Telephone Service

Long distance telephone service came first to Hannaford and this was separate from local service, which came later.  Long distance service was installed in October of 1900 and the long distance telephone was located in Jackson's store.  In 1905 the statement was made that if the local telephone service wanted to get to Cooperstown they would have to build a line of their own.

Local service for the communities of Hannaford, Dazey and Walum was installed in 1905.  Mr. E. A. Duff was the manager for the three communities and the Hannaford exchange was located on the second story of the drug store building.  Miss Anna Nelson and Miss Cora Berg were the first telephone operators.  It was called the Central North Dakota Co-operative Telephone Company.  There were 258 names in the directory, which included 40 in Hannaford and 80 on the rural Hannaford lines.  At the beginning the lines were so busy it was decided that non-subscribers would pay 15 cents each time they used the phone to talk to a subscriber and 25 cents when they talked to a non-subscriber.  By this means they hoped the people who had telephones would get better service.  The company was owned by the people of the area as they had purchased shares when the lines were built.  In 1922 the head office of the company was moved from Dazey to Hannaford.  Mr. McGinnes was another early day manager.

In 1946 John Nilson of Nome and Harry Schnider of Buffalo purchased the "Central Electric and Telephone Company" which was under the management of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Shaw.  Leonard was the lineman and Mrs. Shaw was in charge of the switchboard.  Mrs. Esther Weller began as switchboard operator under Mrs. Shaw in 1936.

The name was changed to Intercommunity Telephone Company, Inc., in July 1947 and Duane (Digger) Hare became the lineman for the local community.  The dial system was installed in August of 1959.  When the change-over was completed Esther Weller placed the first long distance call to her sister-in-law in Oregon.  The call was made promptly at midnight, July 31.  Trouble came shortly after the change-over when the long distance line service went out.  H. I. Anderson, Manager of Northwestern Bell came to check and found the trouble in our locality.  A duck had flown against the wire, become caught and hung itself.  (The day before opening of duck season.)

Roger Nilson and family came to make their home in Hannaford in June 1963 when Roger became lineman for the Hannaford Exchange.  He is still here in 1975 and reports the exchange will be upgraded to a one party system and it will also be the beginning of direct dialing for the community.  The work is in progress the summer of 1975.

Telephone No. 51 was placed in the bathhouse for emergencies in 1937 but misuse and destruction caused it to be removed.  There were 65 telephones in 1937-38 and 350 in 1975.

Source: Griggs County History 1879 - 1976 Page 118

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