From operator-handled party lines in the 1950’s to today’s fiber optic communication options, Green Hills continues to use the most advanced technology to meet our customers needs. Learn more about our history:
On December 20, 1950, a small group of citizens met in a church basement in Breckenridge, Missouri, to discuss bringing dial-up phone service to rural families of North Central Missouri.
The group realized they were going to need financial backing for this project, so in January 1951 they met with a representative from the Rural Electric Association (REA) who explained the requirements and standards of borrowing from REA. The group formed under the name Farmers Cooperative and received their first contract for construction in October 1951.
After becoming a member-owned cooperative and establishing a Board of Directors in 1952, they changed their name to Green Hills Telephone Corporation. Charles Weldon, one of the first directors, along with other members of the community, began circulating letters in the area asking people to sign up for telephone service. The first membership fee was $5.00 and still remains that today.
In the area, there were several farm-owned telephone companies who supplied customers with an operator-handled party line. The newly formed Green Hills Telephone approached them to see if there was any interest in a modern telephone service. On the current system anywhere from 1-10 customers shared a single line and dialed an operator to place a call. The modern service would allow customers to dial a number directly from their phone; however, customers would still have to share a line.
Green Hills was given the opportunity to begin their first operations in Lock Springs because the flood of 1947 washed out several poles and lines in the area. Service became so poor they had to close the switchboard in 1950. Residents in the vicinity were without telephone service until 1954 when Green Hills installed the first modern dial telephone in the home of Charles Weldon. Plans and work continued with a goal of serving over 500 subscribers in Caldwell, Livingston, Daviess, and Carroll counties.
Over a period of time, Green Hills acquired the following exchanges: Lock Springs (1952), Mooresville (1953), Ludlow (1953), Dawn (1953), Breckenridge (1954), Cowgill (1955), Knoxville (1955), Polo (1958), Bogard (1961), Tina (1961), Stet (1961), Avalon (1986), and Wheeling (1986). With each purchase came the installation of telephone lines and the construction of a central office building.
During the ‘70s, Green Hills upgraded their service by replacing the above ground telephone lines with buried copper wire. The upgrade gave customers a private line, security against above ground damage, and improved long distance service. In addition, a standby emergency generator was added to power each central office during a substantial power outage.
Over the years, as technology has advanced, Green Hills has upgraded to digital equipment and continues to replace cooper wire with fiber optic cable. Fiber optics are necessary to bring subscribers advanced services like video and high speed Internet.
Internet Service Offerings to Residential Exchange Customers
- 1995 – Dial-up Internet is offered to all 13 Green Hills exchanges. Speed available: approximately 56 kbps.
- 2001- High speed DSL Internet offered to 13 exchanges. Speeds available: dialup & 384k.
- 2003- Two additional speed packages added. Speeds offered: dialup, 384k, 512k, 768k
- 2008- New Internet speed added. Speeds offered: dialup, 384k, 512k, 768k, 1.5Mb
- 2010 – Getting faster with four high speed Internet tiers now available. Speeds offered: dialup, 512k, 768k, 1.5Mb, 5Mb
- 2012 – Internet speeds increase; lower speeds removed. Speeds offered: 768k, 1.5Mb, 5Mb, 10Mb, 15Mb
- 2016- Online streaming services gain popularity; 2 additional speeds added. Speeds offered: 5Mb, 10Mb, 15Mb, 50Mb, 100Mb
In the late 1990’s, Citizens of Norborne, Missouri, approached Green Hills about offering telephone service in their area. Sprint was the incumbent telephone company, which meant that Green Hills would have to come in as a competitor. Today, Green Hills is supplying telephone, Internet and TV services to approximately 70% of the residents in Norborne.
In early 2016, Green Hills began offering fiber optic communication services to residents and businesses in Kingston. Our fiber expansion began to reach businesses in Chillicothe that same year.