Dumont Telephone Company - 113 Years of History and Service
The Dumont Telephone Company, as it's known today, did not start in the town of Dumont, but in neighboring Hansell.
On March 28, 1901 a meeting was held for the purpose of organizing and building a farmers telephone line. It was determined that this new company would be called the Ingham Township.
On April 20, 1901 the company set off to sell shares of stock in the new venture and placed an order for 625 sixteen and twenty foot poles. They had to adopt rules for the use of these new telephones, eight in total. It was noted in the minutes that there shall be no more than 25 telephones on one line. The phone service caught on quickly in Eastern Franklin County.
On February 1, 1902 at a special meeting, the Ingham Township Mutual Telephone Company voted to incorporate and adopt articles of incorporation.
On August 20, 1902 Cedar Valley Telephone Company of Waterloo presented the Hansell Co. a contract for connecting them to their switchboard and extending their service to the town of Dumont. It was decided not to accept the contract and to extend into Dumont independently. On February 1905 it was decided to extend a line to the town of Aredale.
In 1909 it was decided to buy enough wire to build a line to Pill Town, at that point they would meet the West Point Mutual Telephone Company of Bristow, Iowa, thus connecting two switchboards in two different towns.
On the 30th of December, 1911 the board met to accept the offer of Mr. R. Labatra to work for the company. He was hired to take charge of the Dumont Central, furnish all help, horse and buggy to get over the lines, to keep the books, collect all switching, rents & tolls, and repair all company phones.
In May of 1916 a toll line was constructed to the Butler County Telephone Company at Kesley, Iowa, along with toll lines to Aredale, Bristow, and Hampton. The Dumont Telephone Company was now a long distance company as well as a local company.
On January 18, 1918 the company purchased a suitable car for the manager's use to replace the horse and buggy. On an attempt to reduce the amount of wire in town, it was decided to place underground cable in Dumont. The Kellogg Switchboard and Supply Company set the best bid at $1707.15.
In September of 1922 the Dumont City Council asked the telephone company if they would consider providing 24 hour service. The phone company established a rate of $.50 for line rings or general call. At the next meeting it was decided to give continuous service to subscribers.
By October 1931 the great depression had made its presence in rural Butler and Franklin counties. The rate of phone service was decreased $.25 a month.
In 1936 the Dumont Telephone Company became a member of the Iowa Telephone Association.
On August 5, 1951 the Dumont Telephone Company sold the lines in and around Hansell to Northwestern Bell for $6500.00.
In 1955 property behind the State Bank of Dumont (The phone company was previously on the second floor of it) was offered for sale and the phone company decided to purchase the frame house and move the telephone switchboard and office to the new location.
In April 1960 the Dumont company decided to participate in its first regional telephone directory with the Northwestern Bell Co.
In May 1966 the company ordered its first underground cable for installation into the rural areas of its exchange.
In 1966 Northwestern Bell offered to sell automatic number identification equipment. At first the offer was turned down, but later on it was bought by one of the directors.
In 1975 the company installed equipment that allowed for touch tone phones to be used in their exchange.
On September 9, 1982 cable television was finally introduced in Dumont. It was also introduced in Bristow in 1989 and Geneva in 1990.
At the April 11, 1984 annual meeting, stockholders voted to authorize the board to proceed with the construction of a new office building.
On December 15, 1984 an open house was held in the new building.
On April 6, 1986 it was decided to purchase a digital switch. Also during this time, we purchased 22.5 miles of our long distance toll cable from Dumont to Sheffield.
On June 25, 1990 we opened a telemarketing center in Dumont under a partnership agreement with North Central Telemarketing Company of Sioux City, Iowa.
On March 28, 1991 the telemarketing operation was taken over and became a subsidiary and managed by the telephone company.
On April 10, 1997 Dumont purchased the Allison Exchange from US West, adding 850 customers to the existing 680.
On December 31, 1997 William Blakley retired after being manager for 33 1/2 years. Roger Kregel has taken over as manager.
In 1997 the company began offering dial-up internet to the customers of Dumont and Allison.
During the winter months of 1998 the telemarketing center was leased to an outside agent. The Dumont Telephone Company still owns the telemarketing buildings and equipment.
During 1998 a complete rebuild of the Allison telephone plant was completed. New telephone and coax cable was buried to every house and business within the city limits. A spare inner duct was buried between every pedestal for future technology.
In October 1999 the board approved the purchase of a directional boring machine which was used in the latest technology for the use of installing underground cable.
In September of 2000 the company began providing Cable TV services to the city of Allison.
In 2001 the company began offering High Speed Internet to the Dumont and Allison telephone subscribers.
By 2003 every telephone customer had access to High Speed Internet if they wanted it.
On January 1, 2004 the company began its conversion from Analog to Digital Cable TV service. The conversion was done on March 31, 2004. Now the company provides Digital Cable TV service to all customers in Dumont, Bristow and Allison. The new service includes Pay Per View, Music, and Movieplexes.
In 2005 due to a director retirement from the board, it was decided to reduce the number of Directors from eight to seven.
In 2006 a seven year plan to rebuild the entire Dumont exchange with Fiber-To-The-Home began. The project completed on time in 2012.
In 2013 the entire Allison exchange was rebuilt with Adtran Fiber-To-The-Home equipment. The Dumont exchange was also converted to Adtran so both service areas were on the same fiber platform. Cable TV equipment was updated with Innovative Systems Middleware and Amino Set Top Boxes.
In 2014 cable TV services were discontinued in Geneva. The coaxial plant was still used to provide broadband service to the Geneva residents.
In 2016 11 miles of fiber optic cable was plowed to Parkersburg. A new central office was installed in order to begin providing Broadband, Cable TV and Home Monitoring services there. We also began upgrading our iWireless network to LTE.
For over 100 years we've been serving the area with quality and dedication.