Clarke Historical Library
Central Michigan University

Finding aid for
Osceola Rural Telephone Company Organizational records

Finding aid created by
KYle Garver, Marian Matyn

Summary Information
Title: Osceola Rural Telephone Company Organizational records
Creator: Osceola Rural Telephone Company.
Inclusive dates: 1906- 1963, and undated
Extent: 1.25 cubic ft. (in 2 boxes)
The collection contains financial ledgers, accounts books, minutes, reports, legal materials, articles of incorporation, and related materials.

Call number: MSS.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University
250 East Preston Street
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: 989-774-3352
Fax: 989-774-2160

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Acc# 1225

Access Restrictions:

Osceola Rural Telephone Company Organizational records are open for research.


Copyright is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

Osceola Rural Telephone Company Organizational records, Folder # , Box #, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University


The collection is organized alphabetically and chronologically.



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.)

Collection Scope and Content Note

The collection consists mostly of financial ledgers and account books, 1906-1961, undated (scattered), and also includes: meeting minutes, 1906-1957; reports, 1936-1961 (scattered); hearing transcripts and legal materials, 1938-1963 (scattered); articles of incorporation, 1939; and related materials.

The undated constitution and by-laws has been separately cataloged.

The collection is organized alphabetically and chronologically

Subject Terms

    • Osceola Rural Telephone Company.
    • Michigan Bell Telephone Company.
    • Rural telephone--Finance--United States.
    • Rural telephone--Rates--United States.
    • Rural telephone--Law and legislation--United States.
    • Telephone companies--Mergers--United States.
    • Telephone companies--History--United States.
    • Osceola County (Mich.)--History.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Osceola Rural Telephone Company Organizational records. [series]:
    Box   1 F   1
    Account books, (2 volumes), 1937, 1939
    Box   1 F   2
    Account books, (2 volumes), 1940-1943
    Box   1 F   3
    Account books, (3 volumes), 1946, 1948, 1958
    Box   1 F   4
    Accounts and Annual Meetings minutes, 1956-1957
    Box   1 F   5
    Annual Report Ledger, 1938-1942
    Box   1 F   6
    Annual Reports, To the Michigan State Board of Assessors, 1936, 1938-1942, 1944-1947, 1957, 1960-1961
    Box   1 F   7
    Annual Reports, To the Michigan State Public Service Commission, 1938-1940, 1942, 1946-1952, 1955-1960, undated
    Box   1 F   8
    Articles of Association, 1939
    Box   1 F   9
    Correspondence, Concerning the Sale of the Osceola Rural Telephone Company, 1960-1962
    Box   1 F   10
    Correspondence, With Michigan Bell Telephone Company, 1952-1960 (scattered)
    Box   1 F   11
    Correspondence, With Michigan State Board of Assessors, 1938, 1957-1960
    Box   1 F   12
    Correspondence, With State of Michigan Public Service Commission, 1954-1961
    Box   1 F   13
    Donations Ledger, undated
    Box   1 F   14
    Financial Ledgers, (2 volumes), 1938-1939
    Box   1 F   15
    Financial Ledgers, (3 volumes), 1943-1944, 1948-1949
    Box   1 F   16
    Financial Ledgers, (2 volumes), 1950-1951
    Box   1 F   17
    Financial Ledgers, (2 volumes), 1952-1953
    Box   1 F   18
    Financial Ledgers, (2 volumes), 1954-1955
    Box   1 F   19
    Financial Ledgers, 1956
    Box   1 F   20
    Financial Ledgers, 1957-1961
    Box   1 F   21
    Floor Space, Power, Testing and Facilities Agreement with the Michigan Bell Telephone Company, 1955
    Box   1 F   22
    Legal Documents for the Sale of the Osceola Rural Telephone Company to the Michigan Bell Telephone Company, 1961-1962
    Box   1 F   23
    Meeting Minutes and Financial Ledger, 1906-1937
    Box   2 F   1
    Michigan. Circuit Court (Osceola County), Trial Transcripts, 1963
    Box   2 F   2
    Michigan Corporation and Securities Commission, Certification, 1939
    Box   2 F   3
    Michigan Independent Telephone Association, Papers, 1957, 1959-1960
    Box   2 F   4
    Michigan Public Service Commission, Transcripts, 1938-1958, 1962
    Box   2 F   5
    Report tot he Sixteenth Annual Convention of the United States Independent Telephone Association, 1957
    Box   2 F   6
    Schedule of Rates, Rules and Regulations, 1938
    Box   2 F   7
    Senate Bill No. 1363, 1959
    Box   2 F   8
    Share Certificates, 1938; Proxy Votes, 1961, 1938, 1961
    Box   2 F   9
    Tariff Papers, 1938, 1957-1959, 1962
    Box   2 F   10
    Traffic Agreements with the Michigan Bell Telephone Company, 1926, 1937, 1953, 1961-19626
    Box   2 F   11
    VanAssche, Papers, 1955-1957