Tricounty News

Kimball Telephone Company

In 1930, it was sold to James Innes. He later met with the village council in the interest of improving the system. He proposed continuing to remove the telephone poles from the main street of Kimball, rebuilding the county lines, and installing a two-wire system. He also asked to petition the State Railroad and Warehouse Commission to increase the rural rentals by 25 cents, and the business rentals by 60 cents a month. The council gave their approval.

The Kimball Telephone Company operated out of the second floor of Kimball City Hall.

The following are excerpts from the Rules and Instructions published in the 1917 Kimball Telephone Company directory.

• Conversations are limited strictly not to exceed five minutes for each message. Do not make it necessary for the operator to call time on you.

• Profane or indecent language, quarreling or fighting over the wires, playing with the telephone or interfering during communicatiuons, will be a sufficient cause for the removal of the telephone. Subscribers will be held responsible for the enforcement of this rule.

• Office opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 9:30 p.m. Ten cent toll will be charged for any call after 9:30 p.m.

• Operators are not permitted to carry on conversations.

• Subscribers on rural lines, before attempting to use phone, should take receiver from hook, place it to the ear and say “Hello.” Then, if the line is not in use, give one ring for central, or the ring for any party desired. Again, take the receiver off the hook, place it to the ear and, in case of call to central, await the operator’s request for “number.” Respond promptly by giving the number and call (where there is a call) in order printed. Thus Two-six for (26).

• When through talking, hang the receiver up properly (big end down) and give one ring to signal the operator to disconnect. Be sure to RING OFF when through talking.

• The lips should be about one and one-half inches from the transmitter when talking.

• Operators are expected to be patient and polite under all circumstances. Kindly accord to them a like consideration.

Below are the ringing codes used to ring various numbers using the old-style system.


1 2 short             13 4 short

2 1 short, 1 long  14 3 short, 1 long

3 1 long, 1 short  15 2 short, 2 long

4 2 long              16 1 long, 3 short

5 3 short             17 2 long, 2 short

6 1 short, 2 long   18 1 long, 2 short, 1 long

7 2 short, 1 long   19 1 short, 2 long, 1 short

8 1 short, 1 long, 1 short  20 2 short, 1 long, 1 short

9 1 long, 1 short    21 1 long, 1 short, 1 long, 1 short

10 2 long, 1 short  22 3 long, 1 short

11 1 long, 1 short  23 1 short, 1 long, 2 shorts-Reba-Brown-Holm-1940281

12 3 long              24 4 long


* * * * * * *

“Building a State and State House,” was the theme of speaker/site manager Brian Pease’s impressive story and film that told it all from its beginning to the present about Minnesota’s magnificent state capitol as near as St. Paul. Well worth the evening of Sept. 24,
or a trip there for his unforgettable on-site tours.

Next, we proudly present Michael Stanley with “My memories of Kimball.” Everyone is welcome and invited to attend another unique story dating from his ancestry on Maine Prairie and Kimball (Stanleys and Eatons). On a recent return from Africa (his actual destination) he agreed to share the Kimball memories of 1950s through 1980s and more. So, pack up your friends and family to come build a memory with Michael Tuesday, oct. 22, at 7 p.m. in Kimball’s historic City Hall for an evening you’ll probably never forget. Refreshments, fellowship, and brief annual meeting included. There is no charge.

Last 2013 board of Directors Meeting is at
9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at City Hall.

Watch for even more events coming soon, like Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. And we have a limited number of the All-School-Reunion Yearbooks.

Memberships are available and renewable. We welcome stories and photos of your family history or your business for Kimball Historical Society’s permanent records or perhaps for this column. Contact us anytime at Box 55, Kimball MN 55353, or phone (320) 398-5250, or w-Alice-Anderson-Stelton2825743, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . You also might try finding us on Facebook. Thanks for your encouragement and support.


Top picture is Reba Brown Holm, 1940, middle picture is Eva Breit Steele, 1915, Bottom picture is Alice Anderson Stelton, 1940.