The first news of Marion getting interested in having its own telephone service was in May of 1883, but it was 15 years later before Mr. Alexander showed up with the real thing.
In January 1899 Mr.J. T. Alexander, the telephone man from Providence, Ky. spent a day in Marion soliciting subscribers for the local exchange he was planning for Marion.
The telephone lines were already installed at Shady Grove and they had telephone service. The lines would be run from Shady Grove to Marion.
The picture on the left is of the telephone group of the Iron Hill Exchange. This group of men would run the lines from Shady Grove to Iron Hill (Deanwood) and then on to Marion.
Marion had it's first phone service for use in June of 1900. Marion's first telephone office was located on the corner of North Main and West Bellville Streets. This building, in later years, was the Red Front Grocery Store and then the Western Auto Store. This historic building was torn down in Nov. 1998.
Note all the men that had climbed the telephone pole to have their picture made for this historic event. We're lucky to have some of these old historic pictures from years ago, but I wished someone had taken the time to write the identities of the people on the back of the pictures. Who knows - some of our ancestors might be clinging to the pole.