They Left Their Mark In Oakford, 1872

Telephones Come To Oakford.
Page 19

It was hailed as a step forward in communications when in about 1900 the first Oakford telephone was installed in Dave and Ellen Lee's boarding and rooming house. when the Independent Telephone Company installed another phone in the same room Mrs. Lee was kept busy relaying messages to people on the different lines.

West of town, the farmers built the first lines known as the People's Telephone Company.

Most switchboards were located in the operators homes. In Oakford it was first in the Lute's home where Lutes girls. Ruth Ruggles and Beatrice Button Kendall were some of the first operators. Later the switchboard was moved to the building now occupied by Michael Blair. The accompanying photo of Mable Thomas at the switchboard and Lilly Thomas manager was taken in the middle section of the building.

Next the switchboard was moved overhead and to the front of the M.O. Atterberry building with Bertha Ashmore as manager. The last place to house the telephone office was in the Nora Armstrong house managed by Bertha Ashmore.



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Illinois Ancestors