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Our companies serve more than 7,000 customers in a service area that covers over 500 square miles in three states.

Seneca Telephone Company History

The Seneca Telephone Company was organized in 1889 by W.A. Chandler and Mr. Gohagan. A total of 30 telephone lines were run out of the first telephone office, located above the Sparlin Hardware Store and later across the street on the upper level of the Chase Building. In 1936, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Mitchell, who had previously owned telephone companies in Longton and Elks Falls, Kansas, bought Seneca Telephone Company from Mr. Chandler and others. At the time of the sale, Seneca had 109 telephones served with one cable and braided drop wire. Three months after the sale of the company, in early 1937, an ice storm hit Southwest Missouri, leaving only 11 telephones in service. With local help, the Mitchells rebuilt the exchange, and in 1938 they built the current Seneca Telephone Company office. The operation expanded again when the Seneca Telephone Company took over many of the farm lines in Tiff City. In 1953, Seneca became the first XY dial conversion in the state of Missouri. The switchover took place with the help of the Mitchells’ son, Walter, who was home on leave from the U.S. Signal Corp. The Seneca Telephone Company was also one of the first Missouri REA Borrowers.

Goodman Telephone Company History

The Goodman Telephone Company began in 1920, when a Mr. Hazard owned the company. It was then bought in 1943 by V.F. “Shorty” Garoutte, an automobile mechanic in the town. The Garoutte family expanded the company by buying the Lanagan exchange from Wally Roper. In the 1950s, the family sold the company to Roy Eppard, loaning him enough money to operate for 30 days while making monthly payments of $25 on the business. Later, Roy and Violet Eppard borrowed money from the REA and converted the telephones to dial before selling the Goodman and Lanagan exchanges to Walter Mitchell in 1972. The company was also the first in the state to provide 100% digital switching.

Ozark Telephone Company History

Ozark Telephone Company was created on April 1, 1996, resulting from the purchase of two exchanges from GTE by the Walt Mitchell family. At the time of the purchase, Ozark was served by XY equipment. The two exchanges comprising Ozark Telephone Company are Southwest City and Noel.

This institution is an equal rights opportunity provider and employer. If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at www.ascr.usda.gov, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442, or email at program.intake@usda.gov.