Johnson, Melvin J. / History and my memories of Wind Lake Telephone Company
Reflections of Melvin Johnson, pp. 58-80 ff. PDF (11.0 MB)
Milwaukee they were under Bell. In Milwaukee they had free toll just like we have here between ourself and our exchange and they had all the services that they wanted in Milwaukee. When they got out here they had to pay rental to the telephone, but they had to pay toll to get into Milwaukee. I got on the Board about 1944 when Hulbert asked me if I would come on the board. I was at that time Supervisor on the Town Board and I was wanted by the Judge of the Circuit Court as Commissioner for the Norway Drainage District. I accepted and worked with Hulbert on the Telephone Company. Friends of mine would say Melvin what are you doing to us. I said this is policy. I said we have cable toll into Milwaukee. The Public Service Commission has this set up, we can do nothing different. The complaints happened so often and so fast that I asked one day if they would come over to a meeting at Amann's Tavern. We had a meeting over there and we just couldn't settle anything. Then we had many public hearings. The Public Service Commission ruled and Jackson said, Mel you go back home and ask the girls in the office to count all the tickets in Wind Lake with exchange 895. See how many of them go into Milwaukee and how many calls per month each one is using. Do the same thing for Waterford exchange 534. Well they had done this service, the Public Service Commission said we had 8.9 calls per month per subscriber of the 895 going to Milwaukee. 534 at that time had only 2.9 calls going into Milwaukee. This was not sufficient to give them free toll to go into Milwaukee because we would be penalizing too many people to have to take care of the full load. So the rate was $10.40. Well you can imagine the people that were in that area and wanted to use the calls would spend 2 or 3 hours a day just talking to family members, relatives or do business whatever they wanted to all at no cost and just pay their $10.40 per month. But the other fellows that had no reason to call Milwaukee, had no business to take care of in Milwaukee, they still had to pay the $10.40. It wasn't fair. But you can't break this apart. It's pretty hard to do it and so it stayed that way. Well that went on until about four years ago I guess. We had people petition a hearing to be held in Waterford. So we had a day and a night hearing in Waterford and a day and a night hearing in Wind Lake and it was mobbed by people. Well the end results of the hearing was that the Public Service Commission says we will continue to make a study of this, but at the present time we'll leave it as is until they can see how it 78
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