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Mt. Pulaski , Illinois
July 13, 1961     Times
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July 13, 1961

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Telephone Co. Celebrates Its 60th B rthclay The Mt. Pulaski Telephone and Electric Company was originally incorporated on the 6th of May, 1901. H. S. Beckemeyer was the first president, Dr. J. W. Collins was the vice-president, and L. B. Collins was the secretary.treasur- er. Fred G. Mayer was the first manager and served from the in- ception of the company until his retirement on the 31st day of De- cember, 1945. The first telephone office was in the Sefer building on the south side of the square and they mov- ed to the west side of the square in 1906 on the property still own- ed by the company. In 1908 they had 532 subscribers. On January 1, 1961 there were 1065 subscrib- ers. The early system was what is known as a magneto system where you had to turn a crank on the side of the phone to contact the operator. The system was con- verted to what is known as com- mon battery operation in March 1941, and was converted to dial operation in September of 1959. Incidentally, the dial plant is the most modern and up-to-date of Its kind and is equipped for ODD, which means Direct Dis. tance Dialing, which will go into effect as soon as the Illinois Bell Telephone Company converts its Decatur toll center to ODD. Some. time in 1962 subscribers in Mount Pulaski, Latham and Chestnut and the contiguous rural terri- tory will be able to use Direct Distance Dialing. The present Mount Pulaski telephone system has over 10 miles of underground cable and more than five million feet of wire in the cable. There are 138 miles of pole line with 630 miles of wire and in 1960 over one hundred thousand toll calls were made. In Mount Pulaski there are more than an average of 4,000 calls per day, both local and toll. Employees of Company When the system was convert. ed to dial in September of 1959, Viola Drobisch had completed 40 years of service with the com- pany; Frances Turner had com- pleted 37 years of service; Norma Kautz had completed 12 years; Treva Bobell had 8 years; Annie Buckles, 4 years; Hilma DePoister 3 years; and Elwanda Drake, 2 years of service. Fred L. Mayer, the present manager, has been in the employ of the company 38 years. He was made manager Jan. 1, 1946. Harold Haynes has 15 years of service and Howard Scroggin has 14 years of service. The Latham exchange was pur- chased in July of 1914. The first operators were Ruby Stennett and Hazel Turner. Ethel Turner start- eel work in 1918 and continued until the dial system was install- ed. There are now 290 subscrib- ers. In Latham there are 8,000 feet of cable and 56 miles of pole line with 242 miles of wire. The Chestnut Exchange was purchased in 1911 and had 30 subscribers originally. Today there are over 180. The dial system here was also installed in 1952. In Chestnut there are 3000 feet of underground cable, 30 miles of pole line, with 117 miles of wire. The George Suedmeier family was the early operators. Mrs. Alta Abbott was the last oper- ator. The new dial building in Mount Pulaski was constructed in 1959 and is the most modern in every respect. It is fireproof and had an installation that controls the humidity inside the building. Everything has been done to make the present dial system in Mt. Pulaski, Latham and Chest- nut the most modern, up-to-date system known to the industry to-! day. The preparations for a very elaborate Eighth Reunion were made for August 12, 1880, in Mr. Pulaski. All old settlers were considered anyone who had in Illinois before the year il/ &apos;) ---SIL-TENNIAL EDITION (TimM.News, Mt. PulaskL EtL) THURSDAY, JULY 13, 1961 I Modem Dial ! One incident of the earlY..: System Serves First Telephone phone days was the contrlv k | This Community Installed Here Dr. Popelle had, conn .  ,, office and house. It was e I with a can or box on .ea, st. | with a racket making deo". | tached so that if the dt.  [ could *" at home his clients pfl J the sound making eonuj t | and a clatter would be h llSd | the house and Doe knew Da d | a patient on the other e." [ the line.  | Frank Capps, who later . / an assistant to Edison inothe, veloping of the phonographs< d | is still prominent in the. i  | work, figured out a way o, to | early days while here, ni-| throw a wire over the co| . [ ing line between here anulit | coin and with a receiver, "- ] in. _jffg | So, the novelty of yest: | the modern convenience o _  | in most homes, and has T! J | of man's greatest friendS._. ,. time saving asset to b tm'- [ (Jan. 31, 1935) From gossip we picked up in a local store last week we learn, i ed that the first telephone to put in an appearance in Mt. Pulaski was installed in the S. L. Beidler Drug Store. The event was one of the most talked of happenings that the town had ever experienced. Folks stood around and marveled at the fact that they were hearing a voice from another town. As one old fellow remarked when he came into the store and Mr. Beidler was talking over the phone: "What are ye doin' Sam?" "Why, I'm talking to Lincoln," replied Mr. Beidler. "You're a darned liar," replied the questioner. Bankers and other prominent citizens of this community re- call the days when they were .... kids and used to make spend- ing money by taking messages or MAYOR ELMER SCHAFFENACKER is shown making the first dial telephone call Monday morning, September 29, 1959 at 1:00 a.m. The publisher at least got his old rain hat into the picture to attain a small degree of notoriety.--Times.News Photo. LAST OF THE "HELLO GIRLS" in an era of tele- ]phone service in Mount Pulaski, that began in 1901 and was replaced in 1959 with the dial sys- tem. Pictured are the operators whose cheery voic- es have been replaced by the robot that says, What ? No going after people to come down Poles |mN II to the store to talk on the "tele-, il I|l[l|qlll'lll_ tone"! And when a fellow called l---'-r"-'" .,, his girl it was just to() bad for One of the signs that I him and it took a lot of courage Pulaski has gone modernis to date her up with half the town least around the square, 'ci l listening in from the sidelines, discovery of a poster of o$p note made last week wh..' d tempted to locate a ligh ilc telephone pole upon_Wml  make his posting. He - . ! find one. *e tl,' We are happy to staUle 5 there are no teleohone lff.5 $ " - e qe," wires hampering th -re, - scenery around the sq " the 16 light standar granite, with all wic . "Sorry, you've either called the wrong number or the phone has been disconnected, etc." Left to right, are: Jane Kirby, Hilma DePoister, Viola Drobisch, Frances Turner, Treva Mayer, Norma Kautz, and Annie Buckles.Times-News Photo. DAYLIGHT ROBBERY OF FARMERS BANK WAS EXCITING EVENT counter; George Voile, bank pres- ident who was working at his desk nearby and two bookkeep- ers. Harriet Schroth and Doris Damarin. With Volle, Schaffe- nack, and Elliott stretched out on the floor of the president's office, the bookkeepers, Hahn and Harem with their hands elevated the scene was set for the dra- ma which was enacted by Mrs. Wilham Kautz. Entering the bank to make a deposit, Mrs. Kautz thought for a second that they were playing games, but glancing to her left saw three men prone on the floor and Volle shaking his head at her in warning. Then as full real- ization of what she had walked into struck her, she started run. ning from the bank. The holdup man ordered her to stop but she kept right on going. Paneitz knowing that she would spread the alarm, rushed out too, to make his escape. He headed north right behind Mrs. Kautz, who thought he was still after her and expected a have him shoot her down any second. She turned into the Clear shoe store 2 doors away and to her consternation saw three strange men in the front of that store, and at first she thought perhaps these were accomplices and were holding up the Cleat store. Employees Made To Lie On Floor. Capture Robber Mount Pulaski Had Race Track Back In 1890's Many youngsters of the last three generations may not have heard their fathers and mothers tell about a race track in 1890's in the northeast corner of Mount Pulaski. The track was located east of Vine street and between the home of Mr. and Mrs. Karl Dittus and the present State Route 121 curve. The half.mile track ex- tended east and was used pri- marily to train horses. Small grain was grown each season on the inside of the track. In those days the Mount Pul- aski Fire Department trained their members on that track, and then went on to gain glory at the Illinois State Firemen's Associ- ation Tournaments by becoming state champions. There was an amphitheatre a- long the south side of the track, but it was not large enough to hold a big crowd. Some few events took place at the track, but not like the big ones held on the public square. This little art- icle may recall to memory to many Mount Pulaskians that the city, before the days of the auto- mobiles, had a race track, but not a ground to hold county faim or other big events. (July 17, 1952) Mount Pulaskians were thrown into startled excitement Tuesday morning about 11:45 when word spread over the city square that the Farmers Bank had just been held up. Although the lone gunman, who held up the bank and made off with approximately $3,000 in currency, was apprehended about an hour and a half following the robbery, as he left a cornfield on! the Fred Boy farm a mile north of the city. He was identified as Harold Paneitz of Racine, Wisc., by Charles Fox of the Springfield FBI, as having served two terms at Joliet prison. Paneitz entered the Farmers Bank and approached the front teller's window at which Harry Elliott was stationed. Laying down a white paper sack on the ledge, Paneitz pulled a revolver from it and pointed it at Elliott, demanding that he hand over the money from the drawer he was working at. Harry did! Others in the bank at the time were Austin Schaffenacker, cash- ier, who was waiting on Ray- mond Hahn; Dr. R. N. Harem, who was endorsing checks at the seven inches of concrete...,. There are no wooden SI ., around the square so no ol ly billboards spoil the "" the business section. LATHAM. CHESTNUT . INSTALL DIAL pHONF, m (Sept. 11, Telephone history a. . Latham and ChestnUt l'ya at 8 o'clock CST when ",,{$tCj erett Purcell of Lathara'l " call to Clifford Leil. Chestnut, cashier of the l Bank, on the new tatiO" " which was put into ol ' the first time. First Twins Born Here, IB The thought of the in Mount Pulaski in r to mind a great m ing things years since the city 1836. :inone of these is ab? ents of the first tw,, e Mount Pulaski. Note t" ing: "In Sodus Point, ty, New York, on Ruth A. Bushell was fall of 1836 she parents and settled ville, Ill., where ated a saw mill, carding machine. of her father the to Mr. Pulaski in taught school for old school house sta] slope on the site house south of the Motor Co. On Oct. 5, 1853, m marriage wit Master, and to children were bor in infancy. Her h June 16, 1887, an ter died March home of her d O'Connor. It was to this the days of 100 first pair of twins Mt. Pulaski. Th members of the ily in after years Mrs. May O'Connor, and wife of nt left is a of Wilford K.