Tap into over a century’s worth of local history & experience!
The beginnings of MHTC can be traced to 1895, when J. N. Dahlen, the editor of the Mt. Horeb Times, strung a wire across fence posts and housetops to connect a telephone on his desk to one five blocks away at the Mt. Horeb Academy. Thus, with the convenience and efficiency of telephone communication apparent for all to see, Frank E. Bell was granted a franchise by the village in 1902 for its first local telephone exchange.
The new Mt. Horeb Telephone Company was housed on North Second Street, on the second floor of the Mt. Horeb Times building, close by to where J. N. Dahlen strung his first wire. And within only a year, the demand for phone service necessitated a larger switchboard.
The first public phone booth was east of Hoff’s store, installed in January 1903. Later that year, Frank E. Bell sold his interest to five prominent Mt. Horeb citizens. They were Dr. N.C. Evens, George Britton, T. G. Lingard, H. L. Dahle, and J. N. Dahlen.
Except for the years 1917 through 1920, MHTC has been locally owned and operated. The present organization was formed by selling stock to the public. And testimony to the consistency and commitment of local management to the community is this amazing fact: the company has had only three general managers since its inception in 1902, over 100 years ago! Banford Dahlen, son of the founder, J.N. Dahlen, served as a lineman, general manager, and director over a span of 60 years. He retired in 1962 and was succeeded as general manager by L.M. (“Steve”) Holum, who began his 30-year career with the company in 1947, retired in 1987, and was succeeded by present general manager, John Klarer.
The company moved from rented newspaper offices into its own building in 1930, which was expanded in 1958-59 to accommodate new equipment for providing dial service to village telephones (by August 1959) and rural phones (by May 1960).
In Mt. Horeb, the corner building that houses digital switching equipment and workspace for plant employees was erected in 1974. Construction of the newest building, which contains offices, a conference room, sales area, and storage space, was completed in 1981. And in Dodgeville, the present facility was completed in 2000.
The Mount Horeb Telephone Company now does business under its initials MHTC to better reflect the diversity of technologically-advanced communication services it provides to the residents of Southwestern Wisconsin.
To complement its state-of-the-art local and long-distance telephone offerings, MHTC became an Internet service provider (ISP) in 1995 and also offers high-speed DSL and Digital Cable TV connections to an ever-increasing number of communities in its service area.