Some time in the first six years following the founding of Blue Hill, the telephone company was started. On January 30th, 1897, a line was put in from the First National Bank to the home of its vice-president, C. Koehler. May 10th, 1901, Dr. Franklin had a telephone installed in his office. May 13th, 1901, a new switchboard was installed in a local drug store where a certain area of the store had been set-aside for the Telephone Company.
A.J. Marshall served as the earliest manager and resigned in 1908. Robert Krause was the new manager and the company was simply called Telephone Company.
In 1913 the minister of the Methodist Church, the Rev. T.C. Priestly, who was reported to be a mechanical genius, manufactured telephones and strung wire along country roads, rising only at the crossing. When the size of the operation outgrew the Rev. Priestly, the Glenwood Telephone Company was organized. The manager was Robert Marshall.
One local resident detailed the installation of the rural lines, “The farmers installed the lines themselves. They just went down the road with a roll of wire, two-by-four post extenders and attached the extenders to the fence posts. When a farm was reached the farmer furnished the pole and he had a telephone.”
In August of 1919, A.M. Bang took over the management of the Blue Hill office. The office at the time was located on the north side of the street in the building occupied by the former Blue Hill Café. In the years marked by depression rural dues were $.85 cents per month and no statements were mailed out. The manager would go from business to business along main street to collect.
In 1947, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Lukow came from Holstein and were in charge of the switch board and the lines until 1960 when the system converted to dial.
In 1963, Clive Pulver was appointed to serve as manager. The new office located in Blue Hill consisted of the old telephone office and the post office building. In 1972 the former service station was purchased and incorporated with the existing office.
In 1975 a loan was received to bury the overhead lines and upgrade service to all one-party phones over the entire exchange. The entire project was completed in 1979, giving the Glenwood Telephone Membership Corporation the latest and most modern telephone service available.
At that time the corporation served 2236 customers. Rates at that time were $7.50 for residential and $11.50 for business.
Today, Glenwood Telephone serves approximately 2200 telephone customers, 1000 Cable TV customers, and 3000 broadband Internet customers.