The Lorain Telephone Company

The Lorain Telephone Company. The following predecessor companies were the nucleus of the present organization: The Black River Telephone Company; The Amherst Home Telephone Company; The AvonSheffield Telephone Company; The Vermilion Telephone Company; The Henrietta Rural Telephone Company; The Riverside Telephone Company; and The Lorain County Telephone Company. Of these companies the Black River Telephone Company had the distinction of being the second oldest independent telephone company organized in the United States. Lorain brains and capital entered the independent telephone field and made a success at a time when it was thought the telephone trust was invincible.

In the year 1894 a number of Lorain business men organized and determined they could make a success of an independent telephone company in Lorain. They had little in the way of precedent to encourage them in the idea, as in all the United States only one other independent company existed. But with a sagacity and foresight of unusual depth and penetration these men saw their way clear to carry this project to a successful conclusion, and the later career of a number of these men in the financial world is proof of the ability they possessed. Indeed, it was no matter to be entered lightly into, this competition with a powerful trust, and the honor and credit for it is due to the following men: James B. Hoge, George Buell, E. M. Pierce, Judge C. G. Washburn, Harry Burrell, T. F. Daniels, and Thomas Gawn. Since the time these gentlemen organized and incorporated the Black River Telephone Company, the increase and number of independent telephone interests have been phenomenal everywhere in the country.

In 1897 A. V. Hageman assumed the active management of the Black River Telephone Company, and was also elected to the office of treasurer, and since that time under his able and efficient administration, the prosperity and business of the company increased in rapid strides and kept pace at all times with Lorain's wonderful growth.

In 1903 Herman E. Hageman became associated with the company. The present officers of the company are: A. V. Hageman, president; Judge W. B. Thompson, vice president; B. G. Nichols, secretary; H. E. Hageman, treasurer and manager. The directors are the above officers and N. C. Alten, and P. C. Trinter.

In 1917 the company installed one of the first automatic telephone plants in the state in Lorain. Later, a similar plant was installed at Amherst. Because of the excellent service rendered to its patrons, the Ohio Independent Telephone Association gave the first honor award to the Lorain Telephone Company in 1929. Eighty per cent of the wire mileage of the company in Lorain is under ground. At the present time the company has 93½ miles of conduits in city streets and 19,175 miles of wire in the conduits with approximately 11,000 telephones on its system. Lorain today has the reputation of having the best telephone system in the United States. Much of this credit is due to O. N. Mowery, the superintendent, who has been with the company since 1898. His construction work has held up remarkably well. Credit is also due to T. O. Gilchrist, the wire chief, who has charge of all inside telephone equipment. Miss Nellie Beckett is chief operator of all exchanges. She is the first and only chief operator of the company. P. C. Trinter is cashier of the company, and the success of the company is due principally to the loyalty of all its employeS.

History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931

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