Wilton History

Source: Henry Wildasin's Revised History of Wilton, Iowa
***Containing a complete reprint of Wilton History 1854-1876 by Rider & Stevenson***1947


M. B. Nelson was the prime mover, in getting Wilton Telephone Company started in Wilton. He was encouraged by a Mr. Perguson of Newton, Iowa, who came to Wilton and put in a few lines, and then Mr. Nelson thought it might pan out, if he could find a financial backer. Which he found in the late John M. Rider, now all this occurred in the year, 1898. Mr. Nelson at this time was operating a clothing store, in one of the rooms of the D. Ruff building. In a short space of time there were quite a few lines connected up. It became necessary that there be a central office, so Mr. Nelson established it in the rear of his clothing store. Placing Maggie McSwiggin in charge.

The business increased so that it was thought best to organize a company and have it incorporated. It was incorporated as the Wilton Telephone Company, by the following citizens, John M. Rider, Fred Maurer, M. B. Nelson, W. D. Harris, C. W. Norton, A. R. Leith, A. C. Shiflet, H. E. Nicolaus and J. H. Wacker. This was in the year 1901. After the organization, the following officers were elected: John M. Rider, President, Fred Maurer, Vice President, M. B. Nelson, Secretary, W. D. Harris, Treasurer. In a short time Mr. Nelson left Wilton. The officers sought a new location. The office finally being located in the Bacon building, where it remained until recently moved. The new site being in the rear of the Star Drug Store.

In the course of time some dissatisfaction occurred and it was thought best to dispose of it, and they sold it to the Agee brothers, then Ben Agee, who sold it to the Armstrongs. The Armstrong family still operate it. The present officers : Mary Walters, president; Earl Armstrong, manager.

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