Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Bunker Hill Telephone Company - 1898

Photo: Switchboard Operator - Loretta Bartels

The Bunker Hill Telephone Company 
The Bunker Hill Telephone Co. was organized by Charles Drew and James Jencks on April 13, 1898, with eleven stockholders and a capital of $2,500.00.  Later the capital stock was increased to $15,000.00.

Some of the eleven stockholder in the Bunker Hill Telephone Co. were: James Jencks, C. E. Drew, S. N. Sanford, Wm. Dickie, C. J. Jacoby, Max Sessel John Neil, Adolph Bumann, and Mrs. Wm. Dickie.

Over the next few month there was a large increase in the number of subscribers.  In August, 1900, the phone company put in a new switchboard, which brought the capacity of the new exchange up to 100 phones.

About December 1, 1928, the Bunker Hill Telephone Co., including the property was sold to the Community Telephone Co. of Chicago for $18,000.00.  This company also owned the Carlinville, Gillespie, Virden, and Girard exchanges as well as 49 other telephone properties in the state.  They also had interest in a number of waterworks systems.

The telephone operators in 1955 were: Doris Miller, Loretta Bartels, Melba Allen, Etta Goodhaus, Jeanette Thorpe, Gertrude Emery and Barbara Girth.

The local telephone office was located where Sally's Cafe is now.  It closed in 1955 when General Telephone switched to the dial system.

...Read more about this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: Redford, Carol, and Betty Triplett. "City Growth." In Reflections: A History of the Bunker Hill-Woodburn Area, 24. Bunker Hill: Bunker Hill Publications, 1993. Provided by the Bunker Hill IL Historical Society.

The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, November 28, 2012.

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