Shared by relatives of Tony & Karen Messmer – Marilyn Kuhn Senn
Kuhn Telephone Company of North Dakota
My grandfather, Valentine Kuhn, a German Russian, emigrated from Russia in 1892 to take advantage of the Homestead Act. It seems he was always eager to be in the innovator of new inventions or ideas in the lives of his neighbors, friends and himself. He and his close friend and neighbor, Dominic Wetzstein, were the first in the area to purchase a steam-run threshing machine in 1908 according to The Richardton Centennial 1883- 1983. Valentine started the first telephone service in the neighborhood of Richardton.
The Company was founded in 1917. Article 3 of the By-Laws states, “The time allowed on any one telephone call shall not be longer than 5 minutes.” Article 7 states, “NO criticism, profane, vulgar or rough language shall be tolerated on the lines of the Kuhn Telephone Company. The fine for the first assault shall be that the guilty stockholder shall have his telephone disconnected for one month. The fine for the second assault shall be that his telephone shall be disconnected for three months.” Article 9 states “……no one shall be allowed to make a call after 10 o’clock P.M. and before 6:00 A.M. unless it is for something of great importance and absolutely necessary.”
I remember as a child, we still had an operator of the phone system in a little house, and one could only use the telephone certain hours, when the operator was on duty. In Richardton, we each had our own line, and the phone rang just for our residence. Country lines were a different story. There were several farms on each line, called a party line. Before answering the phone, the farmer had to wait for his particular ring. For example at my grandfather’s farm, the ring of 9 long, 1 long and 4 short rings. These calls provided little privacy as everyone on the line could pick up their phone and listen to the conversation.
Example of the “phone call notification” for the C line:
Mike Hoerner ………………………. 0-2-2-short
Joe Huthmacher …………………… 0-3-3-short
Rochus Fleck Jr. ……………………. 0-4-4-short
Move forward 100 years, Richardton is a FIBER community with the most advanced communications services available anywhere in the entire country. Blazing fast Internet, digital quality TV with a huge selection of programming choices, and crystal clear landline phone service with dozens of high tech features. AND Consolidated does not care how long you talk, when you talk, and your calls are private!
#Telephone, #Telcom, #telecom, #ConsolidatedTelcom,