The Osceola Rural Telephone Company (ORTC) was organized on February 24, 1906 at D.A. Davis’ store in Avondale (Hartwick Township in Osceola County, Michigan), to provide local telephone service. The first officers elected were: Guy Hartley (president), Matthew McDonald (vice-president), R.S. Mapes (secretary), and D.A. Davis (treasurer). S. B. Thompson, Ernest Dine, J. H. Thompson, Wilbur Lambert, and George Bennett were elected as members of the Board of Directors. Shares were initially sold for $6.00 each. Telephone poles were soon erected. ORTC was incorporated on May 22, 1906. Wire was ordered from Brown Fence and Wire Company of Cleveland. By August 7, 1906 the hours of use for customers were limited to before 9:00 p.m. on weekdays, except for urgent business, and 9:00-11:00 am on Sundays. The operator probably wanted time off, which dictated limited hours.
On August 27, 1937, the ORT, Inc. incorporated under the provisions of Act No. 129 of the Public Acts of 1883, entitled, “An act for the organization of telephone and messenger service companies.” The business was then valued at $500.00 and stocks were worth $10.00 each. Directors in 1937 were C. L. Shadley, William Yarhouse, and Myrl Scott. Stockholders lived in Evart, Reed City, Marion and LeRoy, Michigan.
A later, undated, constitution noted a person’s phone could be disconnected if used for gossip, listening to music, left off the hook, if the talker used obscene, profane, abusive, or insulting language, or for listening in on others’ conversations.
On September 1, 1961, the ORTC stockholders voted to sell all of the property, plant, assets, good will and franchise to Michigan Bell Telephone Company for $2,000.00. Reasons for the sale included the outside business interests of Board members limiting time they could spend of ORTC business, the pending retirement of the operators, and the inability to attract replacements for them. (This information is from the collection.)