History: Thorp, Wis. Telephone Company (1912)


Contact: janet@wiclarkcountyhistory.org


Surnames: Lund, Connor, Bruno, Alberts, Lund, Bernhagen


----Source: Thorp Courier (Thorp, Clark Co., Wis.) 5 Dec 1912, Stories of Clark County, Wisconsin Collected in the Bicentennial Year, 1977, Clark County Press






The telephone was invented in 1875 and patented in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell in Boston, Massachusetts.  Twenty-eight years later, in 1904, Myron Lund, James Connor, and C. F. Rainey organized the Thorp Telephone Company. Fifty phones were connected to a 100 line American Electric magneto switchboard located in the old Alberts building behind the James Connor saloon. The People’s Exchange Bank now occupies the old saloon location. On September 23, 1904, Miss Allie Bruno handled the first calls over this magneto board. Stories of Clark County, Wisconsin Collected in the Bicentennial Year, 1977


The telephone business in Thorp originated with James Connor, who ran a saloon, where the bank building was built, later, as the telephone exchange was in a little wooden building behind it.  Connor was also deputy sheriff at that time.  Those who knew him said, “He made it go, every job he took on.”  The Thorp business was incorporated as the Thorp Telephone Co. in 1905, and was operated by the Myron Lund Family until 1938.  At that time it went into the hands of L. O. Bernhagen.  At the time Bernhagen took over there were 173 telephones in the exchange.  In seven years the number grew to 412, with pressure for installations beyond the capacity to fill them, results from the rapid development at that point in time. Clark County Press





The advertisement above appeared in the Thorp Courier 5 Dec. 1912



© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel