A Rich History – Rooted in Fayette County.
Prior to Colorado Valley Telephone Cooperative’s introduction of party line telephone service in 1961, the rural areas surrounding La Grange, Schulenburg and Weimar had a few magneto telephone lines. Each of these lines carried ten to twenty-five customers. Each customer had a coded ring such as two short, one long, one short, etc. Whenever there was a ring on the line several customers would listen in on the conversation, making it one big party line system. Several farmers held a meeting to determine how they could bring better phone service to this area. They contacted several telephone companies for their interest in providing service to the area. Their requests were denied due to the preconceived notion that “Farmers will never use the telephone enough to pay for the investment of the system.” These individuals were not discouraged by the responses that they received. Several years passed as they continued to gather information to form a telephone cooperative. They filed an application for charter that was granted on July 21, 1953 and at a meeting held September 30, that same year, the Colorado Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc. was formed. In 1961, the Cooperative’s eight-party all-aerial telephone service was provided to approximately 550 subscribers. Funding for this project was provided within three exchanges: Chapel 2 – presently 242; Cherry 7 – presently 247; and Chestnut 9 – presently 249. In 1963, the Colfax 3 – presently 263 exchange was installed and in 1965 the High Hill 561 and Moravia 562 exchanges were connected. By the early 1970’s, all of the cooperative’s members were converted to single-party service. In the late 1970’s the Cooperative began converting its central office switching equipment to digital systems.
Throughout the years, Colorado Valley Telephone has provided its member/owners with service equal to or better than that of surrounding urban neighbors. Upgrades within the Cooperative’s central offices are performed on an ongoing basis to ensure that customers receive state-of-the-industry services including Caller ID, Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, Voice Mail, and many others. Major improvements to plant operations include the replacement of aerial facilities with buried copper and fiber optic cable, the installation of 94 digital loop carriers and remotes to provide high speed data connections, and the completion of a fiber ring to provide uninterrupted service in the event the fiber optic cable is cut. These and many more improvements will enable the Cooperative to further enhance the quality of service to its members.
The Cooperative’s initial headquarters was located at 118 West Colorado Street. This location is now occupied by Brasher-Gunn’s Parts Department. In 1964, the staff moved into a newly constructed office located at 243 South College Street. In March 1997, the Cooperative moved a large portion of its operations to the new headquarters facility located 4 1/2 miles south of La Grange. In July 2002, all operations were moved to the headquarters facility at 4915 South U.S. Highway 77.