Joab Goodall started the first telephone company in Marion in the late 1880’s. His first telephone building was located at 102 N. Liberty St. The Ohio and Mississippi Valley Telephone Co. operated with Goodall as president until 1917, when they sold to the Murphysboro Telephone Co. A. B. Minton was president and principal stockholder of this company and W. C. Alexander was an official of the company.
Minton sold his interests in 1924, to the Illinois Southern Telephone Co., a Samuel Insull utility. In 1927, former U. S. Senator Otis Glenn and O. M. Burgess purchased the company and changed the name to the Illinois Commercial Telephone Co.
Subsequent corporate changes occurred until the Illinois Commercial Telephone Co. became a part of the General Telephone System.
On April 16, 1952, the name of the company was changed to General Telephone Co. of Illinois to more closely associate the operating company with General Telephone System.
The General Telephone building was still located at 201 N. Van Buren St., and was the one used by the Ohio and Mississippi Valley Telephone Co. (except it was facing Liberty Street). The original building was constructed by Joab Goodall, but has been remodeled several times. In 1942, the second floor was completed the entire length of the building. The location is currently owned by Verizon in 2013.
The Farmers League and Community Telephone Association was started in 1907, and operated telephones in Williamson County, particularly in the rural areas.
The Crab Orchard Telephone Co. was organized in 1901, and operated direct lines to Pittsburg, Carrier Mills and Stonefort; W. F. Scobey was president of the company.
The “Hayseed” line operated between Marion and Creal Springs and started in 1909. W. P. Schuey and F. M. Wright of Williamson County were officials of this company.
(Extracted from a Marion Daily Republican article by Paul Frick dated 10/15/1953)