The Woolstock Mutual Telephone Association (WMTel) is located in Woolstock, Iowa, a small rural community on the southern edge of Wright County. Woolstock has the distinction of being the only city in the United States with the name of Woolstock and the birthplace of George Reeves of the fame 1950's Superman.
Records indicate the first telephone service began around 1900 and the original office was located Sandy Baines Meat Market which burned down in the 1905 fire. The company was owned by J.W. Watkins and his sister, Anna Bain till 1930. In 1939 the equipment was moved to the next building down the street believed to be the creamery at one time. In the late 1940's residence were becoming upset with the service and local residents and farmers were trying to create a mutual organization to buyout the facilities. Shares were sold at $50 per share and the company was purchased for $7,000.
At that time there were 20 rural lines and 80 local lines consisting of 14 businesses then grew to 55 residential and 165 rural customers rates were $1.25 and $2.00 for residential and business lines. Lines were maintained by area farmers until in 1951 when Calvin Anderson was hired as the maintenance for the telephone company, his salary was $235 a month. Calvin retired in 1992.
Woolstock Mutual Telephone has grown since 1992. With the advancement of switching and introducing of calling features that helped grow the dialtone business. Now change has come even more quickly in the last 10 years with the introduction of the internet. Currently 70% of Woolstock Mutual Telephone's business is derived from the internet business. You can now say that Woolstock Mutual Telephone Association is an internet company and the future is looking bright. WMTel has expanded into 6 other communities since 2006 and WMTel is not stopping there with further expansion expected in the years to come and with the advancement of the wireless technology WMTel will continue to grow at even a faster rate than ever before.