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Johnson, Melvin J. / History and my memories of Wind Lake Telephone Company
(1996)

Reflections of Melvin Johnson,   pp. 58-80 ff. PDF (11.0 MB)


Page 60


Well time went on and I worked for Hulbert, Arthur or Bob Krogstad,
and Otto Krogstad, that is the son of Martin Krogstad who owned the
store and was on the Board of Directors. Then we had Harry Hanson,
a young man and Magnus Bendictson whose father was the original
planner for the company.
We worked together with Hulbert a lot of times, stretching wires,
digging holes. It was work but we enjoyed doing it.
Time went on and years went by and then we started to have
problems. Waterford was always a village but they were caught in
between two independent telephone companies, Rochester on the south
and Wind Lake on the north. So all the merchant stores there had
to carry two telephones to accommodate their customers on either
side and of course as time went on they got a little disgusted of
it and notified the Public Service Commission to do something about
it.
Well then the Public Service Commission came back to us, one or the
other must vacate one of the phones. We can't make those people
pay for two phones and double telephone poles. Well I read through
the minutes, I wasn't on the board yet at that time, but found that
there was a lot of bargaining going on back and forth.
Wallace in Chicago owned the Rochester Telephone Company. I never
met Mr. Wallace and never knew him.         There were a lot of
conversations going on that Wind Lake was offering Rochester
$24,000 at one time.     That wasn't satisfactory and it went to
$28,000 and that wasn't satisfactory. Then it came a position that
Wallace wanted to buy Wind Lake out. Well I never heard that all
the time I was in the telephone business, but if it was, it was in
the minutes.   Wind Lake was not in a position to sell or cared
about selling. So it got stalemated.
Well I got on the board as a director and Hulbert seemed to have
been waiting for me. He said well let's go up to Madison and see
what we can straighten out and get some answers to our questions.
So I said okay.
So we went up to Madison with him, Albert Thompson, Albert Malchine
and I. Leonard Johnson was still on the board but was physically
not well to go along with us.     We discussed the proposition of
Rochester with the Public Service Commission.    Mr. Jackson was a
head of research and we met O'Leary, who had a commission job, Bill
Green, another commission job.      We met a fellow that ran the
security division, I forget his name now, but he retired and went
to Florida.   He didn't live very long in Florida. So here we have
memories of all those people.
We discussed Rochester and went home and finally one day Mr.
Jackson called me from Madison. He said, Mel, go down and buy that
company.   It's for sale, they want to sell.   I said, Mr. Jackson,
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