We don’t know with any certainty when telephones were first introduced in Monroe County or the date of the first telephone book. However, the date of the earliest known telephone book in the county is 1902. It has been preserved on microfilm at the Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington and is part of the Local History Microfilm Collection. (See Roll 37, Item7.)
The book is just 28 pages in length including a description of how to use a hand crank telephone. It was divided into communities and the type of listing, such as farm, residence or business, was noted along with a name and a 3-digit telephone number. If the name was indicative of the type of listing, however, there was no separate entry for the type of listing.
Names and all other information associated with the listing excepting the phone number have been indexed and put online at the Indiana Genealogical Society website as part of the many databases available for Monroe County.*
Telephone Company officers were identified as: J. D. Showers, president; W. S. Bradfute, secretary; W. W. Wicks, treasurer; and F. S. Shoemaker, superintendent.
*Must be a member of the IGS to view that particular index
Blog post by Randi Richardson