The Briscoe-Cumberland Telephone Company was organized in 1897. Briscoe was a small Adams County coal mining community located 8 1/2 miles south of Cumberland, in Cass County.
There were two switchboards in Cumberland in 1906, known as the north and south switchboards, each being independent of the other. They were consolidated in 1908 and housed upstairs in the Dr. Adam Weaver building.
A new brick building was constructed in 1924 with living quarters located in the rear for night operators. The telephone company is still housed in this building.
The Briscoe-Cumberland Mutual Telephone Company was signed over to the Cumberland Telephone Company in December, 1957. In 1958 the Cumberland Telephone Company was incorporated.
A change over to a dial system took effect in 1958. In 1960, a new cement block building was constructed to house the updated dial system.
In 1967, a new plant was installed with all lines put underground. New touch-tone phones were installed at that time. Cumberland has the distinction of having the first one party touch-tone phone system in the state of Iowa.
The Cumberland Telephone Company put into operation the only mobile system in Cass County in 1977. In 1996 it was turned off.
October 26, 1987 was the date for the switch over to the all new electronic digital switch, thus providing equal access to all long distance carriers upon request. Call Forwarding, Call Waiting, and Speed Call are provided to all customers at no extra charge. The fire bar was increased to thirty positions, which include the homes of rural firemen.
The Fire bar was turned off in 1995 and Enhanced 911 was turned up.
March 1996 Wide Area Calling to Massena was installed.
In October 1997, the Switch was upgraded with new features for the customers such as; Caller ID, *69, Call waiting Caller ID and many more.
Dial-UP Internet was introduced in April of 2000 and in June 2000 DSL high speed Internet was installed. Wireless High Speed Internet was turned up in June 2005.
November 2005 Wide Area Calling to Anita was installed
January 2011 a new switch was installed along with a new power rectifier.
July 2012 our wireless internet was upgraded and a licensed frequency was approved by the FCC. New equipment was installed at both tower sites and in our customer’s homes.
Managers through the years include; Reuben Pigg, Charles Pigsley, Wendell Scott, Mike Pettinger, Marty Mills, Doug McConnelee and Ron Struthers. In 1995 Ron Struthers and Marge Pelzer retired and Bruce Rogers and Kristi Sothman joined the Company. In 2010 Bruce Rogers passed away and Kristi Sothman became the General Manager, Vickie Adams and Erick Schrier joined the company. In April 2012 Kris Sothman passed away. Later Vickie Adams was named Office Manager and Erick Schrier was named Plant Manager. In 2015, Devan Amdor replaced Erick Schrier as Plant Manager.
All subscribers of the Cumberland Telephone Company that live within our exchange area are required to purchase a $10.00 share of stock prior to the telephone installation. Annual Stockholders meetings are held in March. All stockholders are encouraged to attend. The Board of Directors consists of two rural, two city and one member-at-large. They serve three year terms and are elected at the Annual Stockholders meeting. Currently the Board consists of Ron Benton – President; Robert Gerlock,Jr. – Vice President & Treasurer; Scott Becker, Emery Lensch, and Roger Euken.