The Real Early
The earliest means of communication was the telegraph line
from Dubuque to Jesup, which ran through Winthrop. It was
completed in November of 1863. At that time, the former station
agent was replaced by Frank Ward, because he could "run
the paper through the telegraph machine and read the dots."
In November of 1886, telephone wires were being put up on
poles and a new office was set-up in Independence.
In 1905, there was hardly a home or town in Eastern Buchanan
county without phone service. The local office was located
in H.C. Unbehaun store, with Bell Telephone handling long
distance out of the J.B. Ryan pharmacy.
In 1904, with telephones being the most efficient method
of transmitting gossip, the central telephone exchange had
to put this plea in the paper:
"In cases of sickness it is desired that patrons shall
not call for the numbers where the sick are…This request
and rule are made to relieve the afflicted of hearing the
phone ring every minute…How would you like it if you
were sick and each one of your friends, two hundred or more,
would call up every morning and say: "Hello, my central's
slow! How's Bill? No better! Too bad! Think he's not better?
Hope he'll be better tomorrow. If you want any help let me
know. Tell Bill I asked about him. What doctor you got? Goodby."
A new switchboard was installed in 1906: "One can say
hello over it without a megaphone. It is a fine affair with
150 drops and is a modern machine in every particular."
In May 1910, the office was moved to a new building, which
is the present location.
The first telephone directory was issued in 1908. Names
were listed alphabetically with a number opposite the name
(for example, 34A).
At this time, the telephone office was also being used as
a weather station. "If you want to know what the weather
is going to be, watch the flags hung out of the south window
every day at the telephone central office. The three cornered
flag, red, means warmer and the same shape in black, cooler…So
far the forecasts have been quite reliable and accurate as
one could expect on so unreliable a subject as the weather."
Through the 80s
In 1937, the Mutual Telephone Exchange (24 county lines)
and Winthrop Telephone Exchange decided to incorporate and
become the Winthrop Cooperative Telephone Exchange. Memberships
were $1.00. Rural fees: $12.00 per year. Town, $2.00 per
month, extensions $.50 and business phones: $3.00 per month.
The manager's salary was $1,050.00. In 1963, the manager
got a raise so he could pay the help $1.00 per hour.
In the early sixties, negotiations began to change to a
dial system. Other towns were contacted, and eventually Quasqueton,
Stanley and Aurora joined, and East Buchanan Telephone Cooperative
was organized. Buried dial service began in 1967.
Equal access arrived in August 1989, due to the association
with Iowa Network Services, of which East Buchanan is an
original stock holder.
The Last 10
Years-Where Do You Fit In Our Story?
Digital Broadcast Satellite / DirecTV
Few would have guessed that an entertainment revolution
was started in 1994 when our first DBS system was installed
at Barb Rasmussen’s home in Quasqueton. We currently
have over 1,300 DBS customers throughout Buchanan County
and the once exclusive hardware is now sold at Wal-Mart and
Dial-up Internet Service
As our first customer back in December of 1996, I’m
sure John Reidy would agree that the Internet has had a profound
effect on his life. EBTC was pleased to assist Roger Wandschneider
and Ken Cappel with the installation of a dedicated 56K circuit
at EB High School in November of 1997. EBTC was also pleased
to assist Mark McCright in upgrading the high school’s
facility to a T-1 in March of 2000.
Wireless Phone Service
EBTC was the first Independent Telephone Company to construct
a tower and offer digital cellular phone service in association
with Iowa Wireless. Although growth has been phenomenal,
our records indicate that the first customer was Nicole Dopp
on May 28, 1999. Since that time coverage has expanded to
Dubuque in the east, Fayette, Clayton and Winnisheik Counties
to the north and large numbers of independently owned towers
to the south. During 2001, our focus will be on connecting
customers to the new cable and using the network's full potential.
EB Long Distance
In response to the confusing plans offered by other long
distance carriers, Bill Raus and Lynn Postel were the first
customers to sign up for EBTC’s $.10 and $.14 long
distance plans during July of 1999.
In 1997 we noted that a majority of our cable was 25 – 30
years old and that we were running out of capacity for new
lines in a number of areas. So we began the tedious process
of rebuilding and upgrading our network in the fall of 1998.
It is our challenge to connect existing people to the new
cable and fully use the network’s potential.
Over the last 10 years, we’ve made many improvements,
and added many additional services to benefit you. In fact,
we’ve added Annual Customer Appreciation Days, printed
a comprehensive Customer Handbook to assist you in choosing
services, extended our office hours, and added automatic
bill payment service. We also take Visa and Mastercard payments.
In addition, we’ve added two new telephone features
to help you manage your busy life. Telemarketer Call Screening
helps you avoid annoying calls from telemarketers, and our
Toll Limitation Services, which we offer free to all customers,
allow you to budget your long distance calls each month easily.
A Building Committee was appointed on March 2,2000 to oversee
the construction of a 3,900 sq. ft office addition. Members
of the Building Committee included Harold Schneider, Greg
Fawcett, Ernie Kress and Lee Bossom. Cory Kress was also
hired to draft the floor plan and function as construction
Construction was started in July of 2000 and completed in
December of 2000. The idea was to create a place where our
customers could come to experience technology, to become
more educated about the services available to you, and to
learn, first hand, which services can best benefit you in
your every day life. We hope you enjoy and benefit from our
technology center, and to learning how your history has helped
to shape how your communicate today.
of Telephone in Stanley
HOMELocal History The first switchboard went into service
in 1906 and was located at the former M.M. Elder Hardware
and Implement Shop, east of the gasoline engine factory on
the south side of Main Street. 11 year-old Clyde Richards
was the first telephone operator.
The switchboard moved seven times before finally being set-up
in the Stanley Hotel in 1919.
The switchboard and the nine telephones were owned by the
Iowa Telephone Company, who was planning to discontinue service
in Stanley in 1919. A few interested persons secured the
names of 74 families, so that they could create a local exchange.
A meeting was held, and a committee appointed to buy the
old switchboard and the nine telephones. Thus, the Stanley
Mutual Telephone Exchange was born. They rented five rooms
(to house the enormous equipment) in the E.M. Stimson Stanley
Hotel as a temporary home.
The first officers and directors were:
John Maller—Vice President
J. Guy Swartzell—Manager
Harold Brownell, George Jellings and Roy Zabriskic were Directors
In 1920, the toll line between Stanley and Aurora was built,
and a new switchboard was purchased, which was used until
1960. In 1927, they bought the E.M. Stimson Stanley Hotel
for $766, and incorporated. In August of 1967, they became
a part of the East Buchanan Telephone Company and went to
the dial system.
The History of Telephone in Stanley