region man-
ager, was installed as presi-
dent of the Board of Directors.
Voncel Gregory, general man-
ager of Blue Ridge Telephone
Company, suggested the
names of several leaders from
the Blue Ridge community to
serve as outside Board mem-
bers: Robert K. Ballew, Joe M.
Clement, William M. Queen,
and Linda M. Day.
In 1991, the southeast
region and Kentucky/
Tennessee region of TDS
TELECOM were merged and
the new southeast region
offices were relocated to
Knoxville, Tennessee.
Coincident with that reahgn-
ment, David B. Hill, vice pres-
ident-operations for the
southeast region, was also
named to the Board of
Directors. In 1992, Donald R.
Brown, senior vice president
for the southeast region,
joined the Board, and Joseph
Hicks retired from TDS
Telecom and from the Board
of Directors.
The last four years have
been years of rapid growth
and increasing customer
expectations. Access lines
have increased by 2,000 in just
four years. Blue Ridge
Telephone Company served
just over 7,200 access hnes as
of July 31,1993.
Improvements have
been made to information
systems and the plant. In
1991, the customer billing sys-
tem was converted to a fully
automated and flexible infor-
mation system. Prior to that
time, bills had been prepared,
printed and mailed on site.
Payments are now processed
with the help of a bar code
scanner. A new mechanized
plant record system was
introduced in 1993. Outside
plant improvements continue
to enhance the quality of ser-
vice to customers, including
putting more carrier serving
areas into service. Shortly,
even the most rural customers
will be cut to one-party ser-
vice. Work continues on plac-
ing fiber loops to provide
alternate routing and other
improvements to provide the
highest quality service to cus-
Present offices of Blue Ridge Telephone Company.
Avery Strickland is the
name that comes to mind at
the mention of Brantley
Telephone Company, Inc.
(BTC). Avery and Lena
Strickland purchased the tele-
phone company in April,
1945, with a total of fifty-two
The company grew
rapidly with Mr. and Mrs.
Strickland working day and
night manning the 100-line
Kellogg switchboard.
By 1952, service was
provided to 200 subscribers.
Also in that year, BTC was
granted a corporate charter.
The original stockholders
were Avery Strickland,
president; Elroy Strickland,
vice president; and Lena
Strickland, secretary and trea-
Also in 1952, the compa-
ny applied for and received
an REA loan to upgrade ser-
vice, change over to rotary
dial, and build a brick office
in Nahunta to house the dial
system. Service was expand-
ed into rural Brantley and
Charlton counties. Brantley
Telephone was the first com-
pany in south Georgia to
install rotary dial. The com-
pany rapidly grew from 200
stations to 366 stations after
the automatic equipment was
Progress continued for
BTC. In 1953, new facilities
were built in Nahunta and
Hoboken. In 1965, the compa-
ny added 127 miles of buried
cable to upgrade the eight-
party rural service to four-
party. The following year an
exchange was built in
Hortense. On June 11,1970,
direct distance dialing (DDD)
was inaugurated when the
mayor of Nahunta placed the
first DDD call to his brother
in Oklahoma. Also in that
year, the Nahunta exchange
expanded again. In 1977, a
record was set when the com-
pany gained its 2,000th cus-
Mr. Strickland was
inducted into the Peach State
Chapter Independent Tele-
phone Pioneer Association
Hall of Fame June 24,1985,
recognizing his outstanding
achievement, dedication, and
loyalty to the telecommunica-
tions industry. Through
Strickland's leadership the
company kept pace with the
changes in the industry. BTC
totaled 2,500 customers in
1986, due to the new comput-
erized switching equipment
installed that year.
Brantley Telephone
Company, Inc. has gone
through many changes since
1986. It continued to grow
and remained a family busi-
ness. In 1991, Avery "Wade"
Strickland, M.D., the oldest
child of Avery and Lena
Strickland, purchased the out-
standing stock from his four
sisters. Dr. Strickland now
serves as president and gen-
eral manager of the company,
with his son Donovan Wade
Strickland serving as assistant
general manager. Two of Dr.
Strickland's brothers-in-law,
William Hinesley and Jackie
Tumlin, have worked for BTC
The Strickland family gathers in Hilton Heed tor the 1993 GTA convenhon: William Hinesley, Joseph Jghtsey,
Dr. A. W. Strickland, Lori Ann Hinesley, Lea Strickland, Donovan Strickland, Curtis Tumlin holding Alisa's baby, Alisa
Strickland, Jane Hinesley holding Baby Chns Strickland, Avn lightsey.
A Documents are signed to trnnsfet BTC stock to Dr. A. W. Strickland. L-R: Dennis Vickers, CPA; Bob Hoyes,
attorney; Dr. A. W. Strickland; Avery Sthcklond.
for over twenty years. Hines-
ley is business manager and
Tumlin is outside plant man-
ager. Avery Strickland, now
eighty-three, was very
involved with the company
up until the change of owner-
ship in 1991.
The years 1991-1993
were busy for BTC with the
sale of its cellular phone inter-
est in RSA Nos. 11 and 12 to
ALLTEL and the approval of
a $5.4 million loan from REA
to improve the BTC plant.
The company has already
completed two outside plant
service buildings and is in the
process of adding a 5,000
square foot addition to the
business office in Nahunta.
The first fiber optic cable
became operational in 1993.
The current REA loan also
provides for all one-party ser-
vice and central office digital
switch upgrade to provide
more calling features.
Dr. Strickland is very
interested in rural economic
development. As a result of
this interest, BTC acquired a
$400,000, zero percent interest
loan from REA to help fund a
local nursing home in
Nahimta which will create
about sixty local jobs. BTC is
active in working with the
local school board and med-
ical facUity to help provide
distance learning and trans-
mission of medical informa-
On the deregulated side,
in 1993, BTC acquired the
franchise for
DirecTV to rural
uncabled areas of
Brantley, Wayne,
Glynn, Camden,
and Charlton coun-
ties. This is a new
digitized system
requiring only an
eighteen inch satel-
lite dish. BTC is
very interested in
providing the best
of telecommunica-
tions and data trans-
missions to all its

A Jockie Tumlin (Brantley's plont monager) and family.
The key to BTC's success is the loyalty and dedication of its employees. Brantley
Telephone employees are:
Richard Thornton (1956)
Graham Waters (1966)
Jackie Tumlin (1967)
Carlton Moore (1970)
Katie Berrien (1970)
Betty Davis (1971)
William Hinesley (1972)
David Adams (1974)
Mark Ashworth (1974)
Tamera Harris (1976)
Charles Whitfield (1977)
Andrea Mathie (1982)
Stella Wilson
Woody Rehberg
Cheryl Johns
Donovan Strickland
Pam Strickland
Joseph Lightsey
Debra Hendrix
Barbara Scott
David Lake
Myra Jane Lake
Leah Strickland
Curtis Tumlin
(summer employee)
(summer employee)
(summer employee)
T Brantley Telephone Company offices.
J COMPANY __________
Bulloch County Rural
Telephone Cooperative, Inc.
was formed on March 8,1951,
when a group of interested
citizens met for the purpose
of providing telephone ser-
vice to the people of Bulloch
County not being served by
other telephone companies.
As a result of the
March 8 gathering, a formal
meeting was held the follow-
ing July for election of officers
and adopting the bylaws and
charter. The next steps were
to purchase the existing tele-
phone companies at Brooklet
and Portal and the two exist-
ing farmer-owned lines.
Early telephone commu-
nication was available in
Brooklet and Portal which
consisted of a small, magneto
switchboard with simple wire
connecting the instruments.
In the early 1930s, the depres-
sive economy forced discon-
tinuation of service; however.
Brooklet Telephone Company
and Portal Telephone
Company survived and were
in operation at the time of the
formation of this co-op.
Bulloch Telephone
Cooperative was set up with
funds made available through
the REA telephone loan pro-
gram administered by the
Department of Agriculture.
Floot commemorates Bulloch Telephone Cooperative's founding in 1951.
Mr. Byron E)yer, former
county extension agent for
Bulloch County, was instru-
mental in the organization of
the co-op and provided the
information concerning the
availability of REA loan
The first loan funds
were received in 1954 and the
cooperative immediately
began construction to furnish
eight-party service out of the
three exchanges.
Progress was the theme
as in 1956 a new facility was
completed on U.S. 80 West to
house the office and ware-
house. By this time the com-
pany was serving 630
subscribers and had 450
miles of line.
A 1956 newspaper
article stated, "More lines
are expected to be con-
structed as soon as the
new construction truck
arrives which should be
here in about one week.
The cooperative expects
to have 880 phones in ser-
vice. According to
reports of their progress,
pay stations have also
been ordered."
In 1956, Bulloch County
Rural Telephone Coopera-
tive's board of directors
consisted of J. H. Metts, presi-
dent; W. A. Hodges, secre-
tary/ treasurer; and H. G.
Aaron, C. C. Anderson, Sam
Neville, V. J. Rowe, William
C. Cromley, and W. O.
Griner. Those employed in
1956 were: J. P. Moore, man-
ager; Mrs. Fred Hodges,
bookkeeper; Mr. L. S.
McCown, assistant bookkeep-
er; Mrs. WiUie Hodges, cleri-
cal and saleswoman; Cecil
Womack, plant superinten-
dent; H. M. Merriman, combi-
nation telephone man; and
Ernest Saunders, lineman.
By 1958, J. P. Moore,
manager of Bulloch Tele-
phone Co-op reported more
than 900 customers and over
the next ten years that count
increased threefold.
Construction continued
with replacing aU open wire
with underground cable. In
addition, free extended area
calling was provided
throughout Bulloch County.
By 1965, the company
had upgraded to four-party
service and was serving 1,700
In 1972, after having
served on the board of direc-
tors for a number of years,
Fred Hodges became general
manager of the company. He
is a familiar and respected
member of the Georgia
Telephone Association.
In addition to growth
and expansion plans, Hodges
was occupied with additional
corporate responsibilities,
such as the 1986 pilot pro-
gram in the local high school
where a two-way speaker
telephone system was
installed to accommodate a
ninth grader with cystic fibro-
sis who was unable to attend
In 1976, bids were
accepted on a contract to
begin construction on a build-
ing. The beautiful, new head-
quarters building was
formally dedicated on August
19,1977. John H. Arnesen,
director of the REA program
in Washington, D.C., attended
the ceremony, and Senator
Herman Talmadge gave the
main address.
Once again a major
expansion program was
undertaken to meet the more
sophisticated demands of the
customer, reflecting the man-
agement of the company was
dedicated to bringing the best
possible service to its sub-
All new toU facilities
connecting directly with
Southern Bell were built and
put into service in 1976-77.
Also two new exchanges pro-
viding all one-party service
were dedicated in 1977.
In 1978, directors of this
Bulloch County rural tele-
phone cooperative entered
into a contract with the direc-
tors of the Planters Telephone
Cooperative, Inc. whereby the
two companies would be
administered by the same
general manager. Hodges has
since that time handled this
dual role, which is a unique
and interesting situation.
The first digital office
was installed at Brooklet in
1982, and in 1988 the compa-
ny converted to all-digital
Today the six exchanges
serve 6,598 customers with
thirty-seven employees. Ruth
Thigpen, commercial manag-
er, has been with the compa-
ny since 1966.
Bulloch County Rural
Telephone Cooperative, Inc. is
an outstanding example of a
rural cooperative whose
directors and general manag-
er are dedicated to the needs
of the subscriber and the com-
munity as a whole. Bulloch
County is a better place for
this successful and progres-
sive company.
A Fred Hodges, monoger of Bulloch Counly Telephone
A Stacey Mothis, Alon Moish, Jim Connody, central office technicians.
A Groundbieaking for building nddih'on. Manager Fred Hodges is pictured with the build-
ing contractor and architect.
According to historical
records, there were tele-
phones in the northern end of
Camden County near the
Satilla River as early as 1894
and in St. Mary's in 1903. The
Satilla Telephone Company
was incorporated as a stock
company in 1905; Dr. A. K.
Swift was president and J. S.
N. Davis was secretary. The
same shareholders may have
owned the St. Marys Tele-
phone Company since Satilla
Telephone had one phone
connected from its system to
St. Marys. With the demise of
the lumber mills in Woodbine
in the late 1920s, the SatiUa
Telephone Company closed;
however, telephone service
continued in St. Marys.
J. S. N. Davis and
George Brandon sold the St.
Marys Telephone Company
to Miss Semora Brandon and
J. F. Flughes. Miss Brandon
operated the magneto switch-
board from the rear of the
family-owned Riverview
Hotel on the St. Marys river-
In 1927, J. Frank Bailey,
Jr. acquired the company
from Brandon and Hughes
and moved the switchboard
to the old depot building on
the waterfront. In 1936, he
added Kingsland to the sys-
tem. Upon Bailey's death in
1940, the company passed on
to his three sons Warren,
Wilbur and Wallace.
Switchboard facihties were
installed in Woodbine in 1948
to create the Woodbine
Telephone Company.
Growth returned to the
area in 1941 when Gilman
Paper Company opened a
paper mill at St. Marys. In
July, 1955, the Bailey brothers
incorporated the Camden
Telephone & Telegraph
Company, Inc., merging the
Woodbine Telephone
Company with the St. Marys
and Kingsland exchanges.
In 1958, a Rural
Electrification Administration
loan enabled the company to
convert to dial service and
extend telephone service to
many outlying areas of the
county not served by the com-
In 1976, the Secretary of
the Navy announced plans
for a $125 million submarine
support base to be located at
Kings Bay in the St. Marys
exchange area. This
announcement triggered
Camden Telephone to launch
an ambitious construction
program to position itself for
the influx of people. Digital
switching equipment was
installed in St. Marys and
Kingsland. And a massive
cable distribution program
was begun to provide tele-
phone service to new housing
projects, covert four-party ser-
vice to one-party service in
many areas, and facilitate
major changes in the county's
road system. When the Navy
sent its first submarine tender
to Camden Coimty in 1979, its
1,200-person crew boosted the
rural county's population by
ten percent.
Camden Telephone was
still expanding to provide ser-
vice for the growth precipitat-
ed by the base opening when
the Navy officially announced
that in 1989 Kings Bay would
become the Atlantic home of
the Ohio class Trident subma-
rine and $1.8 biUion would be
spent for new construction at
the base. In preparation for
this additional demand for
service, Camden Telephone
replaced the St. Marys switch
with a Northern Telecom
DMS100/200 digital switch
with tandem to Kingsland
and to replace the step switch
at Woodbine.
Camden Telephone
Company's growth has sur-
passed aU predictions with
current Camden County pop-
ulation exceeding 37,000. The
county's growth rate of
almost 25 percent between
1990 and 1992 made it the sec-
ond-fastest growing county in
the United States. The com-
pany has been a leader in
modernization including con-
version to equal access, super
node, SS7, CLASS services,
seventeen remote switches,
over 300 private line analog
and digital circuits, and per-
sonal paging services.
Emergency services
within the company's service
area have really benefitted
from the installation of a
county-wide E911 system
with automatic location iden-
tification (ALI), provided,
installed, and maintained by
company personnel.
The company is current-
ly the managing partner in
Cellular GA RSA No. 12, one
of the most rapidly growing
RSAs in the nation. The
growth is expected to contin-
ue through the turn of the
century with projected county
population of over 50,000 by
1997 as the four remaining
Trident submarines arrive
within this time frame.
After the death of
J. Wilbur Bailey in January,
1992, the company gained a
new partner when Eloise
Bailey and Wallace K. Bailey
sold M+ percent interest to
Telephone and Data Systems,
Inc. (TDS), headquartered in
Chicago, Illinois. Warren A.
Bailey retained 48+ percent
ownership and relinquished
his management responsibili-
ties to TDS. Marion L. Sharp
is manager of local opera-
Camden Telephone Company
Comparative Company Figures
December 1978
Commercial Subscribers 75
Residential Subscribers 3,221
Annual Long Distance Calls 386,122
Miles of Cable in Place 403
Total Company Investment $4,746,157
December 1992
Chickamauga Tele-
phone Company began in
1916 as a line connecting the
home and business of A. E.
Yates. As other people want-
ed to be added to the line,
Yates established Chicka-
mauga Telephone system.
By 1920, the system had
155 operating stations; how-
ever, economic rmcertainty
during the '20s and '30s
reduced the number of sta-
tions to less than one hun-
dred. As the economy swung
into recovery, the telephone
system began to spring back,
and by 1940, reported 106 sta-
tions, ten rrules of pole line
and a one hundred-hne
In 1944, Yates' heirs sold
the company to Horace
Vaughan and his partners.
Like so many early pioneers,
Vaughan had grown up in the
telephone business. His
father owned Cornersville
Telephone Company in
Tennessee. Young Horace
purchased his first telephone
systems in Tennessee at the
age of nineteen. He would
ultimately own telephone
interests in Alabama,
Mississippi and Tennessee, as
well as Georgia. Vaughan's
wife Frances joined him in
the operation of the telephone
properties. She was named
secretary for Chickamauga
Telephone in 1947. Over the
ensuing years, the system
grew at a steady pace as sta-
tions, telephone lines and
poles and a 200-line automatic
switchboard were added. By
1952 the company had con-
verted to a dial system and
built a new brick telephone
In 1960, the system
consisted of two exchanges,
1,646 stations and a 2,700-
line Stromberg Carlson XY
Upon Vaughan's death
in 1963, Frances Vaughan
assumed management of the
Chickamauga Telephone
Corporation. Two years later
she married Arthur "Art"
Barnes, vice president and
general manager of Southern
Telephone and Supply
Company, Decatur, Georgia.
Art and Frances Barnes
continued to operate the tele-
phone company as it grew
and expanded to serve its cus-
tomers with state-of-the-art
equipment and telephone fea-
During the '60s and '70s,
Chickamauga built a modern
commercial office building,
warehouse, and plant office to
house its growing operations.
The company also imdertook
extensive improvements and
additions to the Chickamauga
and High Point exchange
areas. Installation of a 3,900-
hne Stromberg Carlson
System Century digital cen-
tral office in 1979 marked the
first installation of this kind in
the southeastern United
A holding company,
BVS Communications Service
Company, Inc., was formed in
1983 with the following sub-
sidiaries: Chickamauga
Telephone Corporation,
Jackie McPherson, customer service representative, has been with
the compony for 25 yeors.
Telephone Company, Chicka-
mauga Communications, Inc.,
American Data Indus-tries,
Inc. and Chattanooga-
Northwest Georgia Cellular
Radio, Inc.
Telephone Electronics
Corporation, owned by Jody
and Charles Fail, purchased
Chickamauga Telephone
Corporation in 1986.
In December, 1988, a
remote line switch was
installed to replace the old
Stromberg Carlson XY equip-
ment in the High Point
The year 1991 brought
significant progress for the
company. In January, one-
way, toll-free Chatta-nooga
calls were furnished to the
subscribers of Chicka-mauga
Telephone. In May, a fiber
optic system was installed to
Chattanooga, Tennessee, and
Lafayette, Georgia, to give
two-way calling to Chatta-
nooga and county-wide dial-
ing into Walker Coimty,
Georgia. In September, a new
remote hne switch was put
into service for the Long
Hollow remote.
The following year
Joseph and Charles Fail divid-
T Janice Cooper, pprchosing agent/secretnry.
ed their telephone holdings,
and Charles Fail became the
sole owner of Chickamauga
Telephone Corporation.
In September, 1992, a
new remote line switch was
put into service for the Old
Bethel remote.
Chickamauga Tele-
phone Corporation served
approximately 5,300 sub-
scribers as of July, 1993.
The Company's long
tradition of dedicated service
to its customers continues
under the leadership of
Charhe Fail.
Central Office Manager
Central Office Technician
Purchasing Agent/Secretary
Customer Service Representative
Construction Foreman
Cable Splicer
Years Service
David Kay 29
Michael Box, Jr. 15
John T. Arnold, Sr. 24
Martin Chastain 27
Janice Cooper 18
Nancy Kitts 25
Jackie McPherson 25
Leonard Viverito 25
Lawrence Bryant 14
Wendell R. Townsend 14
Mark McDonald 15
Wa}me Christol 26
Eric Taylor 3
Mark McDonald, installer-repairman.
David Kny, manager, has been emplayed with Chickamauga Telephone for 29 years.
A Martin Chastain, central office technician.
The original volume of
this book. Arms Across Georgia,
presented much of the history
of Citizens Telephone
Company. From its begin-
ning in 1946 to the present.
Citizens has gone through
many changes. Some
changes were welcomed;
some changes were not.
Of course, the most
obvious changes have been in
technology. From 1911 when
the Leslie-DeSoto Telephone
Company was chartered
through 1946, telecommuni-
cations meant a magneto tele-
phone, open wire, a drop
board, and the personal ser-
vices of a live operator. It also
meant party lines. For the
owner and operator, it meant
scarce construction materials,
unavailable repair parts, and
poor economic conditions for
In 1946, Tommy Smith
purchased a business with
ninety-nine subscribers who
would pay him $1.50 every
month, if they could afford it.
This was not the best way to
start a new business. This
revenue had to buy the sup-
plies, pay the help, and feed
the owner's family. The cus-
tomer, without a doubt,
received his or her money's
worth in service. The tele-
phone set and line were
repaired as often as needed.
Mr. Smith remembers, too
well, getting dressed for
church and learning that
Farmer So-and-So's telephone
was out of order. Fie also
remembers crawling under
the house with the farmer's
chickens. That trip under the
house turned out to be his
church service that Sunday.
The local owner-operator also
doubled as a top-notch live
answering service. No
machines to rewind here! The
telephone company was also
in the finance business. The
customers paid when they
could and the company did
not levy a finance charge.
Times were tough aU over.
During these times it
was often said that gossip
began in one of three places
at church, at school, and at
the telephone office. If gossip
ever did start at the telephone
office, the conversion to dial
phones in the 1950s ended
that practice.
Leshe-DeSoto sub-
scribers were introduced to
the dial system in 1951. This
fancy, new dial system forced
the subscriber to dial three
digits. Of course, three digit
dialing changed to four, four
became seven, and now all
toll requires eleven digits.
The local telephone
company owner often
swelled with pride as the dial
telephone became a house-
hold item. Many owners
remember well the day when
old magneto telephones were
either buried, burned, or
thrown in the nearest creek or
river. Little did they realize
they were destroying what
would have been a precious
antique in only a few short
Another change took
place in 1951 when Mr. Smith
broadened his area of opera-
tion. To be successful and
profitable, a company had to
grow, but growth was often
slow. You could, however,
increase the number of lines
by buying another exchange.
By purchasing the Plains
Telephone Company, Mr.
Smith's telephone operation
doubled in area and in the
number of telephone sub-
From the early 1950s
until the beginning of the
space age in 1957, Citizens
Telephone rebuilt its plant,
improved facilities and con-
tinued to grow. In 1957, the
Leslie-DeSoto Telephone
Company and the Plains
Telephone Company were
incorporated into Citizens
Telephone Company,
Incorporated, a change from
simple bookkeeping to seri-
ous accounting. Also, that
same year, a new exchange
was carved out on the west-
ern side of the Flint River in
Sumter County. This became
the Lake Blacfehear
exchange. It is one of a few
exchanges in Georgia that is
named for an area and not for
a town or a city. Since its cre-
ation, this exchange has
changed from an area with
scarcely half dozen lines to
Citizens' fastest growing area.
The year 1957 also
brought economic changes.
A man visited from the gov-
ernment and he really came
to help. He represented the
REA telephone program.
REA offered long term
financing at reasonable rates.
The rural areas could now be
served with the latest technol-
ogy available at a reasonable
price to the subscriber. Mr.
Smith was overwhelmed that
the REA thought Citizens
Telephone Company was
worthy of a $129,000 loan!
A Employees in front of curent Vienna building. L-R: Mike Cook, Ronold Everett, Cloite
Stopelton, Geneva Hall.
A Johnny Mathis operates boring mochine.
A Otis Tripp and Eddie Betiyhill plow fiber from Leslie to Plains, Georgio.
A Lee Holl ond Ronold Everett wonder why everything goes wrong on the coldest weekends.
The applications were
made and the paper work
was in order. The year was
1959 and Citizens Telephone
would make three drastic
changes. First, Mr. Smith
would expand outside
Sumter County and purchase
the Vierma Telephone
Company in Dooly County.
Citizens had doubled in size,
Secondly, all future
rural expansions and rebuild-
ing would be done with
buried cable. The open wire
lines were going away. This
was a drastic change in tele-
phony in our area of the state.
Thirdly, Sumter County
was introduced to extended
area service (EAS). Almost all
Citizens Telephone and Bell
subscribers in Sumter County
could call each other without
a toll call. The ten cent toll
per call changed to a mere
twenty-five cents monthly
increase in the subscriber's
The decade of the sixties
was really one of the few calm
periods of our telephone his-
tory. The REA program was
working well. Subscribers
were enjoying the benefits of
new Stromberg Carlson cen-
tral office equipment and
buried cable; cable that
seemed almost immune to
mother nature's attacks.
It was during the late
'50s and '60s that telephone
buildings changed from
small, tin boxes or owners'
residences to modern build-
ings dedicated to telephone
use. The previous owner of
the Vienna Tele-
phone Company
had her bedroom
next to the switch-
room. Can you
imagine "sleeping"
with a bank of
Strowger switches
in the next room
loudly echoing
each and every
digit dialed, day or
Meanwhile in
1956, AT&T Bell
Labs developed the
transistor, and solid
state electronics
were on the verge of
drastically changing
communications. By the early
'70s, more and more products
relied upon the transistor.
Subscriber carrier, switching
equipment, and almost every-
A Tommy Smith,
in front of Vienna office.
The ladies (and usually the voices) of the Leslie business office. Back Row L-R: Adeoter Mims, Ruth Smith, Nancy Head. Front
Row L-R: Pat Phillips, Gloria Taylor, Undo Porrish.
thing else was shrinking in
size and power consumption
and increasing in reliability.
paystations in one
short week.
The year 1979
brought Citizens
Telephone into the
era of digital central
office switching.
Half of its central
offices were
Northern Telecom
DMS-lOs. The com-
pany's total concept of
central office adminis-
tration and mainte-
nance changed overnight. It
was a significant change - for
the better. Enhanced custom
calling features offered need-
ed advantages for the sub-
scriber and new revenue
sources for the telephone
The early 1980s saw the
successful launch of another
communications endeavor,
cable television. Citizens
built, maintained, and operat-
ed three cable systems for a
number of years.
Citizens entered the
new world of the optical fiber
in 1983. They were by no
means first to install fiber, but
they were one of the earher
independents in Georgia to
use fiber to connect with the
outside world.
During these years our
concepts were beginning to
change. Subscribers were now
customers. In 1984,
local telephone
companies were
about to become
local exchange car-
riers. We were no
longer in a partner-
ship with AT&T;
we were now one
of AT&T's cus-
tomers. Settlement
changed. Instead of
getting simpler, the
paperwork mulh- occounhng system.
plied many times. By year
end 1988, aU of Citizens'
switching and trunking were
digital. Gone were the sounds
of XY switches and pulsating
relays. These sounds were
replaced with the gnmts of
teletype machines and beep-
beeps of video terminals. The
old-fashioned analog toll and
EAS circuits were now bits of
electricity flowing on a carrier
circuit or flashes of hght
speeding through a glass fiber
one-tenth the diameter of a
human fiber.
Changes were inevi-
table. Some were good for
our industry. Some were not
so good. But there were
Great efforts have been
made in resisting certain
changes. Being the locally
owned and operated tele-
phone company carries many
responsibUities. Almost daily.
Tommy Smith reminds his
employees that quahty service
is the only real product.
"Treat every customer the
way we would like to be
treated" is a daily goal.
Most employees of
Citizens Telephone Company
are career employees.
Twenty-nine employees pos-
sess over 500 years of com-
bined telephone experience.
Personnel changes are few
and far between.
left, ond E. G. Dillard examine DMS-10 automatic messa
In 1971, EAS was estab-
lished in Vienna and Dooly
Counties. This service would
tie four exchanges together
and require the cooperation of
three independent telephone
This new and improved
equipment would be ready
and waiting to help serve
Jimmy Carter who had gone
from a local school board
member to Governor to
President. It would have
been difficult, if not impossi-
ble, to have provided
Presidential communications
without the advantages of
rapidly improving technolo-
gy. Por example, twenty-four
channels of "T" carrier could
be installed overnight.
In Citizens' area, the
Democratic Party was not
everyone's party but with
very few exceptions, Jimmy
Carter was everybody's can-
didate. The same was true at
the local telephone company.
They were as proud to serve
the office of the President as
to serve Jimmy Carter. They
were also happy to serve the
hundreds of media people
and the thousands of tomists
who descended into the area.
The Plains exchange grew
from one paystation to twenty
Future home of engineering ond doto processing deportments and the Georgio Rural Telephone
Museum. This building served os o cotton worehouse for olmost sixty yeors.
A Tommy Smith disploys one of the onh'que telephones In the Georgio Rural Telephone Museum.
For as long as anyone
can remember, the workday
at Citizens has begun with the
"morning meeting." Mr.
Smith conducts this meeting
3ach day unless he is out of
own. The meeting includes
epresentatives from each
lepartment discussing tech-
lology, good customer rela-
ons, long and short term
lanning, and common sense
5 a daily business routine.
Ir. Smith's comments are
fen tempered with bits of
isdom gained from his late
ther, Archie Smith, Sr., and
)m his late father-in-law,
sie Davis.
As the 1990s move to an
1, Citizens moves forward
h a plan to have every
ce interconnected with a
dvable, fiber optic net-
k. The Leslie to Plains
r will be completed by
year-end 1993. A fiber from
Leslie to Lake Blackshear will
be the next major project.
Much time is spent dreaming
about what new and
enhanced features may one
day ride upon these fibers.
Changes are bound to happen
as the local telephone compa-
ny becomes the local commu-
nications company.
It is impossible for any
business to look back over a
half century of service and
change without fondly
remembering the way it used
to be. For quite a while now.
Tommy Smith has often
remembered the past and the
tremendous amount of histo-
ry that surrounded Georgia's
rural telephone industry.
In 1991 expansion of the
Leslie office became an
absolute necessity. The aban-
A Originol ciossarms wifti wire ond o murol depicting the region's early cotton farms ore exhibited in the museum.
doned, yet historical, cotton
warehouse across the street
would be the ideal location
for Citizens Telephone
Company's data processing
and engineering departments.
As the architect's plans
became blue prints, it was evi-
dent there would be unused
floor space. Tommy Smith
saw this excess space as a
place to create a museum as a
tribute to "those who worked
long and hard to make the
independent telephone indus-
try what it is today."
When this museum is
complete, it will have an
extensive display of tele-
phones, switchboards, booths,
and other memorabilia from
the beginning of telephony to
the present. It should provide
the ideal setting for a nostal-
gic trip down memory lane or
an area for serious study of
telephone history. Citizens
Telephone Company is proud
to be saluting the past as we
work for a bright future.
Researdi has uncovered
little information about the
early development of telepho-
ny in the area now served by
Coastal Utilities. We do
know that Henry Ford
installed a private telephone
system to serve employees of
Cherry Hill, Ford's plantation
in Bryan County. This
remained a private telephone
system until the plantation
was sold to individuals a few
years before the purchase of
the system by Glenn Bryant.
The attack on Pearl
Harbor and the declaration of
World War II brought Gleim
and Trudie Bryant to
Hinesville and Liberty
County. Bryant was a civil
servant with the government
and managed the federal
housing at Camp Stewart.
On July 1,1946, Bryant
purchased Hinesville
Telephone Company from J.
L. Kirk. At that time, the
company was providing tele-
phone service to seventy busi-
ness establishments, 157
residents and twenty-four
paystations. The company
had approximately fifty miles
Coastol Utilities' original headquorters building.
portions of Bryan and
McIntosh Counties.
of open aerial wire, and
calls were processed
through two common battery
type switchboards. The total
plant value of the telephone
company was $34,000.
The first years were
lean. In fact, the net operating
income in 1946 was $92.
Rates for telephone service
were $4 per month for busi-
ness establishments and $2.75
for residential single-party
service. An extension cost an
additional $1 per month, and
paystation calls were made
for a buffalo nickel.
A major change in the
company's posture came in
1950 when Hinesville
Telephone Company added
eight toll boards and was offi-
cially classified as a toll cen-
The following year
Bryant purchased the Coastal
Telephone Company which
served a total of fifty sub-
scribers in Richmond Hill. In
1952, the Midway exchange
was cut over with a total of
sixty-eight multi-party sta-
tions in service.
In 1953, the properties of
the Hinesville and Coastal
Telephone Companies were
consolidated and incorporat-
ed as Coastal Utilities, Inc.
The purpose of the consolida-
tion was to provide increased
efficiencies in operations and
economics and to meet the
requirements for REA financ-
ing needed to rehabilitate and
expand facilities. Coastal
Utilities' certified area
includes Liberty County and
Throughout its history.
Coastal has been a technologi-
cally advanced company uti-
lizing the best combinations
of resources to provide opti-
mum service to its customers.
A small data processing
facility begim in 1975 has
grown into a dynamic com-
puter network with an IBM
AS/400 Model 50 main frame.
During 1976, over $4
million of new plant facilities
were added and toll facilities
were expanded.
Coastal Utilities receiv-
ed national media coverage in
1977 when its customers
became the first Americans to
make calls through a comput-
er-controlled, digital Class 5
In 1981, a new exchange
was constructed at Midway.
A DMS-10 provided satellite
switching features for seven
remote stations constructed
throughout the exchange
Glerm Bryant made a
major change in the compa-
ny's top management in 1982
when he turned over the pres-
idency to his youngest son,
Another example of
Coastal's objective to keep
pace with technology came in
1984 when the company
needed to provide voice and
data service to subscribers on
Saint Catherine's Island, five
miles off the Georgia coast.
The company achieved anoth-
er "first" using a practical,
economical Westinghouse
power line carrier system to
apply telephone channels
over distribution power lines.
A Coosfol Utilities' outside plant, engineering, supply ond
mnintenonce facilities are headquartered in this ultromod-
em structure.
Coastal Utilities' customers ton choose
from 0 variety of telephone instruments and
custom calling features.
Coastal Utilities entered
into the lightwave transmis-
sion technology in 1986. The
following year the company
began participating in a wide-
area paging venture with
Southern Bell, offering paging
service from approximately
twenty-five miles north of
Savannah to twenty-five
miles south of Brunswick to
twenty-five miles west of
In 1987, when the com-
pany became totally digital,
four central offices (including
one toll center) and twelve
remote switching offices
afforded the enhancements of
digital technology to aU of
Coastal's customers.
Cellular radio technolo-
gy has not slipped by Coastal
Utilities untouched since
Coastal joined a partnership
with Contel, Pembroke and
Planters Rural Telephone
Companies to form Savannah
CeUular, subsequently known
A Coastal's cable splicers ate highly skilled and dedicated craftsmen.
as Atlantic Cellular. Coastal
Utilities was the managing
partner placing Savannah
Cellular on the air on March
14,1988, and continuing to
manage the partnership as it
built a significant customer
base. Coastal was also influ-
ential in the rural cellular
market that runs between
Savannah and the Florida
border in the coastal region.
Although a pioneer in provid-
ing rural cellular service in
this region, in 1992, Coastal
Utilities decided to divest its
cellular interest allowing it to
continue excelhng in its wire-
line services.
On January 21,1990,
Coastal Utilities implemented
an extended area service
(EAS) plan throughout its cer-
tificated area. The plan now
affords customers local calhng
between the company's five
exchanges of HinesviUe, Mid-
way, Fort Stewart, Richmond
Hill and Keller.
CoastDl's department management team. L-R: Rick Zettler, Johnny Zoucks, Buddy Houston, Bob Wilkinson, John
Durand Stondard, David Clork, John Sikes, and Carl Speed.
The year 1993 was a sig-
nificant year as Coastal
Utilities continued its reputa-
tion as a leader in the field of
communications. Along
term project finally reached
fruition that year when the
company began providing
E911 services and computer-
aided dispatch services to
Liberty County and its munic-
ipalities. The state-of-the-art
equipment will render quality
service and save property and
Other projects complet-
ed in 1993 included: upgrad-
ing its central office allowed
Coastal's customers to have
Meridian digital centrex and a
full range of CLASS services,
such as caller ID, call
trace, last number
redial, and call block.
An automated
mapping and facih-
ties management
system (AM-FM)
complimented the
organization's over-
all operation.
A lnstolle5 and repairmen respond to ttie coll of Itie customer.
The company
incorporated Coastal
Long Distance Services,
a subsidiary reseller
company that affords
customers the advan-
tages of a locally-owned
and operated long dis-
tance provider.
DSl urbans and
Long, fiber optics were
deployed to provide ser-
vice to the Fort Stewart bar-
racks. The potential growth
from this venture is estimated
to be 4,000 to 5,000 access
lines over the next three years.
Before the year was
over. Coastal installed a state-
of-the-art voice messaging
system to provide enhanced
quality messaging services to
its business and residential
The number of access
lines is an indication of the
company's overall growth
from 300 subscribers in 1946
to over 25,000 in 1993. Plant
investment has increased to
approximately $48 million,
completed toll messages
increased to nearly sixteen
mlUion annually and the 1992
annual operating revenue
was approximately $20 mil-
Although proud of its
current posture. Coastal
Utilities, Inc. will not
become complacent.
The company is con-
stantly looking down
the road for enhance-
ments to its operation.
In the very near
future, plans will be
finalized to implement
equal access to inter-
exchange carriers.
Coastal has also engi-
neered a central office
host-remote network,
an alternate toll fiber
loop connection with
Pembroke Telephone
Company and an addition of
several remotes in its service
area. This fiber and office sys-
tem is engineered with the
future intention of providing
fiber to the curb and ultimate-
ly fiber to the home. The
company and local school
officials are studying and
planning for a comprehensive
system of interactive distance
learning. Finally, the compa-
ny will continually seek ser-
vices to provide its customers
with modern and efficient
highways of communication.
Under the leadership of
Glenn E. Bryant, chief execu-
tive officer; Daniel M. Bryant,
president; and Allan Bryant,
secretary/treasurer. Coastal
Utilities' 202 employees are
providing the most advanced
telephone technology and ser-
vice at the lowest rate ($4.95
monthly basic local service
and $4.50 installation fee) pos-
sible in compliance with
national telephone policy. As
history is used to guide the
future. Coastal Utilities, Inc.
feels confident that its proud
history of keeping pace with
technology and providing
optimum service will steer it
through future endeavors in
the field of communications.
A Board membeB ore Glenn E. Bryant (seofed), Doniel M. Bryant, Charles M.
Jones, End F. Phillips, G. Allon Bryont.
The Darien Telephone
Company was first organized
in 1911 when W. S. Long and
E. P. Long from Jefferson
County, Georgia, came to
Darien bringing the first tele-
phone. At this time the city of
Darien issued a franchise giv-
ing permission for G. M.
Coates and Wamon Nelson to
construct, maintain and oper-
ate telephone lines in the city
of Darien.
On February 2,1917,
W. S. Long and E. P. Long
sold the telephone company
to J. A. Pruitt. Pruitt sold the
company to H. P. Cobb of
Savannah on June 5,1918.
Dial service was estab-
lished in the Eulonia
exchange in 1957 and in
Darien on September 10,1961.
There were 734 stations in ser-
vice and the company moved
to a new brick office building
the same year. By the end of
the 1960s, direct distance dial-
ing was added.
Sapelo Island was
served by the Atlas Utilities
Company, owned by the late
R. J. Reynolds, Jr. In 1972,
Darien Telephone Company
purchased Atlas Utilities and
merged it with their compa-
and commercial phones in the
Hog Hammock Community.
On June 22,1985,
Richard Vernon Jackson died,
leaving the operation of the
company to his widow, Bessie
Ridley Jackson.
Darien Telephone
Company converted all
exchanges to digital October
19,1986. By that time the
company had surpassed the
3,000 station mark.
On October 11,1989,
Bessie Ridley Jackson passed
away, leaving the operation of
the company to the following
elected officers: Mary Lou
Jackson Forsyth, president;
Reginald V. Jackson, vice
president; Mary Alice Forsyth
Thomas, secretary and trea-
surer; and William Irby
Johnson, general manager
and director.
Three years later, on
September 23,1921, Joseph
Christopher Jackson pur-
chased the telephone compa-
ny from Cobb. At the time
Jackson purchased the com-
pany, there were only two
telephones working in
Darienone in the home of
Robert A. Young, Sr. and one
in Young's business.
Jackson operated the
Darien Telephone Company
until his death in 1924.
Ownership then passed to his
widow Mary Anna Jackson.
The switchboard and equip-
ment were located on the sec-
ond floor of her home where
she continued to operate the
company with the help of her
son, Richard Vernon "Dick"
Jackson, and his wife, Bessie
Ridley. In 1942, Dick and
Bessie purchased the compa-
ny which consisted of a mag-
neto switchboard with fifty
lines. The switchboard was
changed to a common battery
board in 1948.
By 1976, the company
had all one-party service
available in its Eulonia and
Darien exchanges. In just ten
years the number of stations
had grown to 2,253.
A new central office was
established on Sapelo Island
in 1978, providing residential
In September, 1991,
Darien Telephone's customer
services department moved
into a newly renovated office
building adjacent to the cen-
tral office building construct-
ed in 1961. The original
building continues to house
the central office equipment.

Executive offices of Dorien Telephone Compony, Inc.
as well as the executive offi-
ces of the company.
The Jackson family has
owned and operated the
Darien Telephone Company
for over seventy years, keep-
ing ahve a pioneer dedication
to provide the best possible
communications for its cus-
tomers. Now the fourth gen-
eration of the family
continues the tradition of
Independent telephone oper-
Darien Telephone
Company, with 4,140 access
lines as of June, 1993, takes
great pride in its commitment
to progress and beUeves dedi-
cated employees are respon-
sible for the company's
progressive, family-operated
Darien Telephone Company Employees
Bobby Brown
Sheila Brown
Margaret Spaulding Denson
Charles J. Durant
Caroline Everson
Shirley Everson
James T. Elanagan, Jr.
Kenneth I. Johnson
Isabelle "Bess" Brown Maulden
Kenneth MUler, Jr.
Kenneth Miller, Sr.
James Moody
Joseph E. Poppell
Lawrence Douglas Sawyer
Lisa D. Sawyer
Wallace Skipper, Jr.
Rhea B. Spurlock
David S. Stephens
Mark A. Strickland
Melodie Jackson Strickland
Joseph A. Train
Keith B. Whitten
Arthur Glenn Young, Jr.,
in addition to the officers named in the text.
On April 15,1903, W G.
Owenby and John H. Carter
received a twenty year fran-
chise from the city of Ellijay
mayor and council to estab-
lish a metallic circuit tele-
phone system. The corporate
charter for EUijay Telephone
Exchange was granted April
13,1904. The management of
the company was under B. S.
Holden until 1913 when Ed
W. Watkins, Jr., M.D. and C.
G. Watkins purchased the
outstanding stock. Growth
was slow; in 1932 only twen-
ty-three subscribers were hst-
ed in a joint telephone
By 1946, the company
had grown to 137 subscribers,
and E)r. Watkins sold the
stock to Samuel B. Green,
Edith M. Green, and Dorothy
J. Green. Mr. Green contin-
ued to manage the company
until the mid-1950s. In June,
1958, one-half of the common
stock was sold to Albert E.
Harrison and Marian J.
Harrison. Albert Harrison
became president of the com-
pany, and Marian Harrison
served as corporate secretary
John M. Harrison, president and generni mnnager of
Ellijay Telephone Company.
and worked in the commer-
cial office. The Harrisons pur-
chased the remaining stock in
Jime, 1960, and all stock is still
owned by the family. The
current Board of Directors is:
Albert E. Harrison, chairman;
John M. Harrison, president;
Douglas P. Harrison, vice
president; and Marianne
Harrison Ownbey, secre-
tary/ treasurer.
Mr. Harrison brought
telephone experience with
him from Pacific Telephone
and Lenkurt Manufacturing
Company. Under his leader-
ship, EUijay Telephone began
to expand out of the city of
EUijay into surrounding
Gilmer Coimty to serve rural
residents. The manual cord
board was converted to dial
and additional plant employ-
ees were needed. In 1959,
Quentin Holloway, a gradu-
ate of Southern Tech, was
hired. Mr. HoUoway has
remained with the company
for thirty-four years and now
serves in the capacity of plant
Plant faculties continued
to be buUt into the county,
and by 1965, there were 1,870
subscribers. A mobile tele-
phone system was added,
and in 1966, the company
purchased Southern Bell's
long distance carrier equip-
ment housed in the central
office. Roger Futch, former
AT&T Long Lines employee,
was hired to maintain long
distance circuits, install and
monitor switching equip-
Albert E. Hamsoa is honored for 35 years ownership of Ellijay Telephone. L-R: Douglas P. Harrison,
Albert Harrison, John M. Harrison, nnd Morinnne H. Owenby.
A Ellijay Telephone Company offices in 1963.
A Ellijay Telephone's old office
ment, and work with the
company-owned cable televi-
sion system. Mr. Futch now
serves as network manager
and has been with the compa-
ny for twenty-five years.
More plant expansion in
1969-1970 allowed all eight-
party lines to be regraded to
four-party lines. The first PBX
was installed at the local hos-
pital, and in 1971, the central
office cut over to aU 1+ direct
outward dialing. The com-
mercial office was also grow-
ing to serve the needs of 2,995
AL-R: Bill Smith, Mr. Boker. A. E. Harrison, ond Snm Green in 1959.
A Morion Harrison.
customers. Gwendolyn Holt
McArthur, current commer-
cial coordinator, joined the
commercial office staff in 1973
and has seen the billing proce-
dures change from manual
ledger cards to all computer-
John M. Harrison joined
Ellijay Telephone as a full-
time employee after graduat-
ing from the University of
Georgia in 1974. His primary
responsibilities began in the
accounting and commercial
offices. For the past seven
years he has served as presi-
dent and general manager of
the company. He is serving
as the second vice president
of the Georgia Telephone
Association for 1993-1994.
In 1976, the Cartecay
exchange was built, and cus-
tomers in this exchange were
all one-party lines.
In October, 1978, the
company was saddened by
the death of corporate secre-
tary, Marian Harrison.
Planning began in 1980
to install a digital switch, and
this became a reality in
October, 1982, when the
Stromberg-Carlson E)COE
became fully operative. The
installation of a digital switch
paved the way for complete
one-party service and the
addition of calling features.
EUijay Telephone could now
record all toll calls leaving
Ellijay. The commercial office
was computerized with the
addition of an IBM 34 system.
The first remote concentrator
office was built to improve
service to our rural customers
and twenty-two remote con-
centrator offices are now
In 1984, the company
installed the first T-1 copper
span lines for long distance
toll route from boundary to
boundary. EUijay Telephone
became a tandem switch and
the Whitestone exchange was
merged into the EUijay
exchange. In 1985, all 4,788
customers were regraded to
one-party service, and the last
of the Siemens-Halske step-
by-step switch was removed.
Party-line service was now a
thing of the past and pushbut-
ton service was avaUable to all
The company resumed
carrier access billing (CABS)
in-house on January 1,1988,
and at first generated only
one access bUl to AT&T.
Currently, the accounting
department, coordinated by
John Weissinger, issues CABS
bills to eighteen carriers per
month. The company
upgraded the computer in its
commercial office to an IBM
36, and all plant subscriber
records were also computer-
ized at that time.
On May 5,1990, ElUjay
Telephone became one of the
first independent local
exchange companies to con-
vert to equal access. Five long
distance carriers were on the
first baUot; however, an addi-
tional thirteen carriers are
now avaUable to serve
Ellijay's customers.
The Public Service
Commission gave the compa-
ny permission to merge the
Cartecay exchange into the
EUijay exchange creating one
big exchange for all its operat-
ing territoryalmost aU of
Gilmer County and approxi-
mately 250 customers in
northern Pickens County. The
company now offers voice
mail and business group ser-
vice to its 6,767 customers.
The voice maU marketing
campaign, began in June,
1990, has been very success-
ful, and today 22 percent of
the company's customers
have taken advantage of the
voice maU system. The first
fiber optic cable was instaUed
from the EUijay wire center to
the Cartecay wire center in
fourth quarter 1990, and more
fiber is plarmed for the com-
ing years.
Fiber optic cable, instal-
led from the compan5/s
southern boundary at Pickens
County to its northern bound-
ary with Blue Ridge Tele-
phone Company m 1991, is
being used for long distance
services. Plans are imderway
to construct an alternate toU
route from the EUijay wire
center to the company's west-
ern boundary with GTE. An
OC48 AT&T fiber terminal in
place in EUijay will provide
diversity and prevent long
distance isolation for EUijay
and surrounding towns.
With the cooperation of sur-
rounding local exchange com-
panies, this toll ring should be
complete by October, 1993.
T Employees of Ellijoy Telephone Compony.
As 1993 began, Ellijay
Telephone was in the process
of updating its Stromberg
digital switch. An SSP (signal
service point) was included in
this update which will allow
the company to route "800"
type calls using the latest
technology. The company
now has 8,352 access lines
and a growth rate of 7.2 per-
cent. Albert Harrison current-
ly advises the management.
Mr. Harrison and wife, Nita,
are familiar figures on the
Georgia Telephone Assoc-
iation scene.
Ellijay Telephone Com-
pany attributes the success of
its company to its dedicated
EUijay Telephone's
objective is to provide the best
quality communications ser-
vice at the most reasonable
price for its customers.
Stockholders, management,
and employees are proud to
be part of the commimity
served by the company. As
the company begins 1994, it
looks forward to the chal-
lenges of the future in tele-
Employees Listed With Continuous Tenure as of 1993
Albert E. Harrison
Quentin Holloway
Roger Futch
John M. Harrison
John Weissinger
Frances Carson
Cindy Watkins
Gwendolyn McArthur
Eva Cantrell
Jan Meeks
Joyce Barton
Susan Crook
Rhonda Davis
Cleve Underwood
Dale Cochran
Elijah Davis
Sammy Dover
Van Powell
Stacy Pettit
Alan Davenport
Larry Clayton
Alvin Reece
William Cantrell (10 yr prior svc)
Steve Parks
Keith Logan
Cynthia Chastain
Richard Neal
Jack Stanley
Barry Pritchett
Jeff Wimpey
Lewis Bramlett
Mark Holden
Tom Walker
35 years
34 years
25 years
18 years
15 years
21 years
9 years
20 years
8 years
6 years
5 years
6 months
6 months
30 years
21 years
20 years
15 years
15 years
8 years
5 years
23 years
19 years
16 years
12 years
12 years
11 years
10 years
8 years
5 years
5 years
5 years
3 years
2 years
Fairmount Telephone
Company is nestled between
Gordon, Pickens, Cherokee
and Bartow Counties.
Dating back to 1908, the
company was started by Mr.
P. H. Green, who owned and
operated the local jewelry
store. The original office was
on the city square in
Fairmount, Georgia, and was
an unincorporated operation
with a switchboard connect-
ing two telephones. Within a
few years, the number of con-
nections had grown to almost
forty subscribers who paid
one dollar per month for ser-
vice, except for business
houses who paid $1.25 per
The company was
bought in 1920 by Ft. D.
Lacey, a blood relative of Mr.
Green. The home office con-
sisted of a switchboard locat-
ed in a residence, typical of
the independent telephone
operations of that period. Mr.
Lacey installed a telephone
wire on railroad poles to
Cartersville giving one line
circuit access to long distance
connections. This single cir-
cuit served adequately for
several years carrying only a
few long distance calls. It is
documented that Southern
Bell rendered settlement
statements in postage stamps.
By the 1930s, the com-
pany had grown to seventy-
five customers, which
number remained through
1949. The unchanged month-
ly rate was collected by fami-
ly members. Mr. Lacey's
advancing years eventually
required that his eldest son,
Edward D. Lacey, take over
the company.
Ed Lacey replaced the
magneto exchange with a
new dial switch capable of
serving up to 400 subscribers.
Coincident with this move,
the owners applied for and
received from the Georgia
Pubhc Service Commission a
rate increase bringing month-
ly rates up to $2.50. By this
time, the number of sub-
scribers had increased to 250
and demanded at least two
long distance circuits to serve
the area.
In 1960, the company
undertook another expansion
program using REA loan
funds to construct a building
to house new automatic
equipment capable of serving
2,000 subscribers. By early
1970, with five employees
and 800 subscribers, the com-
pany undertook another
expansion program.
The number of sub-
scribers had reached 1,600 by
1980; operations and equip-
ment were adjusted to meet
the needs and a data process-
ing center was established.
The number of subscribers by
1985 was approaching 2,000
subscribers. Once again.
plans for expansion and
increased services were for-
mulated and carried out.
In 1987, Mr. Lacey sold
the company to H. E. Bovay,
Jr. and Otis Miller of Houston,
Texas. This marked the end
of seventy-seven year owner-
ship by members of the Lacey
Bovay and Miller sold
the company to its present
owner, Rochester Telephone
Company which has head-
quarters located in Rochester,
New York. This corporation
also owns Statesboro Tele-
phone Company. Rochester
Telephone's southern region
headquarters is in Atmore,
Alabama. General manager
of the company is KeUey
Lacey, son of Fairmormt
Telephone's former owner.
Jeff McGehee, southern
region vice president for
Rochester Telephone, indi-
cates the company is continu-
ing to upgrade the plant and
equipment necessary to
accommodate growth occur-
ring as the Atlanta metro area
expands north to the moun-
tains. Bringing information
age services to the compan/s
market area is a primary goal
for Rochester Telephone.
The Blakely Telephone
Company, forerunner of
Georgia Telephone Corpora-
tion, was formed in the city of
Blakely, Georgia, in early 1898
by brothers, Arthur G. and
Wade H. Powell, members of
a prominent Blakely family.
The business charter was
issued to Arthur C. Powell, R.
B. Daniel and Jule Felton.
Blakely Telephone's serving
area was approximately one
square mile. The first tele-
phone directory, pubUshed in
July, 1898, listed seventy-two
Service was provided by
a Kellogg magneto switch-
board and Kellogg- Strom-
berg magneto telephone sets.
By the end of 1899, lines were
extended to surrounding
communities including Cedar
Springs, Damascus,
Arlington, Jakin and Liberty
Hill with probably one tele-
phone per community.
Little else is known
about the company's early
years of operation except that
it was later owned by Mrs.
Mattie Powell, ex-wife of
Wade H. Powell. In 1943, the
company was sold to their
daughter, Mrs. Maude Powell
Blakely Telephone
Company was incorporated
in 1949 with Mrs. Maude
Powell McCabe as president
and stockholders were Mrs.
Ruth Powell McCalla, Arthur
G. Powell and Wade H.
The following year, the
magneto equipment was
replaced with a modem
Stromberg-Carlson XY dial
W. Charles DeLoach
purchased Blakely Telephone
Company from the Powell
family in 1954. He continued
to operate as Blakely Tele-
phone Company until 1958
when Georgia Telephone
Corporation was formed.
Officers of the corporation
were: W. Charles DeLoach,
president; Gloria Dake
DeLoach, vice president; and
Bernice Lovless, secretary/
treasurer. In conjunction with
the incorporation and name
change, DeLoach acquired the
Whigham Telephone Com-
pany and the Ochlochnee
Telephone Company. The
addition of the Whigham and
Ochlochnee exchanges
brought the total access lines
served to less than 1,200.
An expansion program
in the late '50s provided ser-
vice to anyone in the certifi-
cated exchange areamost of
Early County and parts of
Grady and Thomas counties.
In 1963, a new exchange was
formed at Cedar Springs to
provide service to Great
Southern Land and Paper
Company, a multi-million
dollar paper industry located
on the Chattahoochee River in
Early County.
Electronic digital equip-
ment was installed in the
Cedar Springs and Blakely
central offices in 1987,
enabling the company to offer
custom calling features. Over
the next two years, the
Ochlochnee and Whigham
central office switches were
replaced. In addition to the
latest technical services,
Georgia Telephone
Corporation offered its sub-
scribers mobile and paging
In 1993, the company
engaged in an extensive
expansion program including
an 1,800 square foot addition
to the commercial office and
renovating recently acquired
property for a plant service
center. This expansion pro-
vides much needed plant
administration and engineer-
ing office space, spacious
maintenance facilities, storage
for construction equipment
and parking for construction
At its incorporation on
November 17,1958, Georgia
Telephone Corporation's
owner, W. C. DeLoach,
pledged to provide sub-
scribers with the best service
rent to
A*/ cash..__
^^^oouniZ ".. ....
' Total. ..............'
. ^orm ij --

'Phone ........
Received Oj
Items as follows ifS 18
'Phone rent to-
Loni distance.
By cash
By discount
/^orm 1$

pt)ne teceipts reflect $1.50 montfllv
possible by upgrading service
as newer and more effective
equipment became available.
Thirty-six years later the orga-
nization strives to keep this
pledge. The company's suc-
cess is a testimony to the solid
leadership of the DeLoach
family and their commitment
to providing quality perfor-
mance for its customers.
Now leading the com-
pany are; W.C. DeLoach,
president; Gloria DeLoach
and Dennis D. Lewis, vice
presidents; ]ane Anne
Sullivan, secretary/treasurer;
and Vivian B. Sammons,
assistant secretary / treasurer.
The company's assets exceed-
ed $7 million in 1992 with an
annual growth rate of 3.50
Blakely, Georgia
July 15th, 1898.
^ Bank of Blakely
^ 1 Boyd, E.M. & Co.
23 Brown House
36 Blakely Drug Store
Black, L.E.Residence
39 Clerk Superior Court
39 Court House
16 Central Drug Store
3 Chancy, A.B. Store
10 Central R.R. Ticket Office
30 Cook, W.C.Store
46 Chancy, J.C.Store and Gin
41 Chancy, Mrs. LulaResidence
9 Come, let us do your Printing
24 Davis, R.W.Store
49 Davis, R.W.Residence
29 Dubose, P.D.Residence
39 Dubose, P.D.Office
16 Doster & DosterStore
10 Depot
9 Does Job Printing neatly, etc.
Empire Store
Express Office
Early County News Office
Enters a bid for Job Printing
20 Freeman, J.T.Residence
22 Fleming, W.W.Residence
14 Fryer, E.L.Store
14 E.L.Residence
38 Fleming, A.J.Office
47 Fleming, A.J.Residence
45 H.C. Fryer & Co.Office
32 H.C. FryerResidence
9 First-class Job Printing
8 Gay, L.D.Residence
9 Golly, we do work cheap.
12 Hand, J.H.Office
40 Hand, J.H.Residence
43 Harriss, H.J.Residence
9 Hello, Everybody! Try us on
Job Printing.
26 Ivey & Perryman
9 Is the place for Job Printing
6 James, D.W.Store
21 James, D.W.Residence
5 James, E.T.Store
37 James, E.T.Residence
13 Jones, T.F.Store
Glenwood Telephone
Company is the smallest, self-
contained telephone company
in Georgia. It operates along
the bluff side of the beautiful
Oconee River for some twenty
miles. The economy is based
mostly on timber and farm-
The area is currently
working toward forming a
Chamber of Commerce to
promote economic develop-
ment. Glenwood Telephone
Company has a genuine inter-
est in the area it serves and is
a responsible corporate citi-
zen. It is with pride and com-
mitment that they boast of
being "the best httle tele-
phone company in Georgia."
The exact beginnings of
the company prior to 1940 are
not known. However, an
existing telephone company
was purchased in 1940 by W.
H. Harvey and Odessa Jones.
Three years later on January
2,1943, they sold the compa-
ny to Leon B. and Eloise Cox
The Adams' purchase
included a struggling
exchange with thirty-three
subscribers with one-party
residential rates of $1.50 per
month and one-party busi-
ness rate of $2.50, which was
comparable to what most of
Georgia's rural telephone
exchanges were authorized to
collect. They collected the
whole sum of $56.00 in their
first month of ownership.
The house previously
occupied by Mr. and Mrs.
Jones was also part of the pur-
chase because the magneto
switchboard was located
there. The Adams moved
into their new home where
Mrs. Adams assumed the
duty of keeping the switch-
board open twenty-four
hours a day with the help of
several local ladies including
Mrs. Dot McDaniel, Miss Jean
Maddox along with a Miss
The front room of their
home became the business
office and the social center of
town. While this popular
operation was of great benefit
to the community, it failed to
provide the necessary funds
to operate the company and
support the family, forcing
Mr. Adams to take other jobs.
He did quite a few odd jobs
and maintained the facilities
in his old Dodge truck with
only occasional part-time
The Adams had two
daughters, Janice Eloise and
Beverly. Beverly was killed in
a tragic automobile accident
at the age of nineteen. Janice
then was destined to be the
next owner/operator of this
family telephone company.
In time, the company
grew and prospered and in
1956, a new telephone busi-
ness office was constructed
and Stromberg-Carlson XY
120-line equipment installed
to provide efficient service to
its customers.
The original home
where the Jones family and
Janice O'Biien, president of Glenwood Telephone Company.
the Adams family resided
and operated the company for
so many years now once
again serves as the business
Upon Mr. Adams' death
in 1982, Janice O'Brien took
over the management of the
company, which today has
five employees.
In 1986, the company
had 650 subscribers; in 1990,
there were 675; and in 1993,
the count was 701 access lines.
Janice is president of the
company and has been a sup-
portive GTA member and has
been active in GTA functions
and activities, having held a
number of positions in the
organization. Ered L. Bailey is
vice president and general
Glenwood Telephone
Company is looking forward
to the challenges of develop-
ing the area which they serve
and especially anticipates the
challenges of the changing
telecommunications industry.
They are proud of their
company, their experienced
and versatile employees,
modern digital switching
equipment, 100 percent
buried plant, fiber optic toll
service, all one-party service,
reasonable rates and excellent
service and public relations.
The new technologies
and opportunities of the
Information Age
Ldemands on "thebesl lit-
tle telephone company m
statotioal data
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. d'' *

About the only thing
that has not changed in the
last seven years at Hart
Telephone Company is its ser-
vice area. Most of Hartwell
and Hart County, Georgia,
are still served by this
remarkably progressive and
resilient independent telco.
Even the name. Hart Tele-
phone Company, is a modifi-
cation of the original Hart
County Telephone Company;
however, regardless of its
name, this independent telco
remains the cornerstone of
Lintel, Inc. whose subsidiaries
also include Hart Communi-
cations and, more recently.
Hart Cellular - the latter a
result of a partnership entered
into with BellSouth Mobility
in August, 1991.
In 1989, the old rotary
handset logo was replaced by
an exciting, high-tech design
featuring Hght wave fiber
emblazoned over a computer
chip. The message: Lintel,
Inc. and its subsidiary compa-
nies are prepared to enter the
new age of telecommunica-
tions. Considering the accom-
plishments and the direction
of this family-owned commu-
nications company, the new
logo was most appropriate.
LinteTs forty-four
employees serve a growing
area of northeast Georgia.
Since 1987, there has been a
five percent increase in sub-
scribers, and the number of
customers who receive their
local service from Hart
Telephone is now 7,500.
Despite all the growth and
changes, local residents still
have the unique assurance of
dealing with a hometown
company begun ninety
years ago by Hartwell
native Fred P. Linder. In
February, 1991, as a result
of recapitalization of the
company, Fred Linder's
great-grandchildren, J. Lee
Barton and L}mn B.
Guamella, along with their
mother, Betty A. Barton,
became sole owners of Lintel,
Inc., thus guarateeing the
uninterrupted continuation of
nearly a century's service to
the local community.
Once called "one of the
most progressive indepen-
dent telephone companies in
the state of Georgia," Hart
Telephone Company has
remained on the cutting edge
of telecommunications tech-
nology. In 1984, a 6,000 line
System Century digital cen-
tral office was cut over in
Hartwell and linked with a
1,080 line switch in Reed
Creek, approximately seven
irdles north of the city, via an
optical fiber transmission sys-
tem. Two years later, a sec-
ond 1,080 line switch remote
was built in the Mount OHvet
section of Hart County. And
recently. Hart Telephone
Company installed a Siemens
Stromberg-Carlson 17.3
Release with CLASS and SS7
functions. Additionally, four
new RLS switches were
strategically located for future
deployment of enhanced and
innovative services.
A great deal of Hart
Telephone Company's suc-
cess, both immediate and
futiue, is the result of an
aggressive program of fiber
A L-R; Lynn B. Guornello, J. Lee Barton, and Betty A. Barton.
optic systems installation.
Over 100 miles of fiber are
now ready for utilization for
broadband services such as
the interconnection of all
schools and peripheral
enhanced services. The fiber
network will also facilitate a
dramatic addition to the E911
system presently in place.
Within the last three
years. Hart Telephone
Company engineers have
designed and implemented
an E911 system, including the
PSAP, using out-of-band sig-
naling protocol. Now, Hart
Telephone Company engi-
neers are in the process of
connecting the E911 network,
via fiber, directly to its own
in-house network. Conse-
quently, any upgrade in the
telco database is immediately
upgraded in the E911 data-
Deregulation, the pariah
of LECs in the 1980s, has pro-
vided other arenas for success
for Lintel, Inc. and its sub-
sidiaries. The traditional
interconnect. Hart Communi-
cations, Inc., remains a viable
force in the marketplace.
Hart Cellular, in partnership
with Bell South Mobility, has
tapped the very profitable cel-
lular market, and the equal
access conversion planned for
September, 1994, holds out
the prospect of setting up a
re-sell company prior to bal-
loting. In short. Lintel's
response to deregulation and
its inevitable competition has
been to diversify and to
expand service offerings.
Lintel, Inc. is determined to
become the first choice
provider for all communica-
tions products. It is, there-
fore, aggressively pursuing
acquisitions which would
enhance its position as the
pre-eminent communications
company in the area.
Significant rulings by
the FCC have opened up new
opportunities in the cable TV
marketplace. Appropriately,
Lintel, Inc. is actively pursu-
ing cable TV properties and
new cable-related business
ventures through alliances
and acquisitions. A clear sig-
nal has been sent to any
potential competitorLintel,
Inc. is prepared to meet any
challenge and is entirely dedi-
cated to setting, not meeting,
industry standards of excel-
lence in the field of communi-
Nowhere is the enthusi-
asm of this new era more
obvious than in Lintel's com-
mitment to customer satisfac-
tion. Recognizing the
importance of a customer-dri-
ven company. Lintel's corpo-
rate philosophy is to become
more service oriented. In
keeping with evolving philos-
ophy, Lintel, Inc. has under-
taken a number of programs
including: marketing efforts
to analyze the needs of cus-
tomers, retraining personnel
in an attempt to match the
individual's personality to a
particular job or task, estab-
lishing an action team to uti-
lize personnel resources for
the resolution of internal and
external concerns. Lintel, Inc.
has even made it easier to do
business with its subsidiary
companies by merging its
customer outlets into more
convenient service centers.
The last seven years
have seen meteoric growth in
the communications industry;
those independents which
clung to the belief that all an
LEC has to provide is reliable
dial tone are gone. Lintel,
Inc., with its subsidiaries Hart
Telephone, Hart Communi-
cations, Inc. and Hart
Cellular, is poised to take its
place in the twenty-first cen-
tury and to continue to draw
from its rich past as it looks
confidently to a very bright
Hawkinsville Telephone
Company was formed in the
early 1900s by what was origi-
nally two companies, owned
by members of the same fami-
ly, constituting one of the
older family-owned tele-
phone companies in the
United States.
W. A. Jennings and his
brother-in-law, J. T. King,
were employed by the
Western Union Telegraph
Company as construction
foreman and crew boss. Most
likely it was in this capacity
that they were first exposed to
the new-fangled telephone.
It was approximately
1909 when Jennings and King
ventured into the telephone
business by purchasing the
Millegeville telephone
exchange. Although old
records show that there was
telephone service in Milledge-
ville as early as 1893, the com-
pany they purchased was
built in 1903 by Mr. W. H.
Weaver and a Mr. Ricter.
There was a third party in this
venture. Judge John T. AUen.
In 1913, these three part-
ners purchased the Hawkins-
ville exchange from a Mr.
Blasengame and continued
the operation of both
exchanges for a year or more
when the two brothers-in-law
became sole owners through
the purchase of Judge Allen's
interests. (It is interesting to
note that the minutes of a
1913 director's meeting record
that Mr. Jennings was paid
$2.50 per month for the use of
his horse, buggy, and harness
by the company.)
A short time later,
they divided the property,
with the Jennings family
taking over complete own-
ership of the Hawkinsville
property and the King
family remaining sole
owner of the Milledgeville
Mr. Jennings, who
played a formidable role in
early organized independent
telephony, died in 1938 leav-
ing the business to several
children. About 1947 two
sons, W. M. and J. C., pur-
chased the interests of the oth-
It was also in 1938 that a
Kellogg common battery sys-
tem was installed to replace
the old ringdown drop. This
vastly improved the quahty of
telephone service. With a
capacity of 800 lines, the
switchboard would provide
for an increased number of
subscribers, for changes in
local, rural or toll growth and
for other changing conditions.
The system was cut over with
260 lines equipped, ten toll
lines and ten rural lines.
Another milestone was
reached in 1954 when
Hawkinsville Telephone con-
verted to dial service and
installed a toll center housed
in a new building designed to
serve the company for the
next forty years.
In 1968, it became
apparent the growth of the
area was such that the compa-
ny would be lucky to make
twenty years in the building.
Plans to expand were initiat-
A W. Mansfield Jennings, Jr., president/CEO of Hawkinsville Telephone Compony.
ed; however, it was 1972
before construction actually
got underway on an office
adequately designed to fit the
company's needs.
The cutover of a new
electronic switching system
was the first Class 4 office in
use although the prototype
for local switching was
designed for Disney World in
Orlando, Florida. The system
provided direct distance dial-
ing, pushbutton dialing, call
forwarding and many other
Ownership of
Hawkinsville Telephone
Company was passed on the
third generation when W.
Mansfield Jennings, Jr. pur-
chased his father's interest in
the company in 1971 and his
uncle's interest in 1980. He
has also participated actively
in a number of GTA positions
including serving two terms
as president of the Assoc-
iation. Now his son (and
fourth generation), W.
Mansfield Jermings, III, is
preparing himself to carry on
the tradition by his involve-
ment in all phases of the busi-
This family operation
has added much to GTA as
the Jennings family has pro-
vided outstanding leadership
and Hawkinsville Telephone
Company is one of the oldest
telephone companies in
In 1985, the company
announced the installation of
a new central office switching
system to serve its 3,500 cus-
tomers in Pulaski, Houston,
Dodge, Bleckley and Dooly
Counties. Cut into service
February 23,1985, the
Northern Telecom DMS
100/200 is the first part of a
three-year plan that calls for
integrating fiber optic trans-
mission and digital switching.
In the last five years,
Hawkinsville Telephone has
been very active in a number
of areas, including the chal-
lenges of growth, new tech-
nology, and the changes in
the industry of both today
and tomorrow.
The number of employ-
ees has expanded to almost
forty. This is only one of the
ways that Hawkinsville
Telephone Company has
experienced major growth.
The company still services
parts of five counties but has
also become a partner in three
rural service areas for cellular
One of the most exciting
things to happen to Hawkins-
ville Telephone Company
recently is being selected as
one of the original distance
learning sites. We are cur-
rently Georgia's only inde-
pendent site. This distinction
is highly representative of the
industry moving forward into
Hawkinsville Telephone
Company is moving forward,
not only through the
advances in numbers and
technology, but also in years.
The company proudly cele-
brated its eightieth anniver-
sary in 1993.
Interstate Telephone
Company, one of the first
independent companies,
operates in both Georgia and
Alabama. The historical back-
ground of Interstate Tele-
phone Company is extremely
In 1895, J. Smith Lanier,
eighteen years of age, attend-
ed the Cotton States
Exposition in Piedmont Park
in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr.
Lanier saw a small magneto
type switchboard and three
telephones connected thereto
for the first time. Mr. Lanier
became so interested in this
exhibition of telephones that
he remembered nothing else
about the exposition.
Mr. Lanier returned
home and secured the assis-
tance of two Robinson broth-
ers, who were building the
first electric light plant in
West Point, to build the first
telephone exchange. The
exchange was built on the
magneto, grounded line basis,
and opened for service in the
spring of 1896, with thirty-six
subscribers. The exchange
was located on the second
floor of the Langley Mill
Two years later in 1898,
Southern Bell was construct-
ing a toll facility from
Charleston, South CaroHna, to
Montgomery, Alabama, and
because of geographical loca-
tion, the toll facility came
through West Point. The line
foreman for the construction
was W. T. Gentry who later
became president of Southern
Bell. Mr. Gentry made it pos-
sible for Mr. Lanier to change
over the switchboard instru-
ments to Bell instruments and
to purchase what was known
at that time as an electric light
board. The first Bell direct
cormection in the United
States to an independent's
equipment was made to
Interstate Telephone Com-
Thus, the company's
tradition of excellent telecom-
munications began unfolding
early in its history. In 1904,
the system was converted to
common battery service,
beheved to be the first in an
office of that size. And for
this service, Lanier was the
first to use batteries devel-
oped in Thomas A. Edison's
Growth and improve-
ments continued at a steady
pace over the years. Valley
Telephone Company, owned
by West Point Manufacturing,
was purchased and added to
the system in 1961.
A $5 milhon expansion
and improvement project
began in 1976 included office
remodeling, direct distance
dialing, and installation of an
electronic switch. Digital
switching was inaugurated in
the mid-80s.
Interstate/Valley Tele-
phone has successfully com-
bined the strengths of the past
with the technology of the
future to give it a competitive
edge in the marketplace. ITC
Holding Company, parent
company of Interstate /Valley
Telephone Company,
A Interslofe Telephone cuts over to digitol switching in 1985.
InterQuest, InterCall and
InterCell, has positioned the
company to meet the needs of
its customers and the chal-
lenges of an ever-changing
InterCel, Inc., organized
in 1989, owns and operates a
cellular telephone system
serving contiguous portions
of four rural service areas in
west Georgia and east
Alabama. The serving area
includes approximately 2,900
square miles with estimated
population exceeding 259,000.
Cellular coverage begins
south of Atlanta for approxi-
mately 100 miles on 1-85 to
Auburn, Alabama, and
approximately forty miles of
1-185 to north Columbus,
Early in 1994, InterCel
completed a business combi-
nation with Unicel, the wire-
line cellular telephone service
provider for the Bangor,
Maine, MSA and two rural
service areas in Maine. This
serving area includes a popu-
lation of approximately
ITC Holding Company
and SCANA Corporation of
Columbia, South Carolina,
jointly constructed and oper-
ate a 290 mile fiber optic net-
work in west Georgia and
east Alabama. Called
Interstate FiberNet, it is an
alternative for delivery of
state-of-the-art telecommuni-
cations to secondary markets,
cities other than major metro
areas, in the southeastern
United States. The fiber net-
work is constructed using
SONET (synchronous optical
network) technology to deliv-
er high quality, digital tele-
communications bandwidth
to long distance telecommuni-
cations providers in the
southeast. It provides access
to Atlanta, Newnan,
LaGrange, West Point, and
Columbus in Georgia and to
Anniston, Gadsden, PeU City,
Leeds, Birmingham and
Opelika in Alabama.
When Interstate/Valley
Telephone was advised by
AT&T that it would cancel its
contract for operator services
which the company had been
providing, Interstate/Valley
realized it had three options:
continue to provide operator
services without AT&T's rev-
enue, close their operator ser-
vices center or enter the
market as a service provider
to other telecommunications
companies. After evaluating
the operator services (OS)
marketplace, the company
made the decision to enter
that arena. A new company,
InterQuest, was formed to
provide the new service.
A A new company, InterQuest, wos formed to provide operotor services to long distance componles ttiroughout tire soutfreost.
InterQuest began marketing
their services to long distance
companies serving the south-
east, pay telephone compa-
nies needing operators to
handle long distance calls, cel-
lular companies and even
other local telephone compa-
nies. InterQuest also provides
directory assistance and
operator assistance for long
distance calls for Interstate/
Valley Telephone Company.
A long distance calling card
and prepaid (debit) calling
card under the InterCard
product name are available
from InterQuest.
InterCall, started in
1991, offers businesses and
organizations nationwide a
teleconferencing service for
conference calls and provides
the service in a fast and trou-
ble-free manner. InterCall has
direct sales personnel nation-
wide who market the confer-
ence calling services provided
from its call center in West
Telephone's 1992 telephone
directory memorialized Cam
B. Lanier, Jr., who passed
away June 22,1991. "Mr.
Cam" or "Cam, Jr.," as he was
affectionately known, was
instrumental in the growth
and development of ITC
Holding Company and
Interstate/Valley Telephone
Company. He served on the
Board of the United States
Independent Telephone
Association in 1971 and 1972.
He had many other business
interests, including Board of
Directors of SouthemNet,
Inc., a regional long distance
company founded by him
and his family. He was a past
member of the West Point
Rotary Club and a deacon in
the Spring Road Christian
Church of Lanett. His sur-
vivors are wife, Sydney
Gaines Lanier; sons,
Campbell B. Lanier, III, D.
Gaines Lanier, and Tom
Lanier; one brother, J. Smith
Lanier, II; two sisters, Mrs.
Mary L. Champion and Mrs.
Sally L. Davenport; and four
As of December 31,
1993, Interstate/Valley
Telephone served 14,900
access lines with one
exchange in Georgia and four
exchanges in Alabama
(Fredonia, Huguley, Lanett,
Valley and Shawmut).
Telephone Company's strate-
gy to become a leader in the
industry led the company to
undertake a major expansion
program in 1993. In January,
1994, the commercial office
was moved from West Point,
Georgia, to an 8,700 square
feet building in Lanett,
Alabama. The design of the
new facility offers easy access
to business office, drive-in
windows and customer ser-
vice areas. It also houses the
company's marketing depart-
ment. The space vacated in
West Point will be used for
the InterQuest operation. A
new InterCaU operations cen-
ter is currently under con-
struction in the West Point
Industrial Park. ITC Holding
Company's executive offices
wiU also relocate to this facih-
ty in late 1994.
For years, the Lanier
family has been involved in
Georgia Telephone Associa-
tion activities, USTA and
OPASTCO projects.
Interstate/VaUey Telephone
hosted OPASTCO's promo-
tional van which traveled
cross-country in 1992 to
increase awareness of small
independent telephone com-
panies. Visitors were treated
to a showcase of antique tele-
phone sets, state-of-the-art
equipment, industry litera-
ture, photographs and video-
In January, Interstate/
Valley Telephone sponsored a
distance learning trial
between two Alabama high
schools in its service area.
The trial has performed suc-
cessfully. The company
intends to expand this service
in the counties it serves.
Interstate / V alley
Telephone's customer appre-
ciation day denotes the com-
pany's sincere desire to stay
close to its customers and
continue the tradition of supe-
rior customer service. This
attitude and tradition, cou-
pled with the leadership of
Cam B. Lanier, III, its chair-
man; William H. Scott, III, its
vice chairman and its presi-
dent, insure the company's
continued success.
A Compbell Brown Lanier, Jr. (1925-1991), offectionofelv known ns "Mr. Com" or 'Com, Jr."
wos instrumental in tiie growth and rievelopment of ITC Holtling Company ond the Interstote and
Valley Telephone Companies.
Outstanding pioneers,
builders and leaders in the
early development of Georgia
telephony, the Lanier family
properties today represent
progress, innovation and a
"quest" for the best that the
future can offer Interstate/
Valley Telephone Company
and its customers.
necting the area to the
outside world.
Mr. and Mrs. J. H.
Cook purchased the
conapany in 1919, at
which time there were
almost fifty telephones with
two exchanges; one in Nelson
and one in Ball Ground.
The Cooks both were
bom and grew up in
Fairmount, Georgia, and may
have operated the Fairmount
telephone company prior to
its resell in 1920.
Mr. and Mrs. Cook, who
were hard-working, dedicat-
ed telephone operators, evi-
dently earned the admiration
and respect of the community
they served as reflected by the
fact that on occasions when
the company was devastated
by weather and fire, volunteer
friends and neighbors helped
them rebuild.
Mr. and Mrs. Cook
began operating the business
by opening the exchange at
7:00 a.m. and closing at 8:00
p.m. and later extended the
hours from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00
p.m. This schedule was in
effect for a number of years.
At the time of Mr.
Cook's death in 1958, Mrs.
Cook became president of the
company and their son, James
S. Cook, returned to Nelson to
become manager. Today,
their daughter, Polly Barrett,
is a key figure in the opera-
tion of the company.
James S. Cook lost his
life in an automobile accident
in 1964 and since that time,
Polly has leaned on Robert L.
Turner, who has served as
general manager from that
time forward.
The author visited
Nelson-BaU Ground Tele-
phone Company for the pur-
pose of gathering information
for this pubhcation. While on
this visit, Robert expressed to
me that he has thirty-seven
years in the industry and is
thinking seriously about the
"r" word. PoUy did not want
him to talk about retiring yet.
The conversation also
brought out the fact that
nepotism could come to an
abrupt halt, although Polly,
Ball Ground
Company's first
operation con-
sisted of three
telephones with
lines strung
between the dry
goods store in
Ball Ground,
the depot in
Tate, and a tele-
phone booth in
Nelson where
the switchboard
was located.
This is impressive for
the area, located deep in the
mountains of north Georgia,
considering that many remote
areas across the country still
did not have need for tele-
phones. It is thought that the
mining industry was the dri-
ving force behind the early
telephone service, as well as
the long distance lines con-
A Robert L. Turner, general monager,
has 37 yeo5 in the inriustry.
A Polly Barret reminisces obout the early days when her father, J. H. Cook, operated the compony.
who has no children, indicat-
ed a nephew might be inter-
ested sometime in the near
Polly remembered, "I
was ten years old when I
learned to operate the switch-
board (in our home) and later
wished I hadn't. I had to
'watch it' when the operator
went to supper or had to go
somewhere. Sometimes it
was really something. When
anything interesting hap-
pened in town, everyone
would call the operator to
find out the details. I worked
a lot during the summertime.
The board didn't stay very
busy - maybe one call every
five or ten minutes, and the
other school kids would con-
gregate in the room with me.
Daddy would come in, see all
of them, laugh and tell them
to go home. One summer.
Mother and Dad went to visit
Dadd)/s older brother, and
my sister, Sarah, and I came
to operate the switchboard at
night for a time. As I was in a
deep sleep, the bell would go
off at 3:30 - 4:00 a.m. every
morning. I was afraid not to
get up and answer, and each
time it would be the same lit-
tle lady. 'Hello, what ya
doing? I'm just sitting around
waiting for daylight.' She
was lonely.
"Mother and Dad had
the first automobile in
Fairmount. One Sunday
morning the phone rang, and
it was the depot calling to say
the car had just arrived by
train from Detroit.
"Daddy was so civic-
minded and he loved his
church (Ball Ground Baptist
Church). He was ordained as
a deacon at twenty-one years
old. Many times someone at
church would teU him a sad
story, and he would empty
his billfold to them. When the
church needed work, he'd
send the telephone crew over
to work." Robert chimed in,
"Many's a time I saw that. Of
course, that was before the
Commission was in the pic-
Polly continued,
"Mother will be ninety-nine
years old in April, if she lives.
She has been in the telephone
business since she was nine-
teen, and of course, the busi-
ness was in her home part of
that time. She was coming to
the office every day until she
was ninety-seven At ninety- (Nelson-Boll Ground's vice president ond general mnnoger) and Polly Barrett.
six, I took her to the eye doc-
tor one day and when she
came out she said, 'Well, I'm enabled the company to pro-
going to go buy a car tomor- vide enhanced 911 service
row; he says I'm better.'" information on our Cherokee
County subscribers.
I noticed an attractive
telephone directory on the An FMT-150 fiber optics
credenza in her office and system was installed in
asked for a copy. Polly told December, 1990. Fiber optics
us they were proud of it and cable and central office equip-
that when her Mother was ment, which is not lightning
well, she had always chosen sensitive, give customers
the directory covers. more reliable service with
greater capabilities. All
The present offices are Nelson-Ball Ground's toll and
located in facilities built with FAS are operated on fiber
REA loan funds. The original optics cable and equipment.
Vidar digital equipment in Currently, the company is
Nelson and Marble Hill is still working with connecting
providing touchtone and cus- companies to build a fiber
tom calling. It was obvious ring to eliminate most down-
these folks compare favorably time in long distance service,
with companies of their size.
Three new buildings to
By 1987, Nelson-Ball house remote subscriber
Ground Telephone Com- switches in the Bethany, Mica
pan/s commercial and plant and Bent Tree communities
operations were almost 100 were completed in 1987. To
percent computerized. An date, the company has con-
IBM System 36 was installed structed buildings and added
in 1987 to speed up billing RSS's in the Cove Road, Ball
capabilities and outside plant Ground, Yellow Creek,
work. Highway 372 and Handy
Corner areas. These RSS's are
A Telmapping system more economical to install
installed in 1987 is updated than building outside cable
daily with all outside plant plant to provide the one-party
and customer changes. This service Nelson-Ball Ground
land base system, in conjunc- Telephone is committed to
tion with the System 36, has providing.
One of Nelson-Boll Gound's longtime employees, Chorlotte Ghorley.
During 1989, the com-
pany entered into partnership
agreements with several con-
necting companies to provide
cellular telephone service in
the areas known as Rural
Service Area No. 1 (RSA No.
1) and Rural Service Area No.
2 (RSA No. 2).
vided to the FAA in
Hampton, Georgia, via
Oglethorpe Mountain.
In 1993, Nelson-Ball
Ground Telephone installed
an enhanced processor. This
upgrade to central office
hardware and software was
required to allow its cus-
tomers to select the long dis-
tance carriers of their choice
as of February, 1993. Ameri-
can Digital Switching is cur-
rently working to develop the
eighth line group, which will
ultimately give Nelson-Ball
Ground Telephone the capa-
bihty of serving 10,752 lines
and 1,392 trunks.
Major additions to com-
mercial and plant buildings
in Nelson were made in 1992
to provide space for the com-
pany to increase its staff to its
present total of twenty-one
employees. The additional
staff was necessary to handle
the demands of serving cus-
tomers totaling 4,523 at year-
end 1993.
With the installation of
a digital access carrier (DAG)
in 1992, Nelson-Ball Ground
Telephone Company contin-
ued to take necessary steps to
modernize services provided
to its customers. D4's have
been installed to provide high
speed data circuits to remote
locations. Lottery circuits are
provided to several rural cus-
tomers. In conjimction with
connecting companies, air
traffic control circuits are pro-
Pembroke Telephone
Company was started in 1905
as Pembroke Telephone and
Water Works by U. S.
Williams. WrUiams was
mayor of Pembroke and
owner of the city water
works. The water works was
eventually sold to the city of
Pembroke; however, Williams
continued to operate the tele-
phone company for a number
of years. C. R. Sikes of
Glennville purchased the
company in 1940 and
renamed it Sikes Telephone
Company. Sikes was an early
telephone builder in this sec-
tion of Georgia and is
beheved to have had a part in
the creation of the Glennville
Telephone exchange.
Paul and Ivey Beardslee
purchased the company on
March 31,1946, at which time
the magneto system served
112 stations off grounded
Then on November 29,
1951, Paul was electrocuted
while taking down open lines
that he had replaced with
cable. The tragedy occurred
when a wire went wild two
blocks away and hit a power
Ivey Beardslee contin-
ued to operate the company
with the help and support of
her father, U. J. Bacon, and
her brother, Gerald C. Bacon.
A Stromberg Carlson
loan in 1954 made it possible
to purchase and install
Stromberg Carlson equip-
ment. The company convert-
ed to dial in March, 1955, with
over 300 stations m service.
Pembroke Telephone
Company was the first inde-
pendent telephone company
in Georgia to provide direct
distance dialing (DDD) to its
subscribers. A modern new
office and centralized auto-
matic message accormting
equipment to provide DDD
was possible with REA loan
funds. The new dial service
was converted on October 22,
1961. Nine hundred stations
were served through new
outside plant that was 80 per-
cent buried cable.
In July, 1974, Pembroke
established a second
exchange in Ellabell.
Digital switching equip-
ment was installed and con-
verted by 1984.
Keeping pace with
industry development and
technology, a 500 feet com-
munications tower was built
to accommodate paging.
Pembroke's paging service
covers a wide area, which is
beneficial to other customers,
as well as customers outside
the service territory.
The next challenge,
which was met with success
and enthusiasm, was cellular
telecommunications. Two
subsidiaries were formed
Pembroke Cellular Company
and Pembroke Cellular
Company IIto bring this
new technology to southeast
Georgia. Once again the com-
pany was a leader in the
A Ivey Beordslee, President end
industry as they pioneered a
system from Vidalia to
Savannah and from Savannah
to the Florida line. It was
originally one of the largest
coverage areas in the south-
east, having a coverage area
that included the Savannah
MSA and Georgia RSA Nos.
8,11 and 12.
Today this southeast
Georgia company has approx-
imately 3,000 access lines out
of two exchanges and has
eighteen employees.
Ivey Beardslee remains
at the helm of the company
she has so ably led to many
successes. She is president
and chairman. Robert M.
Letcher is vice president and
general manager.
Pembroke Telephone
Company continues to bring
leading edge technology, ser-
vice and quality to their cus-

a telephone company in
Georgia, and the first
approved for a telephone
During its first year of
operation, Pineland
Telephone purchased the
Metter exchange. Ownership
of the Metter Telephone
Company passed from W. M.
New, to W. S. Long, to Mrs.
W. S. Long, to Kenneth R.
Trapnell, to U. S. Jones and
finally to Southeastern
Company. The Southeastern
Company operated the com-
pany from 1928 until it sold
the exchange to Pineland
E. R. Britt was involved
in the creation of the coopera-
tive and was named its first
manager. He served as secre-
tary and treasurer of the
Georgia Telephone
Association at one time.
From that time forward, the
cooperative would be in the
vanguard of GTA affairs pro-
viding able and dedicated
leadership in many
of its activities.
Earl D. Kidd
was Pineland's sec-
ond manager dur-
ing the period 1966
to 1974. He also
took an active part
in telephone pio-
neer activities.
Pinelond Telephone Cooperative's office in 1981.
A. M. (Ben)
Bennett, Pineland's
general manager
since 1974, held
various manage-
Pineland Telephone
Cooperative was organized
on September 8,1951, by a
group of interested people
from Emanuel and Candler
Counties. The purpose of the
co-op was to merge several
small exchanges which had
been struggling over the years
to serve their communities.
An insufficient revenue base
prevented proper mainte-
nance and expansion of the
After a number of meet-
ings, the board of directors
approved the purchase of
telephone exchanges at
Midville, Adrian, Twin City
and Stillmore. Memberships
were obtained and equity cer-
tificates sold to begin opera-
tion of the cooperative.
Money to purchase the four
exchanges and begin con-
struction of new facilities was
made available by a $625,000
loan from the Rural Electri-
fication Administration in
March, 1952. This was the
fourth REA loan approved for
ment positions with Southern
Bell Telephone Company and
Walker County Telephone
Company before joining
Pineland. He was president
of the Georgia Telephone
Association during 1991-
1992. He was on the board of
directors of the National
Telephone Cooperative
Association (NTCA)* from
1982-1991 serving two terms
as president in 1989 and 1990.
Pineland has stayed
abreast of service demands,
carried on a steady construc-
tion program and kept pace
with changing technology. A
480 foot tower was construct-
ed in 1967 to fadhtate mobile
telephone and paging sys-
As of March, 1982, every
subscriber of the cooperative
was being served with one-
party telephone service with
rates set in 1975.
By the end of 1983, there
were more than 13,000 tele-
phones in ten exchanges serv-
ing the rural communities of
AHne, Pulaski, Meeks,
Norristown, Scott, Covena,
Nunez, Stillmore, Wesley,
Garfield and Coleman Lake.
The ten exchanges are:
Metter, Adrian, Bartow,
Cobbtown, Davisboro, Kite,
Lexsy, Midville, Oak Park
and Twin City.
Mary Searson Hodges,
office manager for Pineland
almost from its beginning,
retired in 1986. She played an
active role in the Peach State
Chapter Pioneers and served
as the Dixieland Club presi-
dent for several years.
Pineland placed new
technology fiber optic cables
in its toll network from sever-
al exchanges in 1988 and EAS
fiber optic cable between its
own Metter and Twin City
exchanges in 1989.
All ten exchanges had
been cut over to modern digi-
tal electronic switchers by
1989. This same year
Pineland sent help to South
Carolina to aid in rebuilding
damage done by Hurricane
Pineland entered the cel-
lular business as a partner in
three RSAs in 1990. The firm
also constructed a much
needed new office building in
Metter, its headquarters city.
By 1989, the cooperative
had outgrown its office facili-
ties constructed in 1954 when
they had 1,400 subscribers
and eleven employees work-
ing in that location. Pineland
now had 8,700 subscribers
with twenty-four employees
based in the main office.
Plans called for adding 3,900
square feet of space, installing
a drive-up window, and
improving the overall appear-
ance of the building. The
attractive and stately struc-
ture was completed in 1990.
In an effort to help
improve the quality of hfe in
its service area, Pineland, in
1992, offered eight full schol-
arships at local technical
schools to students living in
the Pineland Telephone Co-
op service area or the
Swainsboro area. The move
was met with great favor by
the schools and co-op mem-
During 1993, Pineland
went equal access, apphed for
an additional REA construc-
tion loan, began construction
on a new maintenance and
store room building and con-
tinued to look to and plan for
the future.
*The NTCA membership
includes independent telephone
companies and related businesses
from all over the United States.
Headquartered in Washington,
D.C., the Association is noted
throughout the industry for its
excellent representation of the
independent telephone industry
before Congress, the REA, FCC
and other government agencies
with which the industry must
deal. NTCA members have
access to retirement programs,
group health insurance and sav-
ing plans, industry relations, edu-
cation, training seminars, legal
and technical assistance and vari-
ous publications for up-to-date
news and information.
Plant Telephone
Company has tried over the
years to maintain a neighbor-
ly relationship with its cus-
tomer base, while taking the
company to a level of exper-
tise that could not have been
imagined by the early pio-
neers of telephony.
100 percent private line and
digital service. Plant main-
tains seven central offices,
two remote facilities, 1,645
miles of cable (95 percent
buried cable) and employs
fifty-six people with an aver-
age age of forty-three years
and an average tenure of 16.4
capacity in Willacoochee. At
this time. Plant also began
mstalling permanent genera-
tors in all its exchanges.
WUlacoochee and Lenox
were the first offices to have
the generators installed in
1986 with the Pinehurst gen-
erator the following year.
In May, 1987, the com-
pany established the James P.
Gleaton scholarship at
Abraham Baldwin College to
help fund the education of the
children of the Plant
Telephone employees.
Today, Plant Telephone
Company serves over 8,000
customers in seven exchange
areas. All customers enjoy
T Jimmy Gleoton was one of several businessmen to establish Southern Telephone Supply Company. L-R: Harold
Bishop, Jim Kirk, Art Barnes, Glenn Bryant, Jimmy Gleaton, Hoi Salem, and Ned Chopin.Standord, Dovid Clark, John
Sikes, ond Carl Speed.
In 1986, the company
was proceeding with its pro-
ject to upgrade all seven cen-
tral offices and installed a
DMS-10 with a 706 line
On June 16,1987, the
Lenox exchange received an
800-line DMS-10, and Plant
synchronized all central
offices to the Southern Bell
master clock.
T William Lewis, James Rhyne, W. M. Timbednke, Eliza Gleaton (J. P. Gleaton's mother) ot Warwick Centrol office.
James P. "Jimmy" Gleaton worked for Southern Bell ond
also maintained Plant Telephone's facilities.
A Group of Plont Telephone employees in 1961. L-R: Henry Hollis, F. B. McCrary, Shorty Henry, Willie Gay, Shelton Smith, J. W. Smith, T. L.
While the central office
personnel worked toward the
conclusion of the switch
upgrade, the construction
department was instalhng
fiber in the Soperton
exchange to meet Bell. The
fiber cutover date was
December 2,1986. The com-
pany purchased a fusion
spHcer, and Carlton Marchant
did the first fiber splice on
September 1,1987, on the
Omega/Lenox fiber. The
Omega/Lenox fiber was put
into service on October 13,
1987. This fiber includes all
HAS, toll and special circuits.
These circuits have also been
put on Bell fiber from Tifton
to Albany, making the path
from Omega to Lenox to
Tifton to Albany a complete
fiber path.
The Axson remote
office, a DMS-10 equipped
with 320 lines, was installed
on April 28,1988. On August
15,1988, the Pinehurst DMS-
10 was placed in service with
500-line capabiHty. This com-
pleted the upgrade of the
company's four-party system
to all one-party. The upgrade
process took ten years and
cost over $6 mrUion. A major
element of the one-party
upgrade was the installation
of NTI DMS-10 digital offices
in all seven exchanges and
REM digital remote offices in
the Soperton and Pearson
While the outside pro-
jects were nearing conclusion.
Plant Telephone began
automating many informa-
tion processing tasks. In 1986,
all service order activity was
On January 5,1989,
Georgia Power Company
exercised the option to pur-
chase the electric distribution
system at Warwick, Georgia.
This property had been leased
to Georgia Power for the past
twenty-five years. Upon com-
pletion of this transaction.
Plant officially changed its
name from Plant Telephone
and Power Company, Inc. to
Plant Telephone Company,
In May, 1989, the engi-
neering department installed
an engineering computer net-
work (ECN). The network
consisted of two SUN386i
work stations, two SUN
SPARC work stations and
plotters. The ECN uses the
Unix platform in conjunction
with Autocad to support all
mapping and drafting fimc-
tions. In addition, the outside
plant continuing property
records (CPRs) have been
added to the system allowing
the implementation of vintage
year accounting.
On October 15,1988,
Plant Telephone ordered an
IBM AS/400 B35 computer to
replace a line of Unisys com-
puters m use since 1976. Over
400 COBOL programs were
converted, including applica-
tions for billing and collec-
tions, customer history,
directory information, tolls,
deposits, cable records, line
records, trouble records,
inventory, sales, service
orders, continuing property
records, central office traffic
analysis and others. The sys-
tem was installed in late
December, 1988, and conver-
sion took place immediately
after the May 21,1989, state-
ments were completed. The
first statements processed by
the new computer were for
the June 21,1989, billing cycle.
Plant's staff did much of the
planning and conversion.
In the fall of 1989, the
central office department
added billing media conver-
sion (BMC) to all the central
offices for recording all sent
paid toll traffic. By the end of
January, 1990, all seven
exchanges were converted. In
addition, the central office
department upgraded all
seven central offices to 403.13
In January, 1990, Plant
installed LAMA and began
billing its own 1+ and "800"
calls. The company also
agreed to billing and collec-
tion contracts with U. S.
Intelco Networks, Inc. for
MCI and Sprint. This called
for Plant to record and send
originating "900" traffic to
MCI and to receive, bill and
collect for sent collect and
"900" messages for both MCI
and Sprint. This system was
implemented in late 1990 and
early 1991.
In September, 1990, the
company modified billing
and collection programs to
allow for bilhng and collec-
tion of enhanced 911 services.
Later that year the company
converted paystations in all
seven exchanges from semi-
post pay to prepay, installed
the first digital rural carrier in
the Omega exchange and
began converting its special
systems circuits to digital data
In July, 1991, many
changes were brought to
Plant and the industry
statewide. The first change
was the implementation of
county-wide calling (CWC).
This, in effect, is toll free call-
ing for calls originated and
terminated within the same
county. The design of the toll
network (multiple telephone
companies with lines within a
county and lines from one
exchange serving more than
one county) made implemen-
tation complex and took the
cooperation of all telephone
companies across the state.
Plant was one of the leaders
in the success of the plan and
helped the Georgia Public
Service Commission and the
Georgia Telephone Associa-
tion develop methods and
techniques to implement the
plan. Twice a month, each
company sends a record of
each line and a code for its tax
county to Southern Bell, who
maintains a statewide data-
base. Bell sends this data to
each company twice a month.
This data is used in rating
programs to determine coun-
ty wide calling.
The implementation of
the seven cents surcharge for
dual party relay service also
began at this time. (The dual
party relay service provides
telephone communications
between deaf and hearing/
speech impaired customers
who use telecommunications
devices for the deaf (TDD)
and all customers who use
telephones. The system is
funded by collection of a sur-
charge from all telephone cus-
tomers in Georgia.)
In August, Plant agreed
for U. S. Intelco to maintain its
line information records for
validation of collect and third
number calls.
During 1991, the compa-
ny's engineering and con-
struction departments
continued deployment of
optical cable and electronics
in the toll network. By the
end of the year, five of seven
exchanges were providing foil
service over fiber. The
portion was completed by the
end of 1991, and the
Willacoochee portion was
completed in 1992, allowing
the company to remove the
majority of its toll from the
microwave system.
New recorded
announcement machines
were installed in the Soperton
and Warwick exchanges to
provide number identification
to installer technicians and
recorded announcements to
customers when dialing num-
bers that have been changed.
In December, 1991, the
original AS/400 computer
was upgraded from a Model
B35 with 24 million bytes of
main memory and 1.8 billion
bytes of disk storage to a
Model D35 with 40 million
bytes of memory and 3.2 bil-
lion bytes of storage. This
upgrade, allowing 65 percent
faster processing of informa-
tion, was necessitated by the
increased volume of toll
records and the expansion of
the industry's standard-sized
toll record from 310 charac-
ters to 350 characters.
Another significant part of
this conversion was replacing
aU terminals with personal
computers. The personal
computers allowed the use of
word processing and spread-
sheet applications company-
wide and enabled central
office and outside plant
departments to communicate
with the central office equip-
ment via special software
apphcations. The accounting
department installed a Novell
network to allow shared
resources within the depart-
ment while maintaining
autonomy from the main-
At the end of 1992, Plant
began its first significant work
on the headquarters building
since its renovation in 1982.
The customer service office
was remodeled to include
another customer service win-
dow and incorporate space
previously used for retail
phone sales.
In order to position itself
for the future. Plant Tele-
phone Company is assisting
local school administrators in
the installation of parent-
teacher help lines and partici-
pating in the planning of
distance learning projects.
With independent telephone
companies' dependence on
the growth and health of rural
America, these interactive dis-
tance learning projects and an
overall emphasis on educa-
tion win enhance the
opportimities for economic
development in nnal areas
and thus improve the eco-
nomic quahty of life in rural
The incorporators of
Planters Telephone Coopera-
tive held their first meeting at
the Jenkins Coimty Court-
house on July 6,1950.
By March of the follow-
ing year (1951), the directors
had obtained the necessary
financing and completed pur-
chase of the Effingham
Telephone Company and had
filed for an REA loan apphca-
Already off to a running
start with purchase of the
Effingham Company, which
included two exchanges at
Guyton and Pineora, the REA
loan would provide the funds
to launch the new cooperative
into a truly successful begin-
At the annual meeting
of members on August 14,
1952, it was announced that
the REA construction loan
monies, soon to be available,
would be used to construct
100 miles of telephone line
and to install the necessary
switching equipment. This
would virtually build a new
system to cover Screven
County and to expand to
Effingham Coimty.
Most of the planned
facilities were put into service
during 1955 and in July, 1956,
a total of 699 subscribers were
in service in Screven and
Effingham Counties with a
waiting hst for service of
almost 200 subscribers.
The 1960s saw steady
growth and improvements in
the system. Underground
cable was installed and new
switching equipment was put
into service in new central
office buildings. In 1962, a
new headquarters building
was completed in Newington
and a warehouse was added
several years later. At the end
of 1966, Planter Telephone
Cooperative served 2,001 sub-
A major step was taken
to provide all one-party ser-
vice and the last exchange
was upgraded in late 1976.
At the end of 1976, the
company was serving 3,613
subscribers and by late 1986,
that number had grown to
4,985 access lines.
The next step was all
digital switching throughout
the system.
Don Godbee was an
early manager. Fred Hodges
has been manager of the
cooperative since 1978. It is
interesting that at the same
time he also is general manag-
er of the Bulloch County
Rural Telephone Cooperative,
Inc. A newspaper article
dated March, 1978, stated that
a unique contract was negoti-
ated between the two co-ops
for shared management. The
Planters Co-op had been
besieged by various problems
including resignation of top
personnel. This has proved to
be a beneficial move for both
Hodges' management
skills are enhanced by his
concern for the area his com-
pany serves and for its sub-
scribers and employees. The
following statement expresses
it well.
"Economic growth is the
key for our rural communities
to flourish in the next century.
Screven and Effingham
County need to keep the busi-
nesses they have and attract
new ones, so our young peo-
ple will not have to leave the
area in search of good jobs.
"As one of the key play-
ers in our service area.
Planters Telephone will do its
part by providing access to all
the Information Age has to
offer. Our communities can't
afford to be left behind in this
arena. To prepare for the
challenges ahead, during the
past decade we've made sub-
stantial investments in the lat-
est switching technology; our
telecommunications infra-
structure is constantly being
upgraded. We have begun
installation of fiber optic
cable. Our plan is to connect
all of our exchanges with this
most up-to date transmission
system. Today, you as our
valued customer enjoy service
equal or superior to your
urban counterparts.
"Thus, if a company
demands state-of-the-art
telecommunications for its
database service, it need not
look elsewhere. We have the
facilities to handle the
demands of business in the
1990s and beyond. We fully
understand that in a service
economy, the success of many
ventures depends more on
the quick and efficient trans-
fer of information over
telecommunication highways
than on railroads and inter-
"Planters Telephone
stands for more than just the
bottom line. As your neigh-
bors and friends, we have a
stake in this area and its
future. We believe in this
area and pledge to act as a
catalyst for future progress."
The officers of the com-
pany are George Mosley,
president; Wilton Grooms,
vice president; T. W. Lee, sec-
retary/ treasurer; and direc-
tors, Wilton Grooms, John C.
Lacienski, T. W. Lee, Ray
Mobley, George Mosley and
Melvin Newton.
A Plonters Telephone Cooperative moved into new office in 1991.
At the beginning of
1993, the company served
5,878 subscribers with thirty-
five employees through its
five exchanges. Headquarters
facilities are located in
Newington, Georgia.
Name Years
Brenda S. Scott
Thomas L. Pitts
Emerson McKinney
Edward R. Graham
Thomas K. (Pete) Graham
of Service
Progressive Rural
Telephone Co-op was orga-
nized and incorporated in
1953 in Rentz, Georgia, where
the main office remains today.
It was set up of six small
exchanges, four of which
were extended service areas
with each other.
The following officers
were elected to serve the com-
pany: President C. J. Burch,
Vice President L. K. Keen,
Treasurer W. B. English, and
Secretary J. B. Fordham, Jr.
Leland Wells was the first
manager of this cooperative;
he began employment in
August of 1956.
In the early 1970s, one-
party service was installed
and all subscribers were pro-
vided private line service
while many other companies
still had many multi-party
By the mid-1970s,
extended area service was
installed between all
exchanges and to their Bell
Company toll center at
Dublin to give the company
the third-largest free-calling
service in Georgia at the time.
In 1985, all exchanges
were upgraded to digital with
fiber optic to the toll center.
2.3. The company has just
completed upgrading aU
exchanges to provide CLASS
features with SS7 capabilities.
By the first of 1993, the
company was serving 3,869
customers out of six
exchanges with eighteen
employees. Charles E. Mullis
is general manager.
Progressive Rural takes
pride in their service and their
system which they feel to be
one of the very best in the
state and in the nation. Their
motto is "large enough to
serve you, small enough to
know you."
Fifteen incorporators
from Dudley, Chester, Rentz,
Montrose, CadweU, Danville
and Jeffersonville, with the
help of the REA, pur-
chased the exchanges in
four small communities in
rural middle Georgia and
set about building a tele-
phone co-op to serve the
people of that area.
They began by
recruiting members and
the first operation began in
1956 on open wire lines
with ten-party service.
Following a severe
and destructive ice storm
in 1963, the co-op installed
buried cable to serve all
subscribers but stiU had
eight-party hues. Few
companies can boast of
having underground cable
this early and certainly not
all underground.
The six exchanges cover
an area of 500 square miles
with a subscriber density of
A SouHiern Bell tepresentetives visit Progressive Rural Co^rp otter the corrpany converted to digital switching in the late '80s. L-R: Rich Potsios, Southern Bell'
industry relations: Ed Mullis, Progressive's general manager; and Carl E. Swearingen, Southern Bell's president-Georgin division.
, o X AT X 1 ' a J
! T T~i .;x.. xizriz

Public Service Tele-
phone Company is one of the
oldest, privately owned tele-
phone companies in the
United States. Operated by
four generations of the Bond
family, it is also one of the
most interesting telephone
company scenarios in the
Hiram Columbus Bond
and Bessie Marie Moore were
the first generation of the fam-
ily to enter the field of tele-
phony. They purchased the
Roberta Telephone Company
and later added the surround-
ing towns of Reynolds, Butler,
CuUoden and Lizella. It was
not until 1954 that the opera-
tions were all incorporated
under the name of Public
Service Telephone Company
with home offices in
Reynolds, Taylor County,
The earliest records and
dates of the establishment of
the telephone exchanges of
the Bond family properties in
Georgia are not available.
However, the existence of the
Reynolds exchange has been
established as early as 1911.
Roberta and Lizella were
operating in 1923 and
CuUoden in 1928. The Butler
exchange was operating in
1929. These exchanges could
have and probably did exist
prior to these dates.
Hiram Columbus Bond,
Jr. was bom in 1906, and in
1932, he married Mintie
Theus. They had two chU-
dren, Don and Barbara.
During the 1930s, Hiram
spent much of his time chang-
ing the "groimded" circuits to
"metalUc" to eliminate the
noise generated by the new
electric co-op lines made pos-
sible by the advent of the REA
During the war years,
with Uttle funds available for
help, they worked in the
office and out in the field dur-
ing the dayUght hours and
worked the switchboard after
H. C. spent the 1950s
obtaining REA financing and
completely rebuUt the system.
He replaced the "magneto"
equipment with "dial" equip-
ment, extended service into
the mral areas, and rebuilt the
toll faculties.
H. C. spent his adult life
in the telephone business and
passed his love of the compa-
ny on to his chUdren who
now represent the third and
fourth generation of Public
Service Telephone Company.
During his lifetime he
was a member of the Georgia
Telephone Association,
USTA, and various commuiu-
ty, civic and reUgious organi-
zations and was very active in
the First Baptist Church of
Reynolds where he served as
a Simday school teacher,
Sunday school director, dea-
con and superintendent.
Donald E. Bond and
wife, Beverl)m, represent the
third generation at the hehn
of the company. FoUowing
graduation from Georgia
Tech, Don returned to lead
the company from the primi-
tive status of its times into the
new world of technology,
exceeding any expectations
his father or grandfather
could have conceived.
PubUc Service Tele-
phone Company today serves
1,050 square mUes of territory
between Macon and Colum-
bus, Georgia, and the fourth
generation of the H. C. Bond
famUy, sons of Don and
Beverlyn, KeUy and Jim, are
actively engaged in the opera-
tions of the company.
Don and Beverlyn Bond
are well-known figures at the
state and national level. Both
have been active in the
Georgia Telephone Associa-
tion activities and Don holds
a position on a number of
national boards. He is past
president of the Organization
for the Protection and
Advancement of Small
Telephone Companies
(OPASTCO). He is presently
serving on the Board of
Directors of the United States
Telephone Association having
been elected in 1991. He
serves on the Board of Direc-
tors of the National Exchange
Carriers Association (NECA)
and also serves on the Board
of Directors of the Indepen-
dent NECA Services.
Public Service Tele-
phone Company is one of the
leading independent tele-
phone companies in the
nation and the Bonds are one
of the most highly regarded
pioneer famihes.
Flint Cable TV, a wholly
owned subsidiary, was estab-
lished in 1981 to serve the
cable TV needs in Butler,
Re5molds and Roberta.
Systems were built for each of
In 1978, Utelwico, Inc.,
which served Talbotton and
Geneva, was purchased and
added fo Public Service. The
facilities and persormel were
later merged. This represent-
ed a significant increase in
both service and customer
base for the company.
these areas. The system in
Buena Vista was purchased in
All of Public Service's
central offices were replaced
by digital ones beginning
with Lizella in October, 1987,
with completion of conver-
sion in September, 1988.
Public Service Cellular, Inc.,
another wholly owned sub-
sidiary, was established to
serve the cellular telephone
needs in Muscogee and
Chattahoochee counties in
Georgia and Russell County
in Alabama. The first cell was
operational in late September.
De-scramblers and pro-
gramming for satelhte users
were added to the offering in
early 1988. Cell Site 2 of
Pubhc Service Cellular in
North Columbus became
operational in early fall of
Public Service Tele-
phone Company promotes
the involvement of its person-
nel in industry leadership and
activities. Four of Public
Service's employees have
served as mayors of their
respective towns. Two have
led local or area development
In addition, employee
training is emphasized with a
maximum of advancement
offered. Historically, wherev-
er possible, promotion within
the company has been prac-
ticed. This, along with excel-
lent company benefits, has led
to an outstanding record of
employee loyalty with many
staying with Public Service
thirty years and longer.
Public Service is proud of its
A most modem com-
puter department affords
Pubhc Service's customers of
local exchange telephone
facilities, cable TV and cellu-
lar telephone the very best
possible customer service.
Public Service's offices
and outside plant positions
are staffed with the top per-
sonnel. They provide excel-
lent service to their customers
and bring to them the most
modem technological
The philosophy of the
Bond family is that it is the
personnel who keep every-
thing working. Pubhc Service
lives up to its name only if its
people do their jobs. People
are the key and Pubhc Service
Telephone Company has
some of the very best.
Quincy Telephone
Company was founded in
1898 by A. T. Hearin and R. K.
Shaw of Quincy, Horida.
Preferring to devote their time
to other business ventures,
they soon sold the system to
the Mitchell Nebraska Drew
family of Madison, Florida,
for the sum of one hrmdred
The early years of the
twentieth century presented
unique and formidable chal-
lenges for all small telephone
companies; however, the
Drew family managed to
expand it operation and pro-
vide efficient telephone ser-
vice to its subscribers.
Quincy Telephone
acquired its Georgia holdings
in 1960 when they purchased
the Attapulgus exchange
from Mary V. Quattlebaum of
Donaldsville (Decatur
County), Georgia. Represen-
tatives of the company had
met with the Georgia Public
Service Commission four
years earlier to discuss the
possibility of purchasing this
exchange and subsequently
decided it would not be a
profitable purchase in the
foreseeable future.
Mitchell N. Drew, 111,
was president of the company
at the time it was sold to
Winter Park Telephone
Company in 1970. FFe
remained with the company
until 1979 when he retired to
pursue other business inter-
ests, and the company
merged with the United
Telephone System-Florida
In January, 1983, the
Quincy Telephone portion of
United's Florida Operation
was sold to Telephone & Data
Systems, Inc. (TDS) headed
by Leroy T. Carlson and his
son, Ted. TDS has corporate
headquarters in Chicago,
Illinois, and operational head-
quarters in Madison,
Donald R. Brown, a for-
mer Quincy Telephone
Company employee and
senior vice president of TDS,
was instrumental in the acqui-
sition. FFe became the new
president of Quincy Tele-
phone, and Lila Corbin was
named vice president and
general manager. In 1984,
Brown was elected chairman
and Lila Corbin became
president and chief opera-
tions officer.
Growth was constant
during the '80s requiring
extensive construction of cen-
tral office and outside plant.
With the advent of digital
switching, the commercial
and marketing departments
launched intensive efforts to
sell the new custom calling
After forty years of
operation, the company
closed its toll center in 1988.
By mid-1993 the compa-
ny was serving 11,500 cus-
tomers in Quincy, Gretna,
and Greensboro, Florida, and
Attapulgus, Georgia. Central
office equipment was 100 per-
cent digital and fiber had
been installed to handle
extended calling to
Tallahassee from
the Florida
Lila Corbin
became the first
female to be
elected president
of the Florida
Association serv-
ing with distinc-
tion in 1989-90.
She retired from
Quincy Tele-
phone in January,
Ula Corbin, president end COO until her retirement in 1992.
At the time of Mrs.
Corbin's retirement, Daniel V.
Gregory was transferred from
operational headquarters in
Madison, Wisconsin, to
become general manager. In
March, 1992, Gregory was
elected vice president and
appointed to Quincy's board
of directors. FFe also serves
on the board of directors of
the Florida Telephone
ITie company continues
its tradition of involvement m
the industry at all levels
local to nationaland in civic,
educational and business
affairs in its service area.
Quincy Telephone
Company's thirty-seven
employees protect and pro-
mote a heritage of dedication
to community service that
spans almost a century since
Quincy Telephone
Company is proud to be serv-
ing customers in Attapulgus,
Georgia, and pleased to be an
active participant of the
Georgia Telephone
Ringgold Telephone
Company celebrated its eight-
ieth anniversary in 1992. Its
founder, Jim Evitt, Sr., was
prominent in the history of
Georgia telephony. Not only
was he a pioneer builder of
this early telephone company,
he also played a leadership
role in the state association.
The lore that surrounds
the Ringgold Telephone
Company is that when Evitt
embarked on a venture to set
up a telephone system, the
locals ridiculed him with their
logic that the town was so
small they could just "holler"
to each other. Not to be
deterred by this critique, Evitt
built the Ringgold Telephone
Company in 1912 with con-
nections between eight tele-
phones. His first office was in
the back of a vacant store
building. The first telephone
cable was installed in 1929 to
serve approximately 125 cus-
He also busied himself
as the proprietor of the local
drug store and acted as Clerk
of Superior Court in Catoosa
County for twenty-six years.
The telephone office was later
relocated over the drug store.
Upon the death of Jim
Evitt, Sr. in 1948, Jim, Jr., who
had interned imder his father,
assumed leadership of the
company. By this time, the
company consisted of 250
By 1950, Ringgold
Telephone had become one of
the first independent tele-
phone companies in Georgia
to switch
from manual
service to dial
and increase
of plant facfii-
ty became the
re-defined agenda. In 1959,
the new home for fhe compa-
ny became 306 East Nashville
Street. This building is now
known as the Evitt Building.
Toll-free service
between Ringgold, Georgia,
and Chattanooga, Tennessee,
was established in 1962 and
direct long distance began in
1965. A new exchange was
estabhshed in 1966.
Alice Evitt Bandy,
granddaughter of the
founder, became president of
the company in 1973 after the
untimely death of her father.
James Evitt, Jr. died as the
result of an automobile acci-
The warehouse and
plant department found a
modem, new home erected in
1974. A major expansion pro-
gram in the mid-1970s result-
ed in a move toward one-
party service, new electronic-
switching equipment and 200
miles of new outside plant.
In 1980, the business
office relocated to its present
facilityan attractive, new
building at 123 West
Nashville Street. This facihty
also offers the added conve-
nience of drive-through cus-
tomer service.
A Alice Evitt Bandy, president of Ringgold Telephone, cuts over stoteof-ttieort digital switch.
Deregulation came to
the telephone industry in 1982
threatening the careful bal-
ance of shared revenues
between long distance com-
panies and the local exchange,
which prior to deregulation
subsidized the cost of basic
local service. Approximately
thirty-seven cents out of every
dollar of long distance rev-
enue flowed towards this sub-
sidy. Tremendous growth in
Catoosa County, coupled
with rapid tedmological
changes, forced the company
into another major service
improvement plan. Spending
$3,368,400, the program of
work included installation of
a modem state-of-the-art digi-
tal switch in both the 935 and
937 exchanges and deploy-
ment of optical fibers connect-
ing with South Central BeU
and AT&T for long distance
A new building was
constructed on Three Notch
Road to house the new digital
switch for the 937 exchange.
Ringgold Telephone Com-
pany marked another signifi-
cant milestone on December
12,1988, when Alice Evitt
Bandy, company president,
placed the first call over the
new digital switch in the 937
office fo Ringgold Mayor Joe
Barger in the 935 office. The
old 937 switch was officially
retired, and customers no
longer were required to dial
an "8" before placing a call to
The '80s era brought
more than technological
changes for Ringgold Tele-
phone Company as familiar
faces retired from the compa-
ny. These people had been
synonymous with Ringgold
Telephone Company for
years; Mary Lynn Clark, the
late Annie Lou McDaniel,
Jamie T. Clark and Evelyn
Robertson. Mrs. Jamie T.
Clark had been with the com-
pany since 1948 when the
total customer base was 250.
Alice Evitt Bandy, in the
family tradition, has assumed
a strong and positive leader-
ship role with the company
and the community. The
bevy of newspaper articles
the company submitted as
subject and research material
for this publication was
impressive, to say the least.
The company's and the
employees' civic responsibili-
ty and good corporate citizen-
ship have been rewarded
with recognitions, honors and
awards that are an obvious
reflection of the community's
gratitude for good service and
generous contributions. Pub-
lic Relations Director Eaye
Ward's vibrant personality
and enthusiasm inspire many
of the activities that present
the company's positive image.
John Selmon, executive
vice president of the company
since 1983, has almost forty-
five years experience in the
industry. John's career began
as a groundsman on a con-
struction crew, then manager
of two telephone companies
in Kansas and Missouri.
Prior to coming to Ringgold,
he was with the National
Telephone Cooperative
Association in Washington,
D. C. for five years. His years
of knowledge and experience
in the many facets of the
industry have been a strong
force in the growth and devel-
opment of Ringgold
Telephone Company. Under
his leadership, the company
has grown from 5,500 cus-
tomers in 1987 to 9,746 in
December, 1993. In addition
to many civic achievements,
John is active in the Georgia
Telephone Association.
In 1981, in preparation
for post-divestiture opportu-
nities and in order to expand
its marketing area, Ringgold
Telephone Company formed
a subsidiary called RTC
Communications. RTC was
formed for the sole purpose of
providing business key sys-
tems, PBXs, voice mail, auto
attendant and related equip-
ment and services to busi-
nesses within a sixty mile
radius of the serving area.
In 1988, RTC entered
into an agreement with AT&T
to sell their equipment to
businesses with eighty lines
and under. In 1991, after
three years of unprecedented
success in marketing the
AT&T product Une, RTC
moved its offices to Chatta-
nooga, Tennessee, in order to
be more centrally located and
to provide more exposure to
80 percent of its business cus-
tomer base. RTC is now one
of the largest authorized deal-
ers for AT&T in the United
In August of 1993, RTC
was authorized by AT&T to
sell its Definity PBX. This was
due in large to the remarkable
success with AT&T key sys-
tem sales.
In 1993, RTC also
became an ARS for South
Central Bell network services.
Now, for the first time since
divestiture, RTC could offer
A first call is mode over new digital switch.
the customer one-stop shop-
ping for local lines, customer
premise equipment and net-
work and long distance ser-
vices. This is unique in the
telephone industry.
RTC has four account
executives to market prod-
ucts, three technicians to
install and service products,
plus general management
and administrative staff.
RTC has continued to
set precedents for the indus-
try and create opportunities
which will enable them to bet-
ter serve their customers.
A NTCA Legislotive Congressional reception is oltended by John Silk, GTA; Faye Word, Ringgold Telephone;
ond Congressman George "Buddy" Dorrfen.
Many outstanding, well
prepared and documented
preservation efforts have been
made on behalf of the Bell
Company, its founders and
builders. "Arms Across
Georgia" briefly reviewed this
great story. What follows is a
capsulized synopsis of the
historical events that have
taken place since that pubhca-
tion and the break-up of the
original Bell System.
The court ordered
break-up of AT&T on January
1,1984, touched off a water-
shed of change in the telecom-
munications industry, and an
explosion of technology fur-
ther spurred the transforma-
tion of Southern Bell from a
monopoly telephone compa-
ny into a multimedia com-
In 1988, Southern Bell
had the nation's first commer-
cial offering of ISDN (inte-
grated services digital
networks) in Atlanta. These
telecommunication networks
bring advanced intelligence to
customers by providing
simultaneous voice, data and
video transmissions over the
same line.
In 1989, Southern Bell
was the first regional local
exchange company to convert
to 100 percent electronic
switching. The company's
467 switching offices are all-
electronic which allows
Southern Bell's customers to
do everything from automati-
cally forwarding calls to con-
ducting three-way conference
calls. These all-electronic
offices are key to providing
Information Age services to
customers giving them more
options and control over their
telephone service and priva-
On January 1,1992,
BellSouth Telecommuni-
cations, Inc., was formed, but
continues to do business as
Southern BeU in North
Carohna, South Carohna,
Georgia and Florida and as
South Central BeU in
Kentucky, Termessee,
Alabama, Mississippi and
Louisiana. Together these
companies serve over 19.2
million access lines over one
of the most modern telecom-
munications networks in the
Today in Georgia,
Southern Bell's residential
and business telephone Unes
transmit data, voice and video
images through a wide range
of electronic, digital, fiber and
compressed video technolo-
Since its estabhshment a
decade ago, BeUSouth has
positioned itself as a clear
leader in creating and build-
ing leading-edge technology
platforms fo support a wide
array of products and services
that meet the varied needs of
the company's customers.
F. Duane Ackerman is
the current president and
CEO of BellSoufh Telecom-
munications, Inc., while Carl
E. Swearingen is the state
president over Southern BeU's
Georgia operations.

It can be said that St.
Joseph Telephone & Tele-
graph Company is a Florida
telephone company, but we
don't say that in Georgia. We
proudly claim them since
their service territory includes
one exchange in Georgia.
The company was estab-
lished in 1924 in Port St. Joe,
Florida, with one facility serv-
ing sixteen subscribers. That
same year, the company built
an exchange in Chattahoo-
chee, Georgia, which serves
subscribers in both states.
One long distance toll
circuit was constructed to
Port St. Joe with toll calls
placed from Port St. Joe and
Chattahoochee routed
through Bainbridge, Georgia,
exchange over lines owned by
Southern Bell Telephone &
Telegraph Company.
In 1942, St. Joseph began
operating its own toll center
in Apalachicola for long dis-
tance service and became part
of the national inter-toll dial
network. In 1954, the toU cen-
ter was moved to Port St. Joe.
New digital equipment was
installed and cut over in 1983
in Port St. Joe and in 1984 in
The company today has
fourteen exchanges: Apala-
chicola, Blountstown,
Carrabella, Chattahoochee,
Wewahitchka, Altha, Bristol,
Tyndall Air Force Base, The
Beaches, Eastpoint, FFosford,
Alligator Point and Wakulla
Springs. All the exchanges
except Chattahoochee are in
AH exchanges are now
served by digital central office
switches, including the tan-
dem switch in Port St. Joe,
with total digital connectivity.
St. Joseph Telephone
Company in 1993 had 23,876
access lines, 198 employees,
and operating revenues of
near $18.5 milhon. It is the
fifty-fourth largest telephone
company in the United States.
The Chattahoochee, Georgia,
exchange has 152 access lines.
John H. Vaughan is
general manager of this for-
ward-looking telephone oper-
ation which continues to
serve as a partner bringing to
its patrons the most reliable,
new world telecommunica-
tions technology.
anniversary and the installa-
tion of its 50,000th customer.
Standard Telephone
Company traces its begin-
nings to the early days of the
twentieth century when
Marler C. York of Clarkesville
purchased two telephone
instruments, a coil of wire,
and some insulators. One of
the telephones was installed
in his residence and the other
in his store. Wires were
strung on poles and trees to
connect the two telephones,
and voice communication
began. Soon York's neighbors
were asking permission to
attach telephones to his line.
As interest in telephone
communications grew, York
and eight businessmen estab-
lished a company to provide
service to the community. In
September, 1904, a corporate
charter was officially granted
and a small switchboard was
purchased and installed in the
rear of York's store. Tele-
phone lines were connected to
this new "central," and
Standard Telephone was in
business with twenty-eight
telephones in service.
In 1905, the company
purchased a 100-line magneto
switchboard from Sumter
Telephone Manufacturing
Company and activated a
local telephone system in
nearby Cornelia. A line con-
necting the switchboards in
Clarkesville and Cornelia pro-
vided the first extended area
service between exchanges in
the state of Georgia. By the
end of the 1930s, this system
served 419 customers in
Habersham County. York's
rates for telephone service
were fifty cents for farm tele-
phones, $2 for residents, and
$2.50 for business lines.
A Standard's 90lh anniversary logo.
A Milton and Helen Sfewnrt, "Mr. and Mrs. Sfandord
Telephone Compony."
The compony and its employees suppoft community octi'vihes ond efforts.
As York approached
retirement age, his telephone
A Celebrating the company's 80th anniversary in 1984 are Mr. and Mrs. Milton Stewort with
founder M. C. M's doughter, Myrtice Rhyne, ond grandson, Walter Rhyne.
"Everytime you make a
call, our reputation is on the
line." In the mountains of
northeast Georgia, tliis well-
known and often-heard
phrase means a commitment
to providing quality service
and satisfying customers.
Standard Telephone
Compan)^s dedication to
serving its customers and
communities will enable it to
stand the test of a large, var-
ied and competitive service
The company which has
always been community ori-
ented is a partner in improv-
ing the quality of life in
northeast Georgia. H. M.
Stewart, Sr. was the inspira-
tion for those who work to
maintain that reputation
In 1994, Standard
Telephone Company cele-
brates two important mile-
stones; its ninetieth
This switchboard wos in Clnrkesville when Stewart purchased the company in i 939. Lillie
Lewis wos the operator.
plant was in need of complete
replacement. Having no one
to take over the business, he
decided to put the telephone
company up for sale.
Meanwhile, Milton Stewart,
Sr., a native of Alabama, who
had begun his telephone
career in 1916 as a telephone
operator for Southern BeU
was pursuing his dream to
own and operate a small tele-
phone company. Learning
that Standard Telephone
Company was for sale, he and
York came to terms on the
purchase and Stewart
assumed ownership in 1939.
When commercial
financing was virtually non-
existent, Stewart's first objec-
tive was the complete
rehabilitation and enlarge-
ment of the outside plant.
The effects of the Depression
caused improvements to be
done on a piece-meal basis
out of cash flow, savings from
his salary and a short-term
loan from a local bank. By
early 1943, most of
Clarkesville's outside plant
was new and capable of ren-
dering top quality service.
About this time the war effort
had caused a shortage of
material and manpower
which brought construction
of commercial telephone
plant to a standstill for five
By 1945,
Stewart began
moving toward
base of opera-
tion by purchas-
ing the
Company from
R. C. Meaders.
Meanwhile, he
was mentally
staking out the
counties of Dawson, Towns,
Union and White believing
that 2,500 to 3,000 telephones
would support a minimal
operations base. Next he
established a local telephone
exchange in Hiawassee which
had been without service
since a small system operat-
ing there had been closed and
abandoned. Towards the end
of 1945, Stewart added the
Cleveland exchange, pur-
chased from Ellis C. Turner,
bringing the total in five
exchanges to 883 telephones.
the 1950s, Stewart added
Demorest, Helen, Dawson-
ville, and Young Harris to his
system. By the close of that
decade. Standard had over
5.000 telephones, and all nine
outlying central offices had
been converted to dial opera-
tion. The activation of local
telephone service in
Batesville, Tallulah Falls, and
Suches rounded out the
exchanges to thirteen, and by
the mid-1960s, the company
was providing service to
10.000 customers in one of the
most scenic and promising
geographical areas in
A The Phone Cor, built io 1981, travels to fairs, festivals and parades
throughout northeast Georgia. The bright orange, fiberglass telephone shell
mounted on a Volkswagen dunehuggy chassis ottrocts attention wherever it
A Employees ore tested for o commerciol drivers license.
In 1946, the company
issued the first telephone
directory circulated north of
Atlanta that contained "yel-
low pages." In 1949,
Blairsville was introduced to
local telephone service, and
by the end of that year, 145
telephones were operating. In
In 1969, Standard
Telephone became the second
telephone company in the
United States to install and
furnish time, temperature and
weather forecasting service
around the clock. Direct dis-
tance dialing was inaugurated
throughout Standard's territo-
ry in 1971, the same year the
The Blairsville exchange employees ate personally committed to
providing high quolily telephone service and excellent customer
A Dean and Koy Swanson, Milt and Corolyn Stewart nt dedicolion of the H. M. Steworf, St. Room nt the Union County Chomber of Commerce building.
company installed its 20,000th
customer. In 1977, the com-
munity of Big Canoe was
added, and the company cele-
brated its 30,000th customer.
In 1978, the company opened
a toll center in Cornelia, to
handle long distance calls
using their own telephone
Recognizing the need to
adequately plan for succes-
sion within the corporate
structure, Jim Johnson came
to Standard Telephone
Company in March, 1987. In
June, 1991, Johnson became
the first person outside the
Stewart family to become
president of Standard
Telephone Company.
On June 9,1988, H. M.
Stewart, Sr., chairman emeri-
tus, passed away at the age of
ninety-one. Mr. Stewart was
an admired, dignified and
distinguished gentleman,
whose reputation as a tele-
phone man and church man
are a lasting tribute.
In 1984, he wrote a his-
tory of Standard Telephone
Company entitled "A Vivid
and Compelling Dream." It is
the wonderful story of a true
telephone pioneer's dream to
own and operate his own tele-
phone company.
A highlight for Standard
Telephone Company came in
1993 when the company was
called on to provide tele-
phone service for the
President of the United States.
Standard's men and women
will long remember the pride
they felt in their ability to
meet the challenge. The story
unfolds like this:
President George Bush
was stopping in Cornelia,
home of the Big Red
Apple, on a whistle stop
tour of Georgia during his
re-election campaign. On
October 15, an advance
team of the Secret Service
and White House Com-
munications Staff met
with city officials and
other towns people to set
things in motion for the
Representatives from
Standard Telephone
Company were briefed on
communications require-
ments and the company's
men and women got busy.
Telephone lines were
readily available in the
Cornelia central office
served by a DMS-200.
Automation streamlined
A big doy for tfie city of Cornelin; o big job for Sfondnrd Telephone employees.
the task of creating orders
and assigning facilities for
eighty lines. The construc-
tion crew set a temporary
pole near the Cornelia
Depot, the communica-
tions hub for the Secret
Service and media.
Connections were made in
the frame room and tech-
nicians installed inside
wiring, connected jacks,
and tested phone lines.
Standard Telephone's
men and women were
also involved in other
aspects of the prepara-
tionanswering calls at
City Hall about the
President's visit, setting up
bleachers and a stage near
the raihoad tracks, deck-
ing the town with red,
white and blue banners,
and, in general, sprucing
up the town.
On October 20, banners
were hung, entertainment
was fine-tuned, posters
were ready for the crowd,
designated areas were
roped off, the Secret
Service was in place and
the final testing of tele-
phone facilities was com-
plete. It was a typical fall
day in the mountains of
northeast Georgiaclear,
cool weather and trees
splashed with orange, red
and brown color.
Children enjoying a
school holiday for this
special event, specta-
tors and Bush sup-
porters started
gathering early for
the train's arrival
expected around 4:00
When the "Spirit of
America" rolled by
the Big Red Apple
and stopped beside
the Depot, excitement
was at a fever pitch as
President Bush
stepped out on the train
platform, waving and
doing the tomahawk chop
(a sign popularized by
Atlanta Braves baseball
Media people traveling
with the President hurried
off the train to take their
places on the press stand
to document this historic
event. Telephone techni-
cians extended a 25 pair
cable to the train for
instantaneous communi-
cations while it was
stopped. Standard
Telephone would later be
commended by the CBS
advance team for having
all communication facili-
ties operational in such a
short amount of time.
Banners waved and the
crowd cheered as the
President spoke about
family values, character, a
balanced budget and,
looking at young people
assembled beside the
tracks, called them the
hope of the nation. His
last words were, "I can't
tell you what this has done
for my spirits. God bless
you all."
While telecommunica-
tions is in transition. Standard
Telephone's infrastructure of
digital switching and fiber
optic inter-office facilities is
prepared to address its cus-
tomers' needs as the company
moves into the next century.
A Standard's total quality concept involves employees in team efforts to continuously improve customer sen/ice.

.;pfw . ' -S
)\f fc- fln 4j.' JiW- aff<' i-hnn
h-,., . n
. Am
Monthly and quarterly
company publications, a
speakers bureau, the H. M.
Stewart, Sr. Pioneer Club
(merged recently with the
Bruce Williams Future
Pioneer Club), a Quarter
Century Club, in-house train-
ing programs, a focus on total
quality for internal and exter-
nal customers, an extensive
wellness program, and a
credit union are some of the
mechanisms used by
Standard Telephone to meet
the needs of its employees
and its customers. An ongo-
ing program of planning and
building is a part of the com-
pany's philosophy.
In addition to extensive
construction and advanced
technology, the company
now has 911 and E911 service
completed in some counties,
several cable TV franchises
and cellular partnership oper-
Standard Telephone
serves its communities by
offering advanced communi-
cation and by donating time
and resources, providing
jobs, and taking an active
leadership role to help the
region prosper. The compa-
ny's 297 employees feel a
deep sense of gratitude for
the privilege of being a com-
munity partner and a strong
feeling of responsibility to
help make hfe better in the
north Georgia mountains.
It took teamwork fot Stondord's men and women to wentlier ttie gteat blizzatd of '93 when high
winds, sleet, snow nnd bitter cold weather swept throgh the nteo. Technicians were oicTifted by nelT
copter to the top of Btossfown Bold, the highest peok in Geoigin, to start emergency generators and
reestoblisb long distance sen/ice foe Towns nnd Union Counhes.
Statesboro, in southeast
Georgia, may not have been
one of the most Hkely places
for one of the earhest tele-
phone companies in the
United States, but thanks to J.
L. Mathews, it was.
Mathews moved to
Statesboro as an agent and
telegraph operator for the
Central of Georgia Railroad in
the late 1890s, stUl very early
in the development stage of
the telephone industry. While
the patent was granted in
1876, and expired in 1893,
many people still thought of
the telephone as something
they might never have.
With knowledge and
exposure to Western Union's
telephone operations,
Mathews had an interest in
estabhshing a telephone com-
pany. He built the first tele-
phone exchange in Statesboro
with the help and support of
James A. Brannen, John W.
OUiff, and William S.
Preetorius. The exact dates
the company was started is
unknown, but when petition
for charter was filed on
February 6,1901, it was
already operating and had
thirty-five customers and ser-
vice was being extended into
Bulloch County. James A.
Brannen was the first presi-
dent of the company and
Wilham S. Preetorius was the
first manager. Mathews con-
tinued in his job with the rail-
road company.
By the end of the first
year, the company had many
miles of lines which ran along
the towns and stations of the
Central of Georgia Railroad.
The exchange in Statesboro
had about fifty subscribers.
The towns of Register,
Parrish, Pulaski, Metter, CUto,
Dover, Stilson, Brooklet,
Woodbum, Bhtchton,
Sylvania and Cuyler were
connected by 1902. In order
to cormect Savannah, copper
wire was strung to that city in
In 1904, these officers
and directors of the States-
boro Telephone Company
were elected: J. A. Brannen,
president; J. L. Mathews, sec-
retary; J. A. Brannen, director;
J. W. Olliff, director and W. S.
Preetorius, director. By this
time, the company had about
100 subscribers. The compa-
ny continued to prosper and
expand, requiring corporate
restructuring, new office facil-
ities, and new and better
C. B. Mathews, brother
of J. L., became involved in
the company as a stockholder
in 1909 and was later named
assistant manager. Upon the
death of J. A. Brannen,
founder and president, C. B.
became president of the com-
Charlie Joe, C. B.'s son,
had grown up in the tele-
phone family environment
and spent summers working
at the company. He graduat-
ed from Georgia Tech in
Atlanta in 1940 and returned
to Statesboro to work at the
telephone company.
Charlie Joe Mathews, former owner-operator of Statesboro Telephone
Company, an outstnnrling Geargia telephone pioneer.
Following C. B.
Mathews' death in 1946,
Charhe Joe was elected to the
board of directors and
became general manager.
The area continued to
experience growing pains, but
the demands were met with
constant effort by the man-
agement of the telephone
In 1954, an open house
was hosted to celebrate new
facilities and conversion to
dial equipment. Also in 1954,
Charhe Joe (succeeding J. L.)
was elected president and his
mother was elected vice presi-
Others who have served
on the board of directors are:
James Bland and Henry
Bhtch, D. B. Franklin (1961)
Eddie Bibisi (1965) and C. R.
Pound (1982).
A microwave system
that was part of the state-wide
BeU system was inaugurated
in 1963. By 1968, pushbutton
dialing equipment was
installed and in 1969 direct
distance dialing was added.
The next years were
filled with keeping pace with
industry developments and
changes including: 2,000 line
Stromberg Carlson ESC office,
mobile telephone system and
paging and digital PBX's.
Harry S. Mathews,
Charhe Joe's son, followed in
his family's footsteps when
upon graduating from college
in 1978, he was named to the
board of directors and
became a vice president of the
company. By this time equip-
ment was being replaced, and
the company was responding
to deregulation within the
industry by setting up tele-
phone sales operations.
A second son of Charlie
Joe, Joe E. Mathews, was
elected to the board of direc-
tors and named as vice presi-
dent in 1983. At this same
time, Harry was elected presi-
dent and C. J. became chair-
man of the board. Charlie B.
Mathews, the third son,
became vice president in 1984.
In 1985, a new DMS was
cut into service, all EAS routes
were converted to T-carrier
and 0-1- dialing and custom
calling features became avail-
able to customers.
A Harry, Charlie, and Joe Mathews seen here with their wives, have each ployed octive roles in Georgia Telephone Association.
Statesboro Telephone
Company is one of the most
outstanding member compa-
nies of the Georgia Telephone
Association. J. L. and Charlie
Joe were two of the founders
of telephony in Georgia.
Harry, Joe and Charlie
became active in the
Association and took leader-
ship roles.
The company was
recently purchased by
Rochester Telephone
Company, headquartered in
Rochester, New York, which
had previously acquired
Eairmount Telephone
Company in Eairmount,
Georgia. Harry, Joe and
Charlie continued working in
the company under manage-
ment agreements rmtil April,
Statesboro Telephone
Company falls into Rochester
Telephone's southern region
headquarters in Atmore,
Alabama. The tremendous
growth occurring in
Statesboro with Georgia
Southern University makes
market opportunities for
information age service
almost equal to metropolitan
areas of the state. Rochester
Telephone is proud to be a
part of Georgia independent
telephone industry as the
independent companies work
together to provide the net-
work to assure all customers
in the state access to these ser-
William R. (Bill) Tatum
is president and manager of
the company which serves
parts of Dade and Walker
Counties in the most north-
western part of Georgia. It is,
in fact, the point where
Georgia meets the state lines
of Alabama and Tennessee,
which provided the only
access to the area at that time.
In the early 1900s, open
wire Hnes were strung on
locust poles long before roads
were built into the isolated
area by Governor Rivers'
administration. Telephone
service was later extended
from Trenton to Lookout
Mountain to Sand Mountain.
The company, known as
Simpson Telephone Com-
pany, had fifteen customers
and was owned and operated
by WiUiam Simpson. By the
early 1920s, the number of
telephone subscribers had
grown to twenty or twenty-
Following Mr. Simp-
son's death, Mrs. Simpson
continued to operate the com-
pany from an old store build-
ing until she sold it to J. W.
Gray. Mr. Gray moved the
equipment to a service sta-
tion/grocery store and
renamed the business
"Trenton Telephone
Company." He operated the
business until 1950 by which
time the station count had
grown to sixty.
Mr. Tatum purchased
the company in 1950 and by
1953, the number of cus-
tomers had doubled. Mr.
Tatum took on partners and
incorporated with Jules A.
Case and Henry Gross on
April 17,1953. Then in 1964,
Mr. Tatum and Mr. Case pur-
chased Mr. Gross's stock in
the company. Mr. Case's part
ownership is now in the
hands of his estate.
News of the REA pro-
gram brought encouragement
to formulate a plan for updat-
ing the company's operations
and preparing for REA loan
funds to improve and extend
the service area. This compa-
ny is the only existing tele-
phone company in Georgia to
have fully repaid its REA
In subsequent years, the
company and area continued
to experience steady growth.
Trenton Telephone
Gompany boasts of being one
of Georgia's first companies
to install 0+ dialing equip-
ment. This move toward the
latest industry technology is
indicative of the company's
commitment to provide supe-
rior quality service.
Subscribers are served
by nineteen employees from
three exchanges, Trenton,
West Brow and Rising Fawn.
Trenton Telephone Company Growth
Number of Subscribers
A Mary Eunice Jones, president and chairman of the Board.
Julian T. Jones' vision of
providing excellent telephone
service to the citizens of
Waverly Hall continues to be
reahzed as Waverly Hall
Telephone Company records
its history.
Jones organized the
company in 1944 to serve the
people living within the city
limits of Waverly Hall. He
was the sole proprietor of
Waverly Hall Telephone until
its incorporation in 1964.
Officers and stockholders of
the corporation were: Julian
T. Jones, president; Ethel H.
Jones, vice president; and
Mary Eunice Jones, secre-
Mary Eunice Jones
became president and chair-
man of the board in 1975 fol-
lowing the death of Julian
Jones. She takes a personal
approach to managing the
business and communicating
with her customers. This
leadership style has fostered
the growth and stability of
the company as it plays a sig-
nificant role in the develop-
ment of the community.
The company's switch-
ing facilities have kept pace
with changing technology as
it has evolved from the North
Electric all-relay automatic
CX-60 equipped for forty
lines to today's Stromberg
Carlson digital office capable
of providing enhanced ser-
vices to its customers. Digital
subscriber carriers have been
utilized in areas where unex-
pected growth has occurred.
Party lines were ehmi-
nated in December, 1979, thus
fulfilling one of Julian Jones'
long term goals. Touch-tone
service was initiated in 1982.
Mary Eunice Jones
plays an active role in GTA
functions and has lasting
memories of the early activi-
ties of the Association and
her friends who had found-
ing roles in the development
of the Association and the
industry, many of whom are
no longer with us. She had
the distinct pleasure of serv-
ing as president of the
Georgia Telephone
Association during 1987-88.
During her term of office, she
recalls the Association experi-
enced a big loss upon the
death of Milt Stewart, Sr. "To
award the family a plaque of
appreciation seemed so small
and yet so magnanimous for
such a great man," she stated.
Waverly HaU Tele-
phone Company recognizes
that its customers are more
comfortable seeing familiar
faces, so it feels forhmate to
have retained the same
employees since 1983. A new
employee has been added in
the bookkeeping department
and one in outside plant.
The company reports a
steady growth rate of about
five percent per year as it con-
tinues to seek new ways to
work in the competitive envi-
ronment. Coimty-wide call-
ing has been implemented,
and the next step is equal
Whatever the future of
telecommunications, a new
generation of the Jones family
is in the wing to help keep
reasonably priced telephone
service for the people of
Waverly HaU.
Washington, Georgia,
got its first telephone service
in 1902 when Oliver S. Dyson
built an exchange there. In
1919, Dyson sold Washington
Telephone Company to W. L.
New, former owner of the
Metter Telephone Company.
New operated the company
for five years before selling
out to Continental Telephone
Company. Dyson became the
owner a second time when he
purchased the company from
Continental in 1954. He also
purchased the Lincolnton
Telephone Company and
began operations as the
Wilkes Telephone & Electric
Dyson had already
owned and operated the tele-
phone facilities at Tignall for a
number of years and also
maintained a co-owned toll
line to Washington and
Elberton. Having obtained
REA loan funds, the company
was able to build new facili-
ties and convert all operations
to dial in 1953.
Following Elyson's
death, ownership of the com-
pany passed to his children.
George E)yson, Sr., current
president of the company, is
Ohver S. Dyson, Sr.'s only
child with ownership interest
in Wilkes Telephone &
Electric Company.
In 1983, Wilkes Tele-
phone & Electric placed a
Stromberg digital switch into
service, and all party lines
were converted to private
lines. This host switch, locat-
ed in the Washington
exchange, has been upgraded
to the 17.3 release enabling
Wilkes Telephone & Electric
to offer all the new CLASS
features, such as caller ID and
special call blocking. This
release also provides equal
access capability, and the
company plans to convert to
equal access by September,
1994. The ultimate goal of an
ongoing fiber optic program
started in 1988 is to replace
outdated copper wire and
provide a fiber optic Sonet
ring around the company's
serving area. Completion of
the Sonet ring is expected by
fourth quarter 1994.
Wilkes Telephone &
Electric has an AT&T fadhty
POP in the Washington
officeuncommon among
independent companies
which offers twenty-four
hour operator services for its
affiliate, Wilkes Long
Distance Service, and other
toll providers.
The company has diver-
sified in the last few years and
formed Dycom Holding in an
effort to remain competitive
in a rapidly evolving indus-
Wilkes Telephone and
Electric serves Wilkes, Lincoln
and Taliaferro Counties and
has exchanges in
Crawfordsville, Lincolnton,
Metasvihe, Rayl, Tignall and
Washington. Headquarters
facilities are located in
Washington, Georgia. The
company employs sixty-three
people and had 9,595 cus-
tomers as of January, 1993.
George Dyson, Sr. and his
very capable staff look for-
ward to providing the best
service possible to its cus-
tomers for many years to
George H. Carswell, III,
heads the Wilkinson County
Telephone Company. He is
president and general manag-
er of the company which
serves territory in the heart of
the state. In fact, if you drew
Hnes to find the exact center
of Georgia, it would probably
be in Wilkinson County.
The company which
now has exchanges in
Irwinton, Gordon and
Toomsboro was started in
Gordon by the Brooks family.
In 1949, the company
came into the hands of
George Henry Carswell and
two partners, Wilber Council
and Ralph W. Culpepper.
Culpepper was at this time
elected president of the com-
pany. In 1954, they incorpo-
rated as Wilkinson County
Telephone Company, Inc.
Following the death of
Culpepper, Council served as
president. Upon Council's
death, Julia Porter Carswell
assumed that position.
The company serves its
3,690 January, 1993 figure)
customers out of three central
George Carswell com-
pleted his education, had a
tenure in the Navy, a success-
ful career away from his
hometown and then returned
to the family telephone com-
pany. He brought with him
the experience and knowl-
edge needed to serve as busi-
ness manager and secretary.
He then followed his mother,
Julia Porter Carswell, as presi-
dent of the company.
George has played an
active role in the GTA organi-
zation, having served in a
number of positions and
assumed the presidency for
the year 1986-1987.
Under his leadership,
the Wilkinson County
Telephone Company, Inc. has
committed to meeting the
communication needs of their

The Development of Significant Industry Issues
A new interactive, multi-media infrastructure is developing in Georgia as in all the major populated areas of the
United States. Technology not only is advancing rapidly, but that which has been available for years is now poised and
ready to be applied.
USTA, OPASTCO, GTA and industry trade publications have officially alerted us to the fact that we are on the
threshold of a new era of telephony. Fresh terms and acronyms are swimming around. Hot new issues continue to
invade and complicate the scene.
One of the most volatile is the telco/cable/computer debate. It is not simply about an alternative system for deliv-
ering information to the home. It concerns the ability of the pubhc switched network to evolve into a broadband elec-
tronic super highway which will play a central role in the economic future of our country.
The telephone companies can and wiU be major role players in expediting the universal deployment of technology.
For the purpose of this written account, we presented ourselves with the challenge of selecting the ten most out-
standing topics in this explosive technological arena. After interviewing and surveying the Association membership,
the following were chosen as the ten most significant topics in the industry today.
Some of the "movers and shakers" and present-day pioneers will honestly, intellectually and boldly share their
perspective, in their own words, from their field of expertise and maybe a little from their field of dreams.
This shall serve as a historical record by qualified and knowing people.
Universal Service
Don Bond
Public Service Telephone Company
Mansfield Jermings
Hawkinsville Telephone Company
George H. Carswell, III
Wilkinson County Telephone Company
Betty Gleaton
Plant Telephone Company
Milt Stewart
Standard Telephone Company
Dean C. Swanson
Standard Telephone Company
Jim Blackburn, Consultant
AT&T, Retired
J. Lee Barton
Hart Telephone Company
Albert Harrison
Ellijay Telephone Company
Glenn E. Bryant
Coastal Utilities, Inc.
Coming To Terms With New
Directions In The Industry
By: Don Bond, President/General Manager
Public Service Telephone Company
January 1,1994, was the tenth
anniversary of the breakup of the
Bell System by Judge Greene. In
1984, many of us operating small
telephone companies thought that
our family business would be
severely hurt. Yet, most of us sur-
vived while those who sold did so
because they thought the "pine tree
was as tall as it would get."
Concurrently with divestiture,
on January 1,1984, the state pool
was broken apart. Namely, the
inter-LATA portion became a "bill
and keep" system with company
specific access charges while the
intra-LATA portion remained a pool
with Southern Bell Telephone
Company being the pool adminis-
trator. The intra-LATA pool lasted
until December 31,1992, at which
time an access charge-based "bill
and keep" system became its
replacement. Southern Bell became
the primary carrier in each LATA
with many interexchange carriers
(IXCs) participating on an inter-
LATA basis.
To replace the pools (compa-
nies settling on cost and average
schedule), a new system of tariff-
based charges to allow us to recover
our cost of access was developed.
There were two elements of this cost
recovery; namely, carrier common
line (CCL) and traffic sensitive (T/S)
tariff elements. This resulted in a
very complex tariff. However, every
telephone company in the state was
able to install and bill by this new
cost recovery system. This was truly
a remarkable feat for the industry.
The disappearance of the
Southern Bell/AT&T managed set-
tlement process has resulted in a
spirit of cooperation between com-
panies and a more unified solution
to industry problems.
With divestiture the FCC creat-
ed the National Exchange Carrier
Association (NECA) to administer
settlements in the interstate arena.
All wire line carriers were partici-
pants in the NECA common line
pool on January 1,1983. They
remained there until April 1,1989,
when the bigger companies left the
NECA pools. Half the big compa-
nies were in the T/S pool in 1984
with all of them exiting in October,
1985. In concert with the exodus,
the "Bigs" moved into price caps
and the "Smalls" received long term
support, both in agreement with
these compromises brought on
through the Unity 1-A process.
Along with the exodus of the
big companies, the size of NECA
diminished. However, with the
phase-in of the universal service
fund, the broad acceptance of life
line assistance and the recent intro-
duction of TRS, the size of NECA
has stabilized and wiU, in all UkeU-
hood, increase in size as each of
these support mechanisms continue
to grow. As long as there is a uni-
versal service fund, life Hne assis-
tance, and average schedules, there
will need to be a NECA.
In the past ten years, there has
been a number of small companies
that have sold, but the small compa-
ny sales are not what has turned out
to be the "mother of aU Georgia
acquisitions;" namely, ALLTEL's
purchase of GTE/CONTEL in our
state. This consolidation will further
influence the acquisition of small
and mid-size companies in our state
for the next decade. No doubt, we
will continue to see the "Smalls" dis-
appear. However, the mid-size and
the BOCs (BeU Operating
Companies) wiU be the pacesetters
in mega-mergers and deal making.
As this trend continues, we wiU see
more consohdation of companies
into holding companies composed
of LECs (local exchange carriers),
CATV (cable TV), ceUular, entertain-
ment and manufacturing, both at
home and abroad. As competition
increases in our industry, the risks to
the investor will become greater and
greater as some of the deals turn
sour. However, the chance of
reward will encourage more and
more take-overs.
Divestiture has accomplished
one beneficial consumer byproduct -
telephone rates have stabilized. The
BOCs through early retirement pro-
grams with price caps and incentive
plans continue to flow savings into
price reductions. The small compa-
nies, through economies brought on
by technology improvements and
productivity gains, continue to cut
their cost and reduce their redun-
dancies. All of this will continue as
each of us become more price com-
petitive to meet the competition.
Divestiture has been a prime
mover in technology advancement
and state-of-the-art infrastructure
deployment. The companies have
been released from the "AT&T con-
trolled" infrastructure development
strangle-hold that existed pre-
Now, with each company oper-
ating independently and with the
pressure of competition, the most
advanced technologies are being
As has been predicted, we are
seeing voice communication move
away from the exchange carrier's
twisted pair copper wire to the cellu-
lar companies' .9 GHz radio spec-
trum and later to the 2 GHz PCS
radio spectrum. While at the same
time, we are seeing the exchange car-
riers advance rapidly into broad-
band services through digital
technology replacing antiquated
analog broadband. The services our
telephone companies offer in the
year 2000 will look very different
from the services we offer today.
Increased competition has not
been brought on directly by divesti-
ture. However, the Tele-Communi-
cations, Inc. - Bell Atlantic merger
could not have been conceived years
ago. Since TCI operates in South
Georgia, an accelerated deployment
of infrastructure in competition with
the local telephony loop is very like-
ly. This will put Bell Atlantic in com-
petition with those of us serving
common areas. The CATV industry
has changed from what we once
knew. This "born again" industry
controlled by regional BOCs could
produce a formidable new type of
For those companies having
vision and determination, the next
ten will be exciting and can produce
handsome rewards in a new emerg-
ing communications industry.
Don Bond is the third generation of his family to provide telephone service to the middle Georgia area.
His grandfather started the company in 1911.
Bond graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with a BSEE degree in 1958. He served as a com-
missioned officer in the Signal Corps, U. S. Army from 1958 to 1959 and then in the Army National Guard from
1960 to 1973.
He is past president of the Organization for the Protection and Advancement of Small Telephone
Companies and presently serves on the United States Independent Telephone Association Board of Directors
and the National Exchange Carriers Association Board of Directors.
Since 1973, he has held the position of president/general manager of Public Service Telephone Company
in Reynolds, Georgia. He is also president/general manager of Pubhc Service Cellular, Inc. and Hint Cable T.V.,
Bond and his wife, Beverlyn, have three children and one grandson. His two sons are actively involved in
the operation of the company.
An Independent's Conversion
By: Mansfield Jennings, President/CEO
Hawkinsville Telephone Company
Archived in the lobby of
Hawkinsville Telephone Company
is a plaque that reads as follows:
Congratulations to the Employees and
Management of the Hawkinsville
Telephone Company for over 60 Years of
Progressive Telephone Service to Middle
Georgia and on the Public Dedication of
ITS Electronic Switching Center.
H. M. Stewart, Jr., President
Georgia Telephone Association
March 3,1974
Little did many of us in the
industry know, as this nation's first
Electronic Class 4 local and toU cen-
tral office was placed into service,
just what future was awaiting us.
Basically, this switch was one with a
wired program, digital front-end
and analog matrix talk patha very
early version of the change that the
industry faced only twenty years
Prior to the very short time
electronic switching was displacing
step and crossbar switching, pure
digital switching was only a con-
cept. The big problem seemed to be
the talk path. There was no trouble
with digitizing the front end; nor
was it difficult to place it under a
common control with expanding
software to direct the workings.
Why a short time? Because in
less than the usual thirty years of life
for a central office switch, Sromberg
Carlson installed a fully digital,
stored program controlled DCO in
Coastal Utihfies' Richmond Hill
exchange in July, 1977. This was the
first digital exchange in the country.
So you see, digitizing Georgia began
very early in the evolution of switch-
ing and Georgia, particularly the
Independents, has maintained a
leadership role since these origins.
All of this infrastructure
improvement began before the infa-
mous AT&T consent decree in 1983,
and thankfully so. This event,
which was to be transparent to
Independents, redefined the busi-
ness. Between the reorganization of
the industry by the consent decree
and the rapid development of cellu-
lar, Independents would have been
hard-pressed to meet the demands
for service they faced with less than
digital technology.
The demands placed on the
Independents are many. LATA
boundaries^being able to select the
carrier responsible for hauling the
traffic by determining whether a call
was an intra-LATA or an inter-
LATA call. Creating an environ-
ment for 911 emergency service
using step technology would have
required decades to clear this level.
Now enhanced 911 is fairly com-
mon. Custom calling features, con-
sidered "standard fare" and a real
revenue generator, would have been
difficult with electronic switching
and almost impossible with step-by-
step switching. Then comes an
entirely new switching protocol
SS7 (shortened from signaling sys-
tem seven) which allowed a number
of other local services, as well as toll
service. But the greatest advantage
may have really entered the back
door: the natural relationship
between fiber optic cable and a digi-
tal switch.
In rural Georgia, fifteen mile
loops were not uncommon. At best,
they generally provided marginal
service with frequently as many as
ten parties per line. Even using
technological treatments of the
dayelectronic long line adapters,
44 mh load coils and negative
impedance repeatersyou still had
frequent troubles, line hum and
noise. Facihfies were the target of
every lightning storm and every
road machine. With digital switch-
ing and digital transmission, the
quality could be improved some-
what. The big breakthrough came
with remote switches which used
the host computer in the central
office and digital transmission lines
to extend the line circuit closer to the
customer. Then with fiber optic
cable, there were no electronic
repeaters for lightning to strike. We
also learned that four feet depth was
much better than two to three feet
for physical protection. All in all,
digital switching and fiber optic
cable made telephony easier, espe-
cially in providing state-of-the-art
telephone service to rural areas.
Thus, a real byproduct of digi-
tizing Georgia includes several
advantages. It certainly made tele-
phony easier in the rural areas, both
from a quality-of-service point of
view as well as a state-of-the-art
point of view. This was done while
keeping universal service as a major
objective. There were minimal rate
increases during this period. The
cost savings incurred using the digi-
tal switching/fiber optic combina-
tion were dramatic. A second
advantage in the digital world of
telephony was changing the size of
economy of scale. A number of ser-
vice offerings could be done with
old technology like common-con-
trolled crossbar. But the minimum
size of this type switching was much
too large for most Independents. A
good example was the old lA cross-
bar tandem, about the smallest
switch to offer 1+ dialing before the
Stromberg Carlson ESC Class 4.
With digital switching, it was even
easier and faster to accomplish all of
the custom calling, class and toll
functions necessary to remain a real
player in the new business of tele-
phony. Thus it enables Independent
telephone companies to participate
fully in the development and imple-
mentation of the Information Age.
The trend in Georgiaand
suspected to be in most other
areasis for metropolitan areas to
grow rapidly at the expense of rural
areas, thus continuing a trend of
several decades. With the develop-
ment of digital switching and fiber
optic cable, a new infrastructure
began to evolve. Using the fiber
optic superhighway, one could per-
form many tasks as effectively in a
rural area hundreds of miles away
as could be done in the city. Several
companies in Georgia actually
moved back-office operations from
urban to rural areas because it was
more cost effective and technologi-
cally the same. With a lot of hard
work, the fiber optic superhighways
could be terminal and stopping
points in rural America rather than
an interstate bypass.
The reduction in economics of
scale, improved quahty and reliabili-
ty of service are aU products of this
digital conversion. Because of all
our service with digital switching
and fiber optic cable, a very real
asset to Georgia is the result. Our
focus can begin to shift to the new
changes coming our way. All rural
Georgians served by Independent
telephone companies are the real
The digital switch and its
deployment have made the
Independent telephone company
truly independent as we move
toward the end of the twentieth cen-
tury. While the trend toward digi-
tizing Georgia was established by
Independents, it needs to continue
at the same rate as the industry is
On October 6-7,1993, a two-
day seminar entitled "At the Edge"
in information technology was held
in Atlanta. Participants included
Robert Allen of AT&T, Pat Crecine
of Georgia Tech, John Clendenin of
BellSouth and Zell MiUer, Governor
of Georgia. The principal thought
promoted was the convergence of
several technologies.
W. Mansfield Jennings, Jr. is the son of W. Mansfield and Sarah Home Jennings. He is a graduate of the
Georgia Institute of Technology; Georgia State University Advanced Management Program; the London School
of Business, International Business Course; and has a Master of Business Administration from Emory University.
Jennings became a third generation owner of the Hawkinsville Telephone Company when he purchased
his father's interest in the company in 1971 and his imcle's interest in 1980. He has actively participated in the
Georgia Telephone Association and served two terms as the Association's president.
In addition to leading his company through the challenges of growth, new technology and industry
changes, he has been active in the Hawkinsville-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, the Hawkinsville
Rotary Club and the Museum of Aviation at Robins Board of Directors.
Jennings is president and CEO of Hawkinsville Telephone Company, chairman and CEO of COMSOUTH
Corporation, chairman of United Cable Company, Inc. (a cable TV holding company), chairman of MGeorgia
Bankshares, Inc., and a member of the Boards of Directors of Plant Telephone and Power Company m Tifton and
the Pulaski Banking Company in Hawkinsville.
Crecine suggested this new
business be called Telematics. The
converging industries where con-
sumer electronics, telecommunica-
tions, cable television, cellular
telephone and PCS, just to name a
few, come together. While there
were lots of ideas, few people really
thought they knew exactly what
was going to happen in this future.
What everyone did acknowledge
was that change^big changeis
right around the corner. It is obvi-
ous that without digital switching
and a fiber optic based transmission
system. Independents would not be
players in this new Telematics
A Personal View
By: George H. Carswell, III, President/Business Manager
Wilkinson County Telephone Company, Inc.
When contemplating the idea
of technological convergence, the
one thing that repeatedly came to
mind was "Everything that Rises
Must Converge," the title of a short
story by Milledgeville author,
Flannery O'Cormor which hardly
seemed appropriate since the story
has nothing to do with technology,
but deals, instead, with change.
Upon further contemplation, influ-
enced perhaps by an overpowering
subconscious mind trying to convey
an idea to a conscious mind in per-
petual gridlock, the concepts of
change and convergence, particular-
ly as they apply to communications
and information technology, seemed
to be a more logical progression. In
fact, change may be the one word
that best describes what is happen-
ing to our technology and is proba-
bly the only constant in the
equation. Since we have come to
think of rising as improving and
The converging technologies
being focused through the com-
pound lens of digital technology
and optics are creating expanding,
overlapping, and complementary
capabilities which are redefining our
industry in a manner so drastic and
so dynamic that who we are and
what we do are limited only by our
imaginations. We are like a spe-
lunker who, having traveled a long
distance through a narrow passage,
emerges into a cavern so vast that a
small light cannot reach the limits of
the top, bottom, sides, or back.
Although the prospects for the
future may be intimidating, if not
downright frightening, the greatest
must hope and act to make the
changes that are an inevitable result
of our technology positive, then it
should not be surprising that our
technology is converging if, indeed,
it is true that "Everything that Rises
Must Converge."
The lens causing most conver-
gence at present is that of digital
technology and our abifity to con-
vert almost anything we encoimter
into a digital format allowing it to be
stored, retrieved, analyzed, altered,
reproduced, and transmitted at ever
decreasing costs with exponentially
increasing speed and reliability.
opportunities almost always are and
are not without risk.
Change in the telephone
industry has been occurring at a rate
so rapid that the boundaries that
have limited our capabihties and
those of our competitors to move
into the other's traditional areas of
expertise have been blurred to the
point that regulation is the only fac-
tor that can limit what services we
provide and how we go about it.
And even regulation is beginning to
buckle under the combined forces of
evolving technologies and popular
demand for the new services that
can be provided.
At the same time the technolo-
gy which enables us to provide ser-
vices is converging, the range of
services which can be offered is
exploding in every direction from
that technological focus at a rate of
speed which defies measurement
because the number of dimensions
through which it is moving exceeds
the three that we have historically
used to describe our location and
our rate of travel.
Our technology has reached
the point that the idea of virtual real-
ity, which not long ago would have
been considered a contradiction in
terms, is well within its grasp and
may be a significant part of the reali-
ty of the future. Perhaps, with this
in mind, the two things which we
seem to be unable to encode and
transmitmass and energymay
through some quirk of quantum
physics move through some black
hole lens into an alternate universe
of time and space and energy which
obeys a new set of laws of relativity;
not unhke Alice passing through the
looking glass or the "away team"
beaming up from the surface of
some planet down below.
We live in an exciting time in
which our roller coaster of change is
moving at the speed of light where
the past assumes a reddish hue and
the future that of violet blue, and we
come to realize our greatest chal-
lenges are changing from finding
the right answers to asking the right
questions, because the answers must
reside somewhere in that almost
infinite digital data base that con-
tains the account of our journey
from the past into the future.
George H. Carswell, III grew up and attended school in Wilkinson County, Georgia. He graduated from
Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in industrial engineering and spent five years in the Navy as
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer. After his time in service, Carswell spent two years as a project engineer in
Savarmah before returning to Wilkinson County and the telephone business where he has worked for the past
twenty years.
Carswell serves as president of Wilkinson County Telephone Company and has been actively involved
with the Georgia Telephone Association during most of his time in the telephone business, having served on a
number of committees and held several offices, including GTA president.
Carswell feels that although he is indebted to the GTA companies for a great many things, he is most
indebted for the friendships he has formed during his time in the telephone business.
The Structure of the Cellular Industry
In Georgia
By: Betty Gleaton, President
Plant Telephone Company
There were many factors that
contributed to the structure of the
cellular industry in rural Georgia.
The first step was the FCC setting
aside the "B" spectrum block for
telephone companies. A rural ser-
vice area (RSA) plan had been sub-
mitted by United TeleSpectrum, Inc.
(United). The omissions of some
northern counties in the state led the
Georgia Telephone Association to
conclude that the plan was unac-
ceptable. A cellular committee was
formed to take on the task of restruc-
turing the RSAs. The original com-
mittee was called the Special Radio
Cellular Committee. Its members
were Tommy Smith, Chairman
(Citizens Telephone Company), Tim
Craven (Standard Telephone
Company), Dave Atkins
(Chickamauga Telephone
Company), Don Bond (Public
Service Telephone Company), Roger
Hester (Ringgold Telephone
Company), and Rodney Webb
(Walker County Telephone
Company). Betty Gleaton (Plant
Telephone Company) and Dave
Atkins"hand delivered" the GTA
plan to the FCC.
In 1986, the final rules were
released by the FCC. The rules
allowed any local exchange carrier
(LEC) with a presence in a given
RSA to file for the license to serve
that RSA. The "B" spectrum license
was to be awarded by lottery unless
all the eligible LECs could come to
an agreement on the division of the
license. This agreement was known
as a complete market settlement.
On June 8,1987, the FCC
released its Order on Reconsider-
ation in CC Docket No. 85-388. This
decision ruled on the various
requests for modification of the
United TeleSpectrum, Inc. (United)
Rural Service Area Plan. The GTA
plan for Georgia was adopted by the
Commission. Of interest was that
the Georgia Telephone Association
was the only state trade association
proposing a state-wide plan to gain
Commission approval. In 1988, the
RSA lotteries began.
From Plant Telephone's per-
spective, the disadvantage we had
of serving five different geographic
serving areas was turned to an
advantage in that it allowed for the
opportunity to file for the "B" spec-
trum block in five RSAs: Georgia
RSAs Nos. 7,8, 9,10 and 14.
Each of these markets devel-
oped in a different manner. The
common factor among them was
that sometime in late 1987 and early
1988, Con tel, ALLTEL, Southern Bell
and GTE divided up the RSAs. As a
result of this division:
1. Contel got ALLTEL and Bell's
interests in RSAs Nos. 8,11 and
2. ALLTEL got Bell's and Contel's
interests in RSAs Nos. 9,10 and
3. Southern Bell got Contel's and
ALLTEL's interests in RSA No. 7,
4. Each of these companies agreed
to help each other in negotiating
with the other telephone compa-
nies who held an interest in these
RSA No. 8
RSA No. 8 is located adjacent
to the Savannah MSA. In 1988, the
wirehne license in Savannah was
held by Savarmah Cellular.
Savannah Cellular was owned by
Contel, Pembroke Telephone
Company, Planters Telephone Co-
op, and Coastal Utihties. The
Savannah Cellular Partnership was
very aggressive at organizing the
adjacent Georgia RSAs, and through
their leadership, complete market
settlements were reached in Georgia
RSAs Nos. 8,11 and 12. These mar-
kets combined with Savarmah
Cellular to become Atlantic Cellular
and operated as a single market
entity while maintaining their indi-
vidual ownership.
During the formation of the
RSA No. 8 partnership, GTE and
Contel merged. GTE held the non-
wireline hcense in the Savannah
MSA and, as a result, had to sell its
interest in the wirehne cellular sys-
tem. GTE also decided to sell
Contel's interest in the adjacent
RSAs. All the partners exercised
their option to buy, and as a result,
the RSA No. 8 partnership was
owned equally by the six remaining
The next move in the partner-
ship was Pembroke Telephone's sale
of controlling interest in its share to
Interstate Telephone Company. The
first cellular service came on fine in
Statesboro in December, 1989. In the
fall of 1991, control of Savannah
Cellular (MSA) was acquired by
ALLTEL Mobile, Inc. and by the
spring of 1992, the name of the com-
bined MSA/RSA businesses
changed to ALLTEL. Also, in 1992,
ALLTEL acquired the Interstate
Telephone (formerly Pembroke
Telephone) portion of RSA No. 8.
RSA No. 14
During the 1988 Georgia
Telephone Association Convention
in Chattanooga, Tennessee, repre-
sentatives from ALLTEL and Plant
Telephone met to discuss the possi-
bility of a full market settlement in
RSA No. 14. As a result of that
meeting. Plant Telephone and ALL-
TEL formed a fifty-fifty partnership
to serve RSA No. 14 and agreed to
use their respective interests in RSAs
Nos. 7,9 and 10 to work toward
increasing coverage of the newly
formed partnership along 1-75.
Several of the eligible LECs were
interested in merging RSAs Nos. 7
and 10. Plant Telephone worked
with Roy Etheridge of Southern Bell
to separate the two RSAs into three
businesses, allowing each ehgible
party to gain the geographical areas
of interest to them. Southern Bell
would get Baldwin and Hancock
counties. Plant Telephone would get
Turner, Ben HUl, Wilcox and Irwin
counties. The other eligible LECs
formed an equal partnership to
serve the remaining counties in the
combined RSAs Nos. 7 and 10.
RSA No. 9
A complete market settlement
was unlikely in RSA No. 9, so Plant
Telephone and ALLTEL worked to
separate the business into three mar-
kets. Plant Telephone got Crisp
County, ALLTEL got Terrell,
Randolph and Clay counties. The
remaining ehgible LECs formed a
partnership to serve the remaining
coimties. Plant Telephone merged
Crisp, Wilcox, Turner and Irwin
counties with RSA No. 14 to form
the RSA No. 14 market as it exists
On March 17,1993, Plant
Telephone sold Plant Cellular RSA
No. 8, Inc. to Pineland Telephone
Co-op, leaving Plant Telephone
more time to concentrate its interests
on RSA No. 14 and the future tech-
nologies on the horizon.
During her career, Betty Gleaton has held many positions with a variety of companies, including auditing
clerk, executive secretarial positions, and bookkeeping in Missouri, Permsylvania and Illinois, in 1964, her hus-
band was transferred to Georgia where she took a position with the Georgia Agricultural Commodity
Commission for Peanuts, responsible for promotions and advertising and secretarial duties.
hollowing the death of her husband in 1969, she transferred to the Georgia Department of Labor. She mar-
ried James P. Gleaton, owner of Plant Telephone Company, in 1970 and joined him in the operation of the com-
Gleaton held the position of vice president and executive secretary to the president of Plant Telephone
Company until her husband's death in 1978. She then assumed responsibility for full operation of the company
as president and chairman of the Board of Directors. She serves as president and chairman of the Board of Plant
Telecommunications Sales and Services, Inc., an affifiate company estabfished in 1982, and holds the same title
for Plant CeUular RSA No. 14, Inc.
Gleaton is active in OPASTCO and USTA and has served as president and on the Board of Directors of the
Georgia Telephone Association. She served on the GTA Credit Union Board for twelve years and one term as
GTA Credit Union president.
She has served on the State Advisory Cormcil for Dual Party Relay, the Governor's Task Porce for Welfare
Reform, and the Tifton Advisory Board for the Trust Bank. A member of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce
and the local Chamber of Commerce, she is the recipient of the Chamber's 1994 Athena Award. Gleaton partici-
pates in local projects for charities and organizations and supports area schools and colleges.
An Industry In Evolution
By: Milt Stewart, Chairman & CEO
Standard Telephone Company
1 often tell my deer-hunting
friends that if they ever go bird
hunting, they will never again sit on
a deer stand during cold, lonely
days praying for that one good shot
at a standing target which will make
their hunting season. Far more
enjo)Tnent, I say, to hunt with the
dogs, stirring up coveys and bring-
ing down large counts of speeding
game birds on the fly using a 20-
gauge shotgun. 1 used a 12-gauge in
my younger days, but now my skill
is improved while my shoulder is
not as tough.
The matter of "cable integra-
tion" provides even more sport than
bird hunting. Here we have a target
that is moving so quickly that I
would feel disadvantaged even if
my weapon were an unplugged, 10-
gauge shotgun, short barrel with
improved cylinder.
My own experience with cable
television began in 1966, when we at
Standard Telephone Company
decided to build a community
antenna television (CATV) system,
in the Cornelia, Georgia area. In
1970, while the system was quite
small and rapidly growing, the
Federal Communications
Commission ordered telephone
companies to divest CATV proper-
ties owned in their telephone service
areas consisting of communities
defined as urban.
Standard was given until
March, 1974, to dispose of its CATV
system in my small hometown of
3,000, and that we did, practically
giving the system away in February,
1974. It is a move we and other sim-
ilar telcos did not want to make but
were forced to do so by federal
agency edict. Even two decades
ago, we could clearly see that our
long term economic health may be
impaired by not being allowed to
participate in the cable TV industry.
Now the day has arrived when
the expansion and coUision of tech-
nologies have forced us to the wall.
Telephone and cable television com-
panies worldwide have recognized
the perils of the inevitable collision,
so, not surprisingly, 1993 became the
year of proposed acquisitions and
alliances designed to extend the life,
if not the very survival, of the corpo-
rate participants in each industry.
We see unfolding before us massive
cable integration.
In 1984, Congress codified the
so-called "cross ownership" prohibi-
tion designed to prevent telcos from
operating cable television systems in
their own urban telephone franchis-
es. However, in 1993, Bell Atlantic
proved before the U. S. E)istrict
Court in Alexandria, Virginia that
such prohibition was unconstitu-
tional. Much earher, the FCC had
already concluded that it should
reconsider its own position on cross
ownership. Although the cross
ownership constraints are presently
still in place outside of Bell
Atlantic's service area, law suits
have been filed by other regional
Bell operating companies to pattern
the Bell Atlantic suit. And although
Congress may be expected to con-
tribute more mischief, cable integra-
tion has made a giant leap forward.
It is too late to recapture the millions
of dollars of lost revenue and appre-
ciation the 1970 FCC edict has cost
Standard Telephone Company, but
we can at least see some glimmer of
Light at the end of a long, dark tun-
I suspect that the light, howev-
er, may occur less from sunshine
than from lightning announcing
strong storms and turbulence ahead.
The evolution of technology and
market forces has far outdistanced
the vision of legislators and regula-
tors. Even the cable and telephone
planners are having difficulty get-
ting a grip on the businesses that
once were so well defined.
Consumers are confused and wary
after having been stung by the tur-
moil created by the events leading to
the breakup of the Bell System in
1984. In turn, they have pressured
lawmakers to protect them from
some of the forces of market and
technology. The poorly written
cable re-regulation act of 1993 is one
example of lawmakers floundering
around in an area they really do not
fuUy understand.
By way of commentary, it
seems to be a natural consequence of
vibrant free market systems that sea-
soned businessmen and marketers
become so involved in the creation
of our nation's wealth that they are
not attracted to the federal agency
and congressional posts which
engage in the redistribution of that
wealth. Federal regulators and law-
makers (FRLs) have too little under-
standing of the nature of
competition, microeconomics, and
the effect of new technologies on the
marketplace. The FRLs appear to
spend much of their time and
resources trying to build competi-
tion where it is not efficient, and
controlling competition where it has
been fueled to excess. The FRLs
appear determined that there should
be at least two competing telecom-
munication systems into every home
in America and then the world will
be wonderful. Never mind that one
water system and one power utility
have worked quite well. The FRLs
seem convinced that telecommuni-
cation companies should exist under
a system of controlled competition
like the ones that have contributed
to the economic and safety decline
affecting our airline and trucking
The leadership exhibited by
our own telephone industry has
been no better. Too often, telco lead-
ers reasoned and proclaimed that
we alone knew what was best for
the consumer of telephone service.
"Just trust us," we said. The land-
mark Carterfone decision and subse-
quent events leading to elimination
of the telephone monopoly were a
direct rebuttal of such arrogance,
born of a pubhc cynicism for an
industry that had allowed cus-
tomers to use the telephone facihties
only in a manner that pleased the
industry. Such rules and regula-
tions were translated as a "customer
be hanged" attitude on the part of a
huge and ruthless monopoly.
History repeated itself yet again
throughout the cable television
industry. And we could hardly see
what we were doing to ourselves.
End of commentary.
Cable television multiple sys-
tem operators (MSOs) and tele-
phone company leaders both
recognize the detrimental effect of
an all-out war between the two
industries. The non-metropohtan
areas of the nation will not, in large
part, support the kind of telecom-
Beginning in 1954 with part-time work. Milt Stewart has logged forty years with Standard Telephone
Company and now serves as chairman and chief executive officer.
Stewart graduated from Georgia Tech in 1961 and holds a license as a registered Professional Engineer. He
currently serves as president-elect of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. He graduated from Harvard
Business School's Owners-Presidents-Managers program in 1980 and received an MBA from Emory University
in 1981.
A veteran telephone engineer and manager, Stewart has helped to advance the field of telecommunications
through his many endeavors on behalf of the industry. He is a past president of Georgia Telephone Association
and has served with various United States Telephone Association committees, including eight years as chairman
of the REA Borrower's Committee. In 1976, he became the twentieth recipient of the REA Certificate of
Appreciation and in 1980, he received the USITA President's Citation for his participation in the AT&T/USITA
Joint Network Planning and Ownership Peasibility Study. In 1985, he was elected president of the Organization
for the Protection and Advancement of Small Telephone Companies (OPASTCO). In 1993, he received the
Excellence in Pioneering Award from the Peach State Chapter of the Independent Telephone Pioneer
Stewart has served in various capacities with numerous church, school and civic organizations, including
president of the Boy Scouts of America - Northeast Georgia Coimcil, president of the Habersham Chamber of
Commerce, president of the Cornelia Kiwanis Club, Board of Trustees of Piedmont College and the Georgia
Chamber of Commerce.
He and his wife, Carolyn, have two children, Jeb and Jill.
inunication competition envisioned
for the large cities. Mergers and
alliances that have developed and
are developing have been conceived
to protect the interests of investor
and consumer alike. Yet, they bring
together two businesses that are as
different as day and night.
Telephone service is two-way,
interactive, switched and informa-
tion based. The value of telephone
service to a customer is enhanced
each time a new customer is added
to the system, so our system of cost
separation and revenue distribution
recognizes this fundamental. 1993
cable television is primarily a one-
way, entertainment based service
and its value to a customer is largely
independent of the addition of new
customers. Historically, telephone
service has been regulated at both
the state and national levels, while
1993 brought national rate regula-
tion, loosely defined, to cable televi-
sion for the first time. Telcos have
an obligation to serve all paying
apphcants within a franchised area
under rates set by regulators. Telcos
seek revenue adjustments that satis-
fy their requirement to meet the
public trust while providing a rea-
sonable return on investment. Cable
television MSOs are profitable only
if they operate and expand prudent-
ly according to market demand and
revenue parameters that are within
federal mandated benchmark stan-
dards. The cable television market
is heavily residential, while tele-
phone business customers provide a
disproportionately higher share of
per customer revenues to telcos.
MSOs seek to enter the tele-
phone business because they are
faced with the prospect of reduced
revenue growth in their own matur-
ing industry. MSOs can see their
future economic health tied to inter-
activity, which means they will need
to invest heavily to upgrade their
systems. To help pay for the
upgrade, they need to be positioned
to participate in the two-way voice
and data markets which presently
provide revenues to telephone com-
panies that dwarf the revenues
derived only from cable television
Telephone companies covet
the broadband facilities that MSOs
provide into each customer's home
or place of business. With the rapid
evolution of the computer business,
broadband facilities promote a
promising data market that is
already fast outpacing the voice
market. Further, telcos recognize
the desire of MSOs to invade the tra-
ditional telco business and the
opportunity that MSOs may have to
participate with interexchange carri-
ers desiring to bypass the local telco
So why should these two
potential competitors be talking of
mergers and joint ventures? I think
it is because MSOs usually have lit-
tle or no knowledge about the inner
workings of the vast and complicat-
ed telephone business and lack suffi-
cient capital resources to rapidly
become full scale players in the total
telecommunications market. My
personal experience is that a tele-
phone company can acquire cable
television expertise much faster and
easier than the opposite, but also
carries excess regulatory baggage
that puts it at some disadvantage
when competing with a cable com-
pany. Further, telcos usually have
the cash flow and financial resources
to allow them to be aggressive in
their pursuit of the cable television
world. Acquisition of existing cable
television property is far more
expensive than constructing a com-
peting system, but acquisition brings
immediate cash flow and presence
in the cable television market with-
out the problems of obtaining fran-
chises, constructing signal receiving
points, negotiating signal carriage
and slugging it out with competitors
for market dominance. Acquisition
makes the most sense in a rural
environment where it is hkely that
only one carrier would be able to
survive in the long run.
But telcos have their share of
problems upon entering the cable
television business, even with a
friendly acquisition, for three big
reasons.... local government, state
government and federal govern-
ment. Lawmakers and regulators
are almost always behind the tech-
nological and market forces that
drive an industry, yet they continue
to hold fast and true to concepts,
laws and regulations that were put
in place years ago. Witness the 1934
Communications Act as exhibit one.
When it was enacted, the technology
of 1994 could not have been imag-
ined, much less foreseen.
More to the point is the poten-
tially disastrous depreciation prob-
lem faced by telcos. Existing
narrowband facilities are all but
obsolete and our balance sheets
should, but do not, carry a sufficient
depreciation reserve to reflect that
reahty. Low depreciation charges
have appeal to some short-sighted
regulators because low charges
translate into reduced service rates
to utility customers. System man-
agers sometime tolerate low depre-
ciation because it presents an
improved, albeit erroneous, earn-
ings picture to investors as well as
reduced service rates to customers.
This perspective accomplishes very
httle toward preparing the public
switched telephone network for
newly developing technologies and
the market evolution that follows.
Even worse from the investor and
lender viewpoint, tomorrow's cus-
tomer must be "overcharged" to pay
for telephone service delivered over
antiquated facilities. Narrowband
service is a cheap adjunct to a broad-
band facility. This spells danger for
the astute telephone company
investor because he knows (1) the
telco no longer has a monopoly, so
customers will migrate to cheaper
alternatives available through supe-
rior facUities, and (2) the telecommu-
nication market will evolve into a
multimedia market for which the
telcos will be ill equipped unless
investors are willing to write down
huge investments in underdepreci-
ated facilities. The writedown
would have to be charged against
new and retained earnings that, for
all practical purposes, are merely an
illusion in their magnitude.
To demonstrate how slow we
are to incorporate new technology
into our thinking and planning, just
review our evolution in the telecom-
munication world. Mankind Uved
and communicated in a natural ana-
log environment until the introduc-
tion of the digital computer in the
middle of the twentieth century. As
T-carrier was developed for trans-
mission on telephone systems, we
slowly began to appreciate that peo-
ple, as well as computers, could
communicate digitally. Indeed, it is
the digital world that has promoted
cable integration through the con-
vergence of communications, com-
puters and cable. A bit is a bit is a
bit, and we can move and switch
these bits through fiber optics and
asynchronous transfer mode (ATM)
switches regardless of whether these
bits represent voice, data or video,
or combinations thereof. We have
finally become very comfortable
with a digital world that most of us
could hardly envision just three
decades ago.
Now, it looks as though we
feel destined to follow wherever the
great digital master wants to lead us.
With our telephone mentahty, we
have announced our switched 56
works as the data transfer modes to
satisfy our customers even as the
video and large data markets are
signaling the need for facilities that
will be able to handle the multi-giga-
bit speed of massively parallel
supercomputers. These customers
will not need their information
crammed through our digital bottle-
necks; they will need access to dark
fibers through which they can trans-
mit what they want, when they
want, the way they want. We telcos
have a narrowband mentality that
tells us to centralize the intelligence,
but a number of our new age media
customers will want decentralized
intelligence connected by "dmnb"
broadband networks. However, this
is not to say we will not need to cen-
tralize the call set-up and subscriber
features of the Advanced Intelligent
Network for ubiquitous voice and
data service to the mass market.
Now if we can rmderstand and
appreciate that notion, let us not
again become smug and arrogant. It
just may be that we very soon will
be faced with a leap from the digital
wireline world into the coded wire-
less world. Code division multiple
access (CDMA) applied to high fre-
quency wavelengths can be expect-
ed to counter the telco "narrow and
strong" mentahty which seeks to
employ brute force to move massive
amounts of information through a
relatively small funnel. Indeed, as
"wireless wide and weak" is the
antithesis of "wireline narrow and
strong", CDMA apphed to the air-
waves could conceivably obsolete
the telecommunications paradigm
we have aU grown to know and
love. The quantum leaps in comput-
er technology with plummeting
costs have fueled the rise of CDMA
as a viable option in the telecommu-
nications arena. Using ever smaller
cells for wireless voice, data and
video communications, the spec-
trum becomes virtually limitless.
Combine these low cost terrestrial
systems with sateUites and let your
imagination carry you the rest of the
way as you bid fareweU to your
expensive local switching offices
and land lines.
At the very least, we can visu-
alize the replacement of narrowband
wireline facilities with broadband
facihties, whether on fiber, coaxial
cable or transmitted via a CDMA
wireless platform, perhaps even at
28 gigahertz. The telco narrowband
centralized intelligence mentality
that prompted asymmetrical digital
subscriber line (ADSL) development
should ultimately yield to broad-
band facihties that meet a market
need for decentralized processing.
The new network will combine
fiber, coax and the airwaves, evolv-
ing from that point to its next stage
of evolution. And it wiU happen
Bird hunters wiU usually con-
cede that improved hit ratios are
obtained when flushing a single bird
rather than an entire covey. That is
because it simplifies the decision
process to have only one target dur-
ing a time of sudden anticipation
and anxiety. It is an understatement
to say that 1993 has been a year of
immense anticipation and anxiety.
The potpourri of events surround-
ing the cable integration issue has
been enormous. Decisions, deci-
sions, decisions! Sometimes, I think
I might rather hunt deer. But it just
wouldn't be as much fun.
The Key To An
Information-Rich Society
By: Dean C. Swanson, Director-Government Relations
Standard Telephone Company
The Communications Act of
1934 called for a telecommunica-
tions system that was rapid, effi-
cient, nationwide and available at
reasonable rates. From that charge
evolved a common communications
network, known as the Pubhc
Switched Network (PSN), that to
this day serves as the backbone of
the nation's telecommunications
infrastructure. Also evolving from
the Communications Act was the
concept of universal service, which
in the final analysis means informa-
tion will be made available to all
Americans, rich or poor - urban or
rural. Within the Public Switched
Network, this means an appropriate
framework must exist for sharing
the physical facilities that transfer
information from point to point. We
caU that arrangement "infrastructure
sharing" and beyond everything
else, it is a recognition of the unique
responsibilities local exchange carri-
ers have in providing ubiquitous
communication services as contrast-
ed with communications services
provided only on a selective basis.
Successful infrastructure shar-
ing depends greatly on joint plan-
ning and revenue flows that
recognize the wide variance in costs
of service when facilities are extend-
ed throughout the country. And it
was this sharing of technology, facil-
ities and revenues that built the
greatest telecommunications net-
work in the world. By any measure,
the Public Switched Network that
was deployed over the years met the
public pohcy goals stated in the
Communications Act of 1934.
In the years since the breakup
of the former Bell System, the future
direction of telecommunications has
shifted increasingly from regulatory
and legislative decision making to
marketplace forces. While this trend
is expected to continue, and even
accelerate, it raises the question of
whether pure market criteria can
meet the universal service goals that
have served this nation so well over
the years. Many observers feel that
universal service will suffer signifi-
cantly unless there is a thorough
governmental review of communi-
cation policy strategies for the
future. This issue is being addressed
on many fronts, perhaps the most
notable of which is the Clinton
administration's report on building
the National Information
Infrastructure, which was released
September 15,1993.
The National Information
Infrastructure (Nil) would be a
"seamless web of communications
networks, computers, databases,
and consumer electronics that will
put vast amounts of information at
users' fingertips." Essentially, it will
create an infrastructure that will
integrate communications networks,
computers, information sources and
users. It has nine principles and
(1) Promote private sector invest
(2) Extend the "universal service"
concept to ensure that informa-
tion resources are available to
all at affordable prices.
(3) Act as a catalyst to promote tech-
nological innovations and new
(4) Promote seamless, interactive,
user-driven operation of the NIL
(5) Ensure information security and
network rehability.
(6) Improve management of the
radio frequency spectrum.
(7) Protect intellectual property
(8) Coordinate with other levels of
government and with other
(9) Provide access to government
information and improve gov-
ernment procurement.
It is obvious that with the
introduction of Nil and other leg-
islative initiatives, the issue of infra-
structure sharing is becoming much
more complex and more closely
associated with a broad range of
economic and social goals. New
technologies and increasing global
competition are just two of the many
changes that are driving the pubhc
sector to call for action to shape the
evolution of the communications
infrastructure. 1994 could well be
the year when the integrity of our
public telecommunications infra-
structure is determined by legisla-
tive action. Allowing increasing
competition, while protecting the
concepts of universal service, joint
planning and infrastructure sharing
will be a most challenging task and
one that will determine the direction
of telecommunications in the twen-
ty-first century.
Dean C. Swanson was bom in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and attended schools in Minneapolis and Palo
Alto, California. He graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1957 and took a commission in the U. S. Air
Force where he spent the next six years as a fighter pilot.
Swanson joined Standard Telephone Company in 1963. From 1964-1970 he was vice president and opera-
tions manager; from 1970-1978 he served as executive vice president; from 1978-1991, he was president, and he
currently serves as president of Standard Group, Inc.
Swanson has served in many key positions m the telecommunications industry. He is a past president,
director and committee chair of the Georgia Telephone Association. In 1990, he served as chairman of the
United States Telephone Association. In that role he helped shape national telecommunication policy by his
appearances before congressional committees and by close coordination with state telephone associations
throughout the United States. He continues to promote the general welfare of telephony in today's rapidly
changing telecommunications environment as he serves as an officer of this national association.
Locally, Swanson's affihations include the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Habersham County Chamber
of Commerce, Habersham County Development Authority, Habersham County Airport Commission,
Habersham County Rotary Club and the Governor's Council for School Performance.
He and his wife, Kay are the parents of three children: Sabrina, Stewart and Christopher.
Strong Evidence for the
Value of Competition
By: Jim Blacicburn, Consultant
AT&T, Government Affairs Vice President, Retired
Global competition has
become an increasing factor in
American business in general. With
this increase, we are experiencing a
tremendous impact on our personal
quality of life and within the infor-
mation industry.
Metaphorically, the planet is
much smaller today because of the
rapid technology gains in communi-
cations and the availability of trans-
Those who either grew up or
served during World War II can
recall the newsreels in the movie
theater and radio reports that kept
us somewhat abreast of the events of
the war. You need only think about
recent claims of some groups that
the holocaust never happened to
doubt the effectiveness of communi-
cations during that time forty years
What a contrast to the Vietnam
War which has been identified in
trivia questions as the "TV" War.
Then, most recently, the "Gulf War"
was so well reported that the news
reporters were considered by some
to be more participants than
observers and, perhaps, manipulat-
ed by both sides. The Gulf War also
brought emphasis on "command
and control" and the realization that
destroying communication centers
that serve that role makes effective
military action impossible.
We have also seen great
changes in transportation. A hand-
ful of airports where planes trav-
elled to and from international
points has expanded tremendously.
Many cities with a small population
now have international airports. In
fact, the global travel and tourism
industry is said to be the world's
largest industry sized at approxi-
mately $3 trillion today.
In telecommunications, global
competition has been a reality for
decades but imtil the last decade
was primarily focused in manufac-
turing and sale of equipment and
transmission products. AT&T,
Northern Telecom, NEC, Ericsson
and others have competed for busi-
ness as telecommunications net-
works have grown and technology
advances were developed.
Competition in the form of
actual provision of services has
developed more slowly. The recog-
nition of the value of instant voice
commimications developed natural-
ly first to the city limits of large
communities, then across nations.
beyond national boundaries, across
continents and oceans, and finally
around the globe. The model for the
international industry until the last
decade was the regulated monopoly
service provider. Typically, this
provider was a government-owned
operation which acquired and main-
tained exclusive franchise rights for
aU domestic and international facili-
ties and services. In the United
States, a privately owned network
emerged which provided service
within a government regulated
framework. Providers for countries
worked with each other as partners
to provide international service.
This arrangement has been known
as the "correspondent" relationship
and worked well. Monopohes dealt
with monopolies. Each had market
power within their country and con-
trolled the regulatory and opera-
tional framework. In addition, they
were motivated similarlyexpand-
ing the domestic telecommunica-
tions infrastructure by using pricing
and cost sharing subsidies derived
from the use of the international
long distance network.
The last decade has brought
significant changes to traditional
international operation. The com-
petitive domestic long distance mar-
ket established in the United States
in 1984 has been expanded to inter-
national service by the Federal
Communications System (FCC). In
1985, the FCC began allowing inter-
national competition by reducing
regulation for "non-dominant" car-
riers (including resellers). Further
relaxation of requirements occurred
as recently as last year. The tradi-
tional international industry estab-
lished primarily for voice services
has also experienced a market
changing to meet the demands for
data, voice, video, facsimilewith
these representing every form of
information conceivable today. This
is a clear indication of more to come
yet to be conceived.
The international telecommu-
nication environment is being
reshaped by technological, market,
economic and social changes. The
"public interest" today in many
countries is being redefined. The
new definition moves away from
expanding inexpensive service to
recognizing the importance of the
telecommunications infrastructure
in the creation of jobs, attracting cap-
ital investment and the expansion
and development of national
economies. Today China and the
former Soviet Union are considered
to be examples of large market
opportunities based on need for
infrastructure to match economic
development goals. In China there
are two phones for every 100 people.
That nation wants to increase phone
service twentyfold by 2020. This
equates to installing approximately
fifteen million lines each year for the
next twenty-seven years. AT&T,
Northern Telecom Ltd., Alcatel,
Ericsson and others will compete to
become the major supplier for this
tremendous market. The U.S.
Government has recently removed
the export controls on American
technology which will allow U.S.
firms to compete fully.
Correspondent relationships
are being augmented by the largest
telecommunications companies
becoming globally based through
their own expansion and/or strate-
gic alliances and agreements. At
divestiture in 1984, AT&T had fewer
than 100 people outside the U.S.
Ten years later there are 53,000
AT&T people working in approxi-
mately 100 other coimtries. AT&T
and MCTs intense domestic compe-
tition is also seen internationally in
matching each other with strategic
alliances in Europe and Canada.
It is likely that over time more
countries will be forced to adopt a
more competitive approach with
less control and regulation. The U.S.
model offers strong evidence of the
value of competition in terms of
expanding the industry. Movement
in some countries to adjust to the
new global market is seen as they
begin to privatize former govern-
ment owned companies and permit
some forms of competition.
U.S. concerns about fair trade
also play a major role in global
telecommunications. The U.S. mar-
ket is an open market. International
companies can and do participate in
the U.S. while markets in many
countries remain completely closed.
The success of our government in
correcting this unfairness will spur
further competition in international
telecommunications. At this writ-
ing, we've just heard President
Clinton announce resolution of
Japan's failure to allow Motorola's
participation in that country's cellu-
lar market. Mexico's long distance
market will open to competition by
U.S. carriers in 1996 as a condition of
the North American Eree Trade
Agreement (NAFTA).
Jim Blackburn is a Management Consultant specializing in leadership. He assists organizations seeking to
transform from traditional operation to a Customer Driven Team approach. His clients include Standard
Telephone Company, financial institutions and health services organizations. He is an experienced facilitator in
service quality, total quality, process management and teaming concepts.
Blackburn spent over thirty-seven years with AT&T rising from entry level to the executive position of
government affairs vice president at his retirement in 1992. His experience with AT&T included operations,
engineering, sales, data services, human resources, labor relations and external affairs positions.
His academic studies include programs at the University of Georgia (Atlanta Division), Mercer University,
Rutgers University and WiUiams College.
Blackburn is a native of Baldwin, Georgia, and currently resides in Batesville with his wife, Fran. Their
family includes three children and eight grandchildren.
He currently serves on the Habersham County Chamber of Commerce Board, the Habersham County
Planning Commission and Governor's Council for Employment and Training.
These market and economic
realities are increasingly impressive.
The information industry today gen-
erates about $900 billion in annual
revenues and is expected to grow to
$1.4 trillion by 1996. The number of
cellular customers is growing
between 30 and 40 percent a year.
The market of messaging (FAX, elec-
tronic mail, et cetera) is expected to
double to $18 billion by 1996. And
the $120 billion market of net-
worked computing is expected to
grow to $200 billion by 1996.
Globe spanning companies
represent a $10 billion market for
private networks and other services.
AT&T formed a global alliance with
KDD of Japan and Singapore
Telecom in 1993 to provide one-stop
service for multinational companies.
Australia's Telstra, Unitel of Canada
and Korea Telecom will join this
alhance in 1994 to serve multination-
al companies in North America,
Asia, Europe and Latin America.
This move reflects increasing cus-
tomer pressure to be served by a sin-
gle global network rather than a
combination of networks with dif-
ferent standards, inconsistent fea-
tures, varying service quality and
separate ordering, maintenance and
All of the economic and mar-
ket factors create pressure on tradi-
tional supplier driven operations,
subsidies and artificial pricing.
Those of us familiar with the U.S.
market are seeing the same issues
emerge internationally that we saw
The value in examining global
competition is being able to under-
stand and deal with its impact or
potential impacts on our plans and
operations. If we move away from
the global view and back to Georgia,
we find that our own newly-formed
Council on Competitive Georgia
states that 80 percent of Georgia
businesses have foreign competi-
tion. What they don't say is how
many of them realize it.
There are few true visionaries
among us. Most of us have to be hit
with a hard dose of reality before we
plan and/or act. After World War II
when we entered business or started
our careers, it was a lot easier to suc-
ceed than today. Today you can do
everything well and use the best
techniques and you still can't guar-
antee success because things have
become incredibly more complex
and the world is much smaller.
However, the chances for success
are certainly maximized by doing all
you can to prepare for an uncertain
future. A process to better prepare
for the future should include:
1. Think globally and act locally.
While involved in a localized
operation, we can't isolate our-
selves from the broader global
and national environment. We
will see what needs to be done
quicker if we look, question, and
try to understand. As we act
locally, we should get closer to
our customers who can help us
understand the global realities.
2. Accept the reality that the policy
that exists, whether stated or not,
is "If there can be competition
there will be." The forces
behind competition are much
stronger than those opposing.
Competition generally brings
better service, more features,
more choices and lower prices to
consumers. The best preparation
for competition is to act like you
have it before it arrives.
3. Prepare to drive costs down.
When competition occurs, prices
are driven toward cost and to be
successful your costs need to be
as low as competitors. Bench-
marking to others and re-engi-
neering processes to prepare
plans and reduce costs are criti-
cal. We should know what we
would do next to improve our
4. Those of us in leadership posi-
tions need to become more skill-
ful in managing change. The
only certainty we can identify is
change and its increasing rapidi-
ty. If we don't become more
skillful, we and our organiza-
tions will stay in denial of change
rather than managing it. In
effect, the job of a leader today
starts with the responsibility to
manage change and improve-
ment in order to be successful in
the future.
Global competition helps make
today the most exciting time of our
Eves. Everyone in the information
industry will be impacted in some
way. The largest companies will
become more globally based while
smaller companies will join in serv-
ing customers in a rapidly changing
environment. We have the benefit
of having experienced competition
in the domestic long distance market
as we see competition for dial tone
emerge at the same time the interna-
tional market becomes more com-
petitive. Those of us who see these
changes as an opportunity rather
than a threat will have the best
chance for success.
"The problem is not therefore,
to suppress change, which can-
not be done, but to manage it."
Alvin Toffler, Future Stock
Legislative Action Determines the
Future of Our Industry
By: J. Lee Barton, President/CEO
Hart Telephone Company
Imagine, if you will, a bowling
alley with thirty-five bowling pins
set up at the end of the lane. The
pins represent the LECs in the state
of Georgia. Underneath each pin is
an adhesive, put there to keep the
pins from falling, allowing them to
stand firm and strong. The adhesive
represents state regulation under
today's environment. Now, imagine
further a bowhng ball, moving
swiftly down the lane toward the
pins. The bowling ball, of course,
represents competition. WhaPs
going to happen as the ball strikes
the pins? Obviously, the ball will
strike the pins separating them from
the adhesive and the floor, causing
them to break or fall. With competi-
tion moving as swiftly and decisive-
ly as it is today with such
competitors as cable TV, CAPS,
COCOTS, cellular carriers, PCS,
IXCs, resellers, and perhaps soon,
RBOCS and other LECs, this analo-
gy may become altogether too close
to a reaUty. Regulatory reform is
needed in this state if local exchange
carriers are to continue their centu-
ry-long obhgation to serve rural
Georgia with the best telecommuni-
cations services that are available
and to continue to provide rural
Georgia with the opportunity for
growth and development.
In an address in June of 1993 in
response to the Universal Service
and Telecommunications Infra-
structure Act of 1993 (S-1086), AT&T
predicted that in less than seven
years, competition in the local mar-
kets would exist wherein 75 percent
of its customers would be able to
obtain local service from two or
more providers. These competitors
will come in all forms, but quite cer-
tainly, they will be going after our
most profitable customers. As the
provider of last resort, the LECs in
Georgia may be left with traffic and
customers that nobody else wants
and state regulators will be stuck
with some unattractive choices: (1)
restraining competition; (2) seeing
the LECs decline in financial viabili-
ty; or (3) raising basic residential
rates to a level so that LECs would
be able to lower prices to large cus-
tomers to remain competitive. AU
the technology in the world is not
going to be enough to allow the
LECs to compete on a level playing
field. Regulation will determine the
future of our companies; we must
either be allowed the freedom to
compete equally with our competi-
tors or our competitors must jointly
undertake the responsibility of sup-
porting universal service by sup-
porting a high cost subsidy
It is an indisputable truism
that incentives must be present for
investment capital to be risked;
therefore, the nature of regulation
must be changed to create those
incentives to invest. Telephone
companies need to be able to take
risks today in order to achieve possi-
ble benefits in the future. NYNEX
Chairman William Ferguson recent-
ly spoke about the four major forces
reshaping the destiny of the tele-
phone industry: the customer, tech-
nology, the marketplace, and the
public policy environment. He
explained, "As the customer, tech-
nology, and the marketplace race
faster and faster, the pubUc policy
environment continues to move at a
snail's pace. If we want to play in a
larger game, we absolutely must
win the regulatory freedom to do
so....before our markets have erod-
ed." New York, Pennsylvania,
Illinois, California, and many other
states are revamping the rules to
encourage competition. In an
absolutely amazing action taken in
October, 1993, the New York Public
Service Commission gave official
recognition to Metropolitan Fiber
Systems (MFS) as a local exchange
carrier. With MFS now having LEC
status. New York Telephone will be
ordered to allocate blocks of local
number prefixes to MFS and the
New York PubUc Service
Commission will require both com-
panies to agree on terms of physical
interconnection of networks by
December 1,1993.
Admittedly, these events are
occurring today in Tier 1 markets.
How long win it take to reach the
secondary markets that we serve
once the Tier 1 markets are saturated
with competition? Are these states
proceeding in the right direction?
Can competition be halted by states
neither willing nor ready to change?
Or, will the pressure of competition
eventually reign universally in all
state jurisdictions? These are ques-
tions with which the regulators in
this state are going to have to deal
and sooner than we might think.
The future of our companies will
hinge upon their actions.
Among the many questions
yet to be answered are: how will
states deal with the regulation of
new services and, more importantly,
how will Georgia address the regu-
lation of new services? Certainly,
new services should be unregulated
and priced to the market; regulatory
delays can be fatal when new ser-
vices are introduced involving the
deployment of new technology.
Again, 1 echo NYNEX Chairman
Eerguson's admonition about public
policy not keeping pace with the
rapidly advancing forces of cus-
tomer, technology and marketplace.
Eurthermore, regulation
should focus on prices and not prof-
its, creating incentives (including
infrastructure commitments) in
order to modernize our networks.
Reform in the area of deprecia-
tion rates must be addressed. In an
era of competition and rapidly
changing technology, LECs need to
be able to write off their old equip-
ment more rapidly. Regulation in
today's environment should analyze
not how long a piece of plant will
last but how rapidly the economic
value of that particular asset is lost.
We should be creating incentives to
modernize, not dis-incentives to
upgrade the network.
Opponents of this part of regu-
latory reform are coming out of the
woodworks. Their arguments hinge
on the assumption that short term
cash generated by rapid deprecia-
tion schedules will not be used to
upgrade our networks, but instead
flowed into general coffers for
investments in non-regulated ser-
vices. But, 1 have not talked to a sin-
gle telecom manager who doesn't
recognize the need to modernize his
network and deploy the latest
switching and network facilities
available. It is essential that our
infrastructure supports any service,
feature or function that a competitor
can also provide.
Presently, LECs are strapped
by rate of return regulation, which
encumbers efficiency and flexibility;
therefore, now may be the time to
start envisioning an incentive-based
regulatory environment that could
allow LECs the freedom to compete
on a level playing field. The need
for close cooperation between the
state, federal, and legislative arenas
should also be adhered to in order to
eliminate conflicting policies, which
may delay our ability to move
quickly and decisively.
And, of course, the question of
universal service persists; clearly,
universal service should be exam-
ined in the marketplace. What does
it mean? Is it vital in today's envi-
ronment? Should there be a carrier
of last resort? If so, what support
mechanisms should be kept to pre-
serve universal service?
In spite of our restraints on the
regulatory front, pessimistic views
about our industry should not per-
sist. Negativism concerning our
company's growth and prosperity
shoiild not cause us to lose sight of
the many opportunities for LECs as
we move into the Information Age.
Attitudes must change; we must be
aggressive and progressive and we
must move positively and confi-
dently. New technology will mean
new markets, more and better ser-
vices to existing markets allowing
potential revenue opportunities.
However, regulation also must
change to enhance our ability to
serve our customers better with ser-
vices they desire. And, we must be
prepared to meet these challenges of
competition with regulatory free-
Lee Barton graduated for the University of Georgia in 1976 with a BBA degree. He has been with Hart
Telephone Company for eighteen years, fifteen years as an officer; and became president and CEO in 1987.
Barton is past president of the Hart County Chamber of Commerce, served on the Board of Hart County
Industrial Authority, and is president of the Hartwell Rotary Club. He has served for many years on the
Georgia Telephone Association Board. Barton now serves on the Boards of OPASTCO and ERED (Eund for
Rural Education Development).
Regulated - Deregulated
Unregulated - Competitive
By: Albert Harrison, Chairman
Ellijay Telephone Company
Regulated - Deregulated -
Unregulated - Competitive. These
words are now the keystone
descriptions for telecommunica-
tions. Since 1984 the courts of our
country have changed the basis for
providing the public with services
which had been built up over nearly
a century.
The theory of a govemmental-
ly regulated monopoly which is
required to serve everyone under
controlled pricing is now changing
bit by bit. A completely open
telecommunications business envi-
ronment seems to be taking place.
The totally regulated local exchange
carrier (LEC) is in a continuing
process of change. This process is
mandated by law but many details
will vary with each LEC. Some
change will be controlled by vestiges
of regulation and some activity will
be providing new goods and ser-
vices never before existing.
Usually for the independent
LEC to engage in new fields a
change in organization is made. The
organization has varied from no
change to multiple corporate struc-
tures. Much publicity is now being
given to combinations of corpora-
tions in entertainment, assorted data
and computer services and telecom-
munications. While these new com-
binations are thought to exist in
concentrated urban environments.
there is little doubt that new combi-
nations will ultimately affect small
companies originally engaged in
Cellular telephone is an exam-
ple of an unregulated activity in
some aspects, but the basic facihty is
federally controlled. The future of
its regulation is not predictable, but
the radio spectrum locations are
most likely stable. The future effect
of personal communications sys-
tems (PCS) is yet to be determined.
The effect of PCS on cellular is now
the subject of much study and dis-
cussion. It should be a commercial-
ly unregulated activity.
EEC's who are not engaged in
cable television business are begin-
ning to be interested. The combina-
tion of cable TV systems and the
LEC business is in process of field
trial. The parts of this new activity
to be deregulated or unregulated are
not well defined.
The opportunity of the small
LEC is to provide new service and
deregulated service and equipment.
The commercial office at Ellijay
Telephone wants deregulation and
customer service to go hand-in-
hand. By offering a variety of tele-
phone equipment and switching
features, we hope to be flexible
enough to meet our customer
demand. Being located in a rural
area and operating a local office, we
have the opportunity to have direct
customer contact on a daily basis.
Many of our new service applica-
tions are taken in our office, where
the customer can choose to lease a
telephone instrument or hear a
demonstration of our voice mail sys-
In this deregulated market,
many new customers have customer
provided equipment. Our goal is to
serve this customer with features to
personalize his telephone system to
fit his residential or business needs.
We try to inform customers on ini-
tial contact or with billing stuffers
that we offer a variety of calling fea-
tures and telephone leasing with full
maintenance. At a later date, if they
need to upgrade their service, we
hope this customer will try our voice
mail or other CLASS features. If a
business "outgrows" its present
owned system, we hope that busi-
ness will contact us for rates on pur-
chasing or leasing a new system.
We want to be perceived as a
full-service company, not just a dial
tone provider. When customers
choose us to maintain their inside
wiring, they know if they have a ser-
vice difficulty it can be corrected
promptly. If they have a problem
with a leased set, they can bring it to
our office for needed repairs or
exchange. If they are remodeling
their home, we will install addition-
al telephone jacks or help them
select the right color of telephone to
go with their new wallpaper. Many
customers that move to our area
express their satisfaction with leas-
ing because "leasing means ser-
Our approach to the deregulat-
ed side of the industry is to be cus-
tomer oriented. We hope to offer
the services so that each customer,
with our assistance, can design a
telephone system that is right for
their needs. The customer may only
need a single line set or maybe a
multi-line business with the newest
key equipment. We hope our staff
makes every customer feel that they
have the best telephone service and
equipment to suit their individual
To say an activity is deregulat-
ed is to imply it is competitive.
There are now many devices and
much equipment that has been con-
nected to the telephone network.
Some of the service may be provid-
ed from a central switch point at
lower cost to the public when all
costs of providing the service have
been accounted for. These features
should all be classified as unregulat-
Today there is virtual local ser-
vice dial tone available from a sup-
plier other than the local exchange
carrier. As technology develops, it
should be assumed that further local
service dial tone availability will be
made. The classic toll bypass has
been put into service and provision
for it has been made so that the LEC
continues its regulated activities in
the same manner without disruptive
rate changes.
To make the competition equal
when offering telecommunication
material and service, the LEC must
have deregulated capability. The
smaller independent is fortunate in
having the opportunity to lease and
maintain customer equipment.
Where there is not deregulation
there becomes an actual allocation of
markets rather than free competi-
Changes in technology, organi-
zations, customer interest and other
factors are the basis for change.
There is small chance that changes
will be slower, but regardless of rate
of change it will surely be continu-
ous. Whether it is deregulated,
unregulated, or competitive, there
remains a great opportunity for the
innovative LEC in today's world.
Albert E. Harrison was bom in Hartwell, Georgia, m 1918. Eollowing graduation from high school, he
attended a trade school. In 1935, he enrolled in the Georgia Institute of Technology and received a bachelors
degree in electrical engineering in 1940.
This was followed by six years in the military, after which he began employment with Pacific Telephone
Company where he was transmission engineer for ten years. He then went to work for Lenkurt Manufacturing
hr 1947, he married Marian Smith. They moved from California to Vhginia before relocating to theh per-
manent home in north Georgia.
Harrison became interested in owning and operating a telephone company and visited Ellijay Telephone
Company in 1956 to talk with S. B. Green, the owner. Terms were negotiated in June, 1958, whereby one-half the
common stock of EUijary Telephone was sold to Albert and Marian Harrison and Green retained h^ owner-
ship. The remaining half of stock was purchased by the Harrisons in 1960.
Marian Harrison passed away in 1978. She and Albert had three children, John, Marianne and Doug. In
1982, Albert married Anita Stephens Ball. She had three children.
Albert Harrison is a true telephone pioneer. He has been a leader and builder and an entrepreneur in
Georgia telephony and has earned the respect and admiration of the industry as well as those in his community
and Ms employment.
In October, 1993, he was honored by his company, friends, and community for thirty-five years service
with Ellijay Telephone Company.
The Availability of Quality, Affordable
Communication Services
By: Glenn E. Bryant, Chairman of the Board/CEO
Coastal Utilities, Inc.
Little did Alexander Graham
Bell know just how his invention
back on March 10,1876, would revo-
lutionize the way we hve and work.
His invention, which initially
received skepticism, has profoundly
affected mankind, probably to a
greater extent than any other single
invention. Through the decades,
beginning with the initial disinterest
in the "talking device" to the mod-
em communications and informa-
tion era, the perception of and
reliance upon telephone service has
drastically changed. The national
telephone policy has similarly
evolved throughout history from
non-existent to the initial concept of
universal service to subsidization
programs to the present redefining
of the universal service doctrine.
The dynamics of all aspects of the
telephone industry has brought it
into the forefront as the premier
business that will lead the country
into a global economic position. Just
how successful the United States
wiU be is contingent upon the fact
that quality, affordable communica-
tion services are available to every-
one universal service.
The concept of universal ser-
vice was conceived in a time when
telephone service was a luxury, not
a necessity. Similar to other social
policies, universal telephone service
was established in order to ensure
an equality among citizens in
America regardless of economic sta-
tus or geography. It allowed every
household in America to have a tele-
phone and access to the telephone
network. Although the Commun-
ications Act of 1934 defines the con-
cept of universal service as making
"available, so far as possible, to all
the people of the United States a
rapid, efficient, nationwide, and
world-wide wire and radio commu-
nication service with adequate facili-
ties at reasonable charges," initially,
this universal service doctrine was
concerned more with the most basic
party hne, rotary dial service.
Universal service was also initially
viewed as a pohcy which would
assist the mral, isolated, less densely
populated areas. Because some tele-
phone companies have to install
more physical plant to cover greater
distances to reach fewer people in
rural areas than in cities, the costs
per subscriber to provide telephone
service in rural areas can be much
higher than in urban and suburban
areas. Thus, universal service pro-
grams and regulations have been
promulgated to help telephone com-
panies economically serve high-cost
areas in order that every American
be afforded basic service.
One such formal program was
the creation of the REA telephone
loan program in 1949. With the
financial assistance from REA, many
Independents were able to service
isolated areas and expand to new
locations. Another program that
assists making affordable service
available to high-cost areas is the
universal service fund. This is a pro-
gram whereby long distance compa-
nies pay into a fund that is used to
help companies economically serve
high-cost areas. About 75 percent of
the fund goes to companies whose
costs to provide service exceed 150
percent of the national average.
These mechanisms, as well as others
such as the more recent link-up and
life line programs, are vitally impor-
tant to the provision of universal
With the national average pen-
etration rate of over 93 percent, it is
evident that the universal service
policy has been highly successful. In
looking at the diversity of America
from an economic, as well as from a
geographic, perspective, one stands
amazed at the level in which basic
telephone service is afforded. Even
within the state of Georgia, which
has metropolitan and rural, moun-
tains and swamp land, mainland
and islands, well-to-do and poverty,
the Independent telephone compa-
nies have penetrated the market
similar to the national average with
providing basic local service. A
majority of the customers served by
the Georgia independent telephone
companies have been benefactors of
the universal service programs.
Since there is indeed saturation
of basic local service, the question
now is, "Has the universal service
ideology lived its life or should the
doctrine continue being dynamic in
relation to the industry's technolo-
gy?" In essence, in light of today's
communication network that has a
broader playing field and more
players in the field than ever before,
what is and should be the role of the
universal service concept?
In redefining universal service,
it must be acknowledged that for the
most part the universal service
school of thought has accomplished
its original intention of providing
basic service at affordable rates to all
households. However, based on the
Communications Act of 1934, which
used the terminology "adequate
facilities," the basic premise is just
what are "adequate facilities?" It is
relatively unquestioned that multi-
party service with today's commu-
nications infrastructure and
technology is viewed as sub-stan-
dard and because of the universal
service programs, it is definitely the
exception rather than the rule. As
the traditional telephone industry
views its business changing from
plain old telephone services (basic,
local telephone service) to communi-
cations to entertainment, the indus-
try players will be required to
modernize their infrastructure.
Similar to previous experience,
investments for modernization are
relative to densities of subscriber-
ship; therefore, the companies serv-
ing rural areas will again be faced
with the challenge of providing
state-of-the- art services at a higher
cost per customer than the urban
and suburban companies. Many of
the current facilities are viewed as
inadequate for the services that are
proposed to be provided in the
immediate future. Is it fair for con-
sumers of urban areas to have ser-
vices that rural Americans cannot
have? Some of these services may
yield better educational, business
and competitive advantages enhanc-
ing the quality of life for the more
densely populated areas if the uni-
versal service doctrine is not contin-
Was it the intent of the
Congress that universal service be
dynamic? No one really knows;
however, it appears that it is still a
valid principle that should be
adhered. In the modem communi-
cations network, there is and will be
greater competition with the mar-
kets opened up to more entities.
What the support mecharusms are
and who pays will become more
complex with competition.
Similar to the perceived two
Georgiasthe metro Georgia and
the rural Georgiaif universal ser-
vice is not dynamic, regardless of
the support mechanisms, there easi-
ly could be two Americasthe
modem, technologically advanced
communication America and the
mral, basic service America. In
order for America to be the leader in
world economies, aU of America
must be modem and sophisticated
in its telecommunications infrastmc-
tureaU Americans should have
equal access to a common network
at an economical price. In some
manner, universal service must be a
continued ideology in concept and
Bom and raised in Florida, Glenn E. Bryant came to Hinesville, Georgia, as a civil servant with the govern-
ment, managing the federal housing at Camp Stewart.
Bryant's telephone vocation began with the purchase of Hinesville Telephone Company in 1946. He later
purchased Coastal Telephone Company and merged the two companies as Coastal Utilities, Inc. Bryant is chair-
man of the Board of Directors of the company.
In addition to a sterling career in the telephone industry, Bryant has served his state and community in sev-
eral important capacities. He became mayor of Hinesville in 1962, and over the next eight years as mayor, he
accomplished many noteworthy work projects. From 1970-78, he was chairman of the Liberty County Board of
Commissioners. From 1979 to 1988, Bryant represented the Third Senatorial District in the General Assembly of
Georgia and served on several important committees.
He has devoted much time and effort to area planning and developmental projects and given over thirty
years service to the Boy Scouts. Governor Zell Miller recently appointed Bryant to the Georgia Community
Affairs Committee.
On a personal level, the Bryants have three sons, all associated with Coastal Utihties, Inc., and five grand-
children. He is a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Hinesville.

On the 75th anniversary of the Georgia Telephone Association and the corresponding
one hundred years since the expiration of the original Bell patents (1893,1894), it is fitting
to reflect on the early years of telephony and then briefly to bring the records up to date.
Today, bright, sophisticated young men and women are stepping into roles previously
held by the rugged individualists whose lengthy shadows provide the foundation that
gives heart to the vastly changing industry.
Telephone Engineer and Management (TE&M) magazine has changed its name to
America's Nefieorfc. Pac-Tel is now Airtouch! AT&T is no
longer an acronym for American Telephone & Telegraph Company. The name is AT&T!
The former Bell companies have deleted the word telephone from the names of
the baby Bell companies.
Alexander Graham Bell didn't invent switches, and the box on the wall with a ringer
can be bought at K-Mart!
The telephone business is moving into the Information Age.
The potential is limitless and the telephone industry has committed to becoming a domi
Vvf ;, nant leader in the advanced telecommunications infrastructure.
' A: ' TheEnD^-'-. : A