Telephone Building – From the Library Historical Archives by Nancy Watts

The Dial Exchange Building (Telephone Building) at 114 5th Ave North was built in 1912 by the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Co. The architect was Mountain Bell, Denver Office, and it was constructed by C.E. Walker of Denver, Colorado.

“A deal was consummated last Friday whereby the Lewistown Billings Mutual Telephone Company transferred all of their interest to the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Co., a Colorado Corporation with headquarters in Denver.” (“Fergus County Democrat”, November 14, 1911).

“A deal was closed Saturday for the purchase of a lot of Ernest May. The lot is the one just in the rear of the First National Bank building [502 W. Main] and facing 5th Ave. It has a frontage of 45 feet and a depth of 100 feet.”  (“Fergus County Democrat”, June 4, 1912).

“Mr. Greenwalt said that his company will break ground for their new building about the 15th of this month…. it is estimated that $125,000 will be expended in Lewistown this fall and next spring.” (“Fergus County Democrat”, September 3, 1912). 

“The cornice and entrance arch have been completed on the new building of the Mountain States Telephone Co. and the interior is being finished up rapidly.” (“Fergus County Democrat”, November 26, 1912).

“During this week the new building of the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Co. will be completed… the structure is practically fireproof there being a 17-inch brick wall from basement to roof, separating the offices, work rooms and operating rooms from the main hall in stairways, the doors from the hall being all of metal making a fireproof stairway for egress in case of fire. In addition to this method of escape the rear of the building is equipped with iron stairs from the roof to the ground, with large double doors opening from the building to the large iron platforms from which the stairs descend. This building was built of Lewistown brick, excepting the facing brick, which are from Hebron N.D.; the lumber was furnished by local dealers as well as were practically all the supplies used and the plumbing and heating was done by Lewistown people.

“The Western Electric Company, who will install the new switchboard and equipment, expect to start work the first week in January with as large a force of men as they can conveniently use and will probably finish the installation in March or April….the new switchboard is to be of the latest type multiple equipment, consisting of eight operators’ positions for handling local traffic and four for long distance work, this being just double the present equipment.”

“The new outside plant consisting of underground and aerial cables, poles etc. is being rapidly rushed to completion by Mr. Thomas Collier with a force of about 40 men. When this work is completed all the old poles at present on Main Street and other streets will be removed. The new plant is located in alleys wherever possible.”

“The appearance of the streets after the removal of the old poles and wires will undoubtedly be a revelation to those who have been familiar with the two lines of poles heavily loaded with wires [There used to be two telephone companies and each company had its own lines on opposite sides of the street]. The new plant will have very few exposed wires, practically none except long distance lines, as the lines will all be lead-covered cable.” (“Fergus County Democrat”, December 31, 1912).

The Telephone Building was built in 1912 is in the center of the photo.
In the background is the Methodist Church on the corner of
Broadway and 5th Ave – (it was built in 1904 and burned in 1976).
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. (Clicking "Accept" will remove this message for one year.) Read More

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below, then you are consenting to this practice.