Hood County News-Tablet

Date ~1960

Mrs. Ruth Mosley, service representative for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, looks over a December, 1914 copy of the Granbury Weekly News. A native of Granbury and 41 years’ service with Southwestern Bell, she recalls the early morning blaze that destroyed the telephone company and two other businesses. Fire was discovered in the lower floor of the building occupied by the Stringfellow and Pate Dry Goods House on the west side of the square. The Telephone Company was located on the second floor. Two night operators, Mattie Bell Beaty (now Mrs. Walt Gardner) and Ida Donathan, discovered the fire. Before they could get out of the building, the stairway was on fire, making the only way to escape through a south window. The window had been nailed down until the evening before the fire so that it could be raised.

A temporary telephone connection for long distance traffic was made before business hours, but total service was cut off for some time.

The exchange was rebuilt and was located in the red brick bank building on the southwest corner of the square. Southwestern Bell operated at this location until June, 1926.

In September, 1925, a construction crew of five men came here and rebuilt the complete city with new poles and wires. This took nine months. The company then moved to 115 W. Pearl when a new magneto switchboard was installed.

In 1930 during the depression, Granbury only had 210 stations. In 1939, business grew and was cut to common-battery with two positions. By 1941, there were 265 telephone numbers listed in the directory.

In 1947, our facility grew to 534 telephones and had to install another position on the switchboard to take care of Granbury’s growth.

The worst sleet and ice storm in Hood County’s history hit in January, 1949. Granbury was completely isolated from the outside world for five days. Two construction crews came to the city and worked almost day and night to restore the telephone service.

Southwestern Bell spent $70,000 in 1953 on a rural service extension program in the rural area.

Granbury telephone users began dialing their own numbers instead of calling the operator on October 3, 1959. There were 1,017 telephones at this time. The company then moved to 319 W. Bluff.