The Arthur Mutual Telephone Company was founded by a group of rural farmers in the Arthur community, formerly known as the Bethel community in 1905. Adjacent communities providing telephone service refused to extend services to the rural area because of the high cost to do so. On December 21, 1908 the Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Secretary of State. Poles and Lines (iron wire) were installed and maintained by the men in the community. The Switch was a Magneto Switch and the last operator was Ruth Mae Colgan, who manned the switchboard for twenty eight years before the switchboard was eliminated. Before her the operators were Claude and Grace Moore, Frank and Caroline Mansfield, and Otis and Lillian Kleinhenn. In 1954 the Directors secured an REA loan to upgrade the system to an automated switch and operators were contracted from Northwestern Telephone Company, now known as Sprint.
In 1968 the company applied for another REA (now known as RUS) loan in order to update their outside plant, replace the old switch to an Analog switch and built an office west of Arthur (present location). This centralized the office more with our service area. We serve approximately forty-seven square miles. Today our outside distribution plant is all underground. The analog switch was upgraded to a digital switch in 1991. We offer the usual custom calling features and class features, as well as voice mail and DSL.
Through a separate corporation (SAA bright.net) we provide local dial up access to the Internet, servicing Defiance and Paulding Counties. Another site in Bryan services Williams County. SAA bright.net provides wireless service as well to Bryan and Paulding cities.
The Arthur Mutual Telephone Company is unique in respect it is a Cooperative, which means every customer is a member and entitled to one vote on business issues and directives brought before them at an annual meeting. The Board of Directors are voted on by its members. Every year based on net margins, capital credits are allocated to each member. Our customers certainly look forward to these credits every other year.
Later there were two stores in Arthur. One owned by Jim McCague and the former store/post office was owned by Luther Jackson. It is assumed the community derived its name of "Arthur" due to establishing a post office. It was named after Chester A. Arthur who became President after the assisnation of James A. Garfield by a postal worker. It is not for certain when the post office ceased to exist. It is known that Arthur was never incorporated.
The Board of Directors consists of seven members, whom you may read about on the Board of Directors page. Employees at Arthur Mutual Telephone Company are as follows:
General Manager: Eric Roughton
Bookkeeper: Kylie Crawford
Commercial Clerk: Laureen Hill
Comb. Tech: Michael Halter
Comb. Tech: Ben Wonders