Cardington’s phone switch from battery to dial in 1964


Reflections - By Evelyn Long - for the Morrow County Sentinel



We have so very many ways to communicate today, it’s hard to imagine that it was just 119 years ago the telephone came to Morrow County.

I touched on this last week but want to follow up with the switchover in Cardington from battery to dial in June, 1964. A front page story featured a photo of officials with the Ohio Central Telephone Company “pulling plastic picks closing circuits of the connecting center of the new exchange.” Also pictured was Cardington Mayor Hayes Ulrey making the first call in the new system. The old office of the exchange which had been located on the second floor of the building owned by Mrs. Addie Farrington at the southeast corner of Marion and Second Streets for 53 years was deactivated when the cut over was made. Mrs. Annabelle Ewing was the night operator. Several former operators made comments including Jeanette Scott who had retired earlier after serving 22 years, said there were 275 subscribers during her tenure and that number had grown to 1,000. When the cut over was made there were 1215 subscribers.

An old kerosene lamp which had been used at the Cardington Exchange for many years when electric power failed, was brought into the new office by Evelyn Click, an operator and this brought a contrast to the modern plant. The lamp was given to Mrs. Click by Mrs. Scott. Mrs. John Wilson was to serve as the chief operator and bookkeeper. The new office was located on West Main Street on the site of the former Gandee Bakery.

Among those helping with the cut over were Robert Curts, district manager of the Ohio Central Telephone Company; James Huneke local manager and Lawrence Philbrook, telephone service installer.

I remember the excitement of being able to pick up the receiver and dial my own number. Little did any of us in that era realize how our communication choices would be expanded in just 50 years. I’m glad, though, that

I experienced the “old style” phones – it was fun to listen to the latest “news” on that party line.

100 years ago: September 1915: The Morrow County Fair was being held four days and would feature music by the Ladies’ Band of Sycamore; the Centerburg Band and the Cardington Band. Soldiers Free Day was to be Wednesday.

Babies were born to Mr and Mrs. Henry Poorman, Mr and Mrs. A E Salisbury (twins); Adna Greens; Mr. and Mrs. W. Pleister and Mr and Mrs. Jerry Coleman and Mr. and Mrs. D. E Mattix

“Lyle Willey sold his news stand to Harry Curl, who will carry on the business in the same old news stand.”

90 years ago, August, 1925: A whiskey still was found to be operating in a swamp near Fulton. A 33- year old man and a 66 year old man were caught on the latter’s farm by Sheriff Leslie Tischer and deputies when they swooped down on the pair who had their plant running full steam.

80 years ago, August, 1935: Bids were to be submitted at Mount Gilead for the site of the new post office building. Proposals were to be for both the land and the building.

60 years ago, September 1955: David Heacock of east of Cardington, was celebrating his 98th birthday. He was the oldest man in Morrow County. His party was attended by 70 people.

Also celebrating a birthday was A.W. “Dad” Carter, beloved Cardington custodian who had retired in 1938. He was 95 years old and had received a card from President Dwight Eisenhower, to which Carter quipped, “If he will send his airplane up here after me, I will be glad to have dinner with him some day at the White House.”

30 years ago, September, 1985: Melvin Maceyko received his master’s degree in business administration from Ashland University. He had owned his own accounting business in Cardington for 22 years.

Dwight McClarren retired as Morrow County treasurer after serving for 24 years.

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Reflections

By Evelyn Long

for the Morrow County Sentinel