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Apiary (Or.) Rural Telephone Cooperative Records, 1922-1962

By Rachel Lilley

Collection Overview

Title: Apiary (Or.) Rural Telephone Cooperative Records, 1922-1962

ID: MSS Apiary

Primary Creator: Apiary Rural Telephone Cooperative

Extent: 0.35 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged by record type.

Date Acquired: 00/00/2001

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Apiary (Or.) Rural Telephone Cooperative Records document the management of the Cooperative, covering such topics as requests for membership, maintenance of equipment and lines, and taxation.

Scope and Content Notes

The materials comprising the majority of the collection are minutes, correspondence, and financial records; some of these materials are bound in two ledgers. In general, both the loose minutes, and those in the two ledgers, discuss accounts payable and receivable, applications for membership, and repairs, improvements, and extensions to be made to the line. The “Double Entry Ledger” also contains a membership list of both charter co-partnership members, and those added later by vote. The minutes that end in the Double Entry Ledger on page 50, continue in the “S.E. Ledger” on page 110.

The agreements in the collection primarily concern the extension of Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company's line out of Rainier, and include a Permit for Attachments (to the line), a map of telephone lines and contacts, a “Crossing Agreement” with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), and an associated tower location map for BPA’s St. Johns-Astoria line.

The majority of the correspondence in the collection concerns requests for membership in the partnership or the relinquishing of membership. Also includes are letters from the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company regarding delinquent payments and workers’ compensation coverage. Of special note are a series of letters from the War Production Board, dated between December 1942 and January 1943, regarding a request for “priority assistance” in order to purchase galvanized iron wire.

Financial records include bills and receipts to members/partners, and Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company; a contract between the partnership and George Bartlett to rebuild a portion of the line; State Tax Commission Certificates of Assessment, and Annual Reports (1938-1939, 1960); and information regarding tax exemptions for “small telephone lines.” Both ledgers also contain the accounts of members, including payments on account and assessed maintenance costs.

Biographical / Historical Notes

One of the first white settlers to Apiary, an unincorporated community In Columbia County, Oregon and approximately eight miles southwest of Rainier, was Joseph Hackenberg, Sr. who settled on a homestead about two miles north of the future site on August 23, 1886. Three years later, in August of 1889, the Apiary post office was established, with David M. Dorsey as the first postmaster. The post office, and the town itself, was so named because Dorsey kept bees. The Apiary post office closed on March 24, 1924 after the establishment of a rural mail route.

The Fern Hill Grange was instrumental in securing this mail route. The Fern Hill Grange, located approximately four miles northeast of Apiary, was organized in the Fern Hill School building in May of 1920. Shortly thereafter, grange members purchased a church building and half an acre of land from the Methodist Church Association of Rainier, and this building was moved to the present grange location (across from Skeans Road). This new grange hall served as the community center, hosting everything from local elections and social events, to meetings of the Apiary Rural Telephone Co-partnership.

The co-partnership adopted its Articles of Agreement on August 22, 1922; officers were elected on August 24, with Orris Kellar as the first President. For $75, The Pacific Telephone and Telegram Company agreed to extend their Line #4 out of Rainier to Apiary. Co-partnership members were responsible not only for the cost of extending the line, but for the costs associated with purchasing the necessary supplies and labor, switchboard operation services, and monthly maintenance costs of fifty cents per member per month. The majority of members in the co-partnership were private individuals.

Poles were placed by November 1923; by June 1929, members decided the line had reached maximum capacity, and that new members would only be admitted should another member separate from the partnership. Over the next thirty years, the line was extended, and new members were accepted as old members left. However, in August of 1961 a motion to “abandon” the line was put to a vote. Though the motion did not pass, a committee of three members was appointed to review the line and partnership and advise on the best course of action. On September 5, 1961, the Committee recommended that the partnership be dissolved and the line be abandoned to Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone Company, effective Sept 10, 1961. As Pacific Bell had agreed to continue service to members at the current co-partnership rate, the motion carried unanimously and the co-partnership was dissolved. All monies left on the account were turned over to the Fern Hill Grange for use by the Hall for the next 40 years.

Author: Rachel Lilley

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 1 box

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: These records were transferred to the Archives from Special Collections in the OSU Library in 2001.

Related Materials: Our holdings contain many collections related to rural conditions in Oregon, including the Oregon Community Surveys, (MSS ORCommSurveys), and the National Rural Studies Committee Records (RG 246).

Preferred Citation: Apiary (Or.) Rural Telephone Cooperative Records (MSS Apiary), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.


Apiary Rural Telephone Cooperative

People, Places, and Topics

Apiary Rural Telephone Cooperative
Columbia County (Or.)
Consumer cooperatives
History of Science
Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company
Rural development--Oregon.
Rural public utilities
United States. Bonneville Power Administration
World War, 1939-1945--Oregon.

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