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Rocksprings in Edwards County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Rocksprings Telephone Company

(Southwest Texas Telephone Company)

 
 
Rocksprings Telephone Company Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kayla Harper, November 28, 2019
1. Rocksprings Telephone Company Marker
Inscription.  Local businessman Street Gilmer and D. H. Comparette of Kerrville built a long distance telephone line from Rocksprings to Kerrville in 1898. They installed the town's first telephone in Newton & Smart's store. The phone was later moved to Gilmer's Drug Store; this marked the beginning of the Rocksprings Telephone Company. Telephone customers in the early 20th century used crank-handled magneto wall phones to contact telephone operators. As many as seventeen parties shared each phone line. A 1927 tornado impaired many of the Rocksprings lines and devastated the town. Telephone company employee Foster Owens left his home in the unstable weather to clear the toll lines by hand and call for assistance from Kerrville. Following the tornado, the telephone company built a new rock building. The 1950s brought major changes for the growing company. Street Gilmer died in February 1951 and his son Claud, a former state legislator and speaker of the House, became president of the company. In 1952 the Rocksprings exchange purchased the Nueces Canyon Telephone Company. Claud Gilmer's son became general manager in 1953. Over the next decade, the company acquired
Rocksprings Telephone Company Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kayla Harper, November 28, 2019
2. Rocksprings Telephone Company Marker
the Utopia, D'Hanis, and Vinegarroon telephone exchanges. By 1958 every exchange in the company had been converted to the dial system. The Rocksprings and Nueces Canyon Telephone Company became the Southwest Texas Telephone Company in 1983. It continues to be a family business: two of Street Gilmer's grandchildren and five great-grandchildren served on the board of directors one hundred years after the company's inception.
 
Erected 1998 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 11855.)
 
Location. 30° 0.966′ N, 100° 12.501′ W. Marker is in Rocksprings, Texas, in Edwards County. Marker is at the intersection of East Main Street and North Well Street, on the right when traveling west on East Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Rocksprings TX 78880, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Edwards County Courthouse (a few steps from this marker); Edwards County (within shouting distance of this marker); The Sesquicentennial Committee Erects This Marker (within shouting distance of this marker); Gilmer Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Carson Store (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Headquarters, American Angora Goat Breeders' Assn.
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(about 300 feet away); First Methodist Church (about 400 feet away); Rocksprings Cemetery (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rocksprings.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 

More. Search the internet for Rocksprings Telephone Company.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 1, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 3, 2018, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 81 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 30, 2019, by Kayla Harper of Dallas, Texas.
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