Glenwood Telephone Company is the smallest, self-contained telephone company in Georgia. It operates an approximate 13 square mile area along the bluff side of the beautiful Oconee River in Wheeler County Georgia.
Wheeler County is an impoverished area with 40.8% of persons below the poverty level and a median household income of $28,182. Glenwood Telephone Company has a genuine interest in the area it serves and is a responsible corporate citizen. It is with pride and commitment that we boast of being “the best little telephone company in Georgia.”
W. R. Stanford originally founded Glenwood Telephone Company in 1898. It was then passed on to his son C. R. Stanford. The company was then purchased in 1940 by W. H. Harvey and Odessa Jones. Three years later on January 2, 1943, they sold the company to Leon B. Adams and Eloise Cox Adams. The Adams’ purchase included a struggling exchange with thirty-three subscribers with one-party residential rates of $1.50 per month and one-party business rate of $2.50, which was comparable to what most of Georgia’s rural telephone exchanges were authorized to collect. They collected the whole sum of $56.00 in their first month of ownership. The house previously occupied by Mr. And Mrs. Jones was also part of the purchase because the switchboard was located there. The Adams moved into their new home where Mrs. Adams assumed the duty of keeping the switchboard open twenty-four hours a day with the help of several local ladies including Mrs. Dot McDaniel, Miss Jean Maddox along with a Miss Anderson. The front room of their home became the business office and the social center of town. While this popular operation was of great benefit to the community, it failed to provide the necessary funds to operate the company and support the family, forcing Mr. Adams to take other jobs. He did quite a few other jobs and maintained the facilities in his old Dodge truck with only occasional part-time help. The Adams had two daughters, Janice Eloise and Beverly. Beverly was killed in a tragic automobile accident at the age of nineteen. Janice then was destined to be the next owner/operator of this family telephone company.
In time, the company grew and prospered and in 1956, a new telephone business office was constructed and a Stromberg-Carlson XY 120-line equipment installed to provide efficient service to its customers.The outside plant was upgraded and the switch expanded in 1972. The old aerial wire was taken down and aerial cable replaced in some parts of the exchange territory. ANI was added to the central office. Upgrades to facilities of the outside plant have continued since that time. Today our outside plant is buried and fiber optic cable. We do Computer Repair, have a store front where we sell computers, Blu-Ray, TV’s, SouthernLinc, and other electronic equipment. We have also moved our Internet Café to this downtown building. We have 10 employees.
Upon Mr. Adams’ death in 1982, Janice (Adams) O’Brien took over the management of the company, which today has ten employees. The business office was moved back into the home that had been the site of the original telephone office in 1989. This was done to allow room in the Central Office Building to replace the old XY switch with a new Stromberg-Carlson DCO switch. This change out took place in1990. The company also added 13 miles of fiber optic cable to its facilities as a part of this capital improvement project. In 1986, the company had 650 subscribers; in 1993, there were 675; and in 2000 the count was 968 at year-end. Today, we have 693 telephone customers and 90 customers and 232 DSL Customers. In December 1998 the new business office was built. In order to add the new EWSD switch the original company site is once again being used as offices for outside plant personnel and for storage area for the company.
Glenwood Telephone Company is looking forward to the challenges of developing the area which it serves and especially anticipates the challenges of the changing telecommunications industry. In November of 2000, the company started offering Internet Service to all the toll free calling areas that surround it. James T. O’Brien, son of Janice O’Brien, joined the company and is growing our Internet Business as well as learning the telephone side. This should provide us a new generation to carry on the business started by James’ grandparents. On November of 2002 we put into service an EWSD ONE UP equipped with 1216 lines, replacing the Stromberg-Carlson DCO platform. We deployed two remotes connected by fiber and have since added 13 other remotes covering the entire exchange area. This enable us to offer quality DSL to all of our customers no matter where they live in our exchange. In 2011 we upgraded our switch to a Metaswitch.
We are proud of our company, our experienced and versatile employees, modern digital switching equipment, 99.8% percent buried plant, fiber optic toll service, all one-party service, reasonable rates and excellent service and public relations. Customer service is very important to our company and we pride ourselves in our responsiveness to the needs of our customers and our community. The new technologies and opportunities of the Information age place exciting demands on “the best little telephone company in Georgia.”