The Southern Continental Telephone Company was owned by a holding company in Chicago during the early 1950s and had permitted the telephone facilities in Auburn to deteriorate. When they applied for a rate increase, with almost no improvement in service, the Auburn Rotary Club appointed Gaston W. Coke to represent them and the town of Auburn before the Public Service Commission to protest the increase.
With a successful case before the Public Service Commission, and the open knowledge obtained in the hearing that there could be no improvement in service under the existing setup, Mr. Coke began the work to organize a rural telephone cooperative. Virtually all civic, service, and farm organizations in the county backed the idea, and so the "Cooperative Experiment" began.
Initial membership sign-ups spanned three difficult years, but all of the hardwork paid off when the Logan Rural Telephone Cooperative Corporation was incorporated in May 1954. The Cooperative formally obtained title to the Southern Continental exchanges in Auburn, Adairville, and Lewisburg in 1955. The Dunmor Telephone Company was purchased in 1956, the Rochester exchange was added in 1960, and the Logansport exchange was added in 1962.
Mr. Marion Simpson was appointed as the first General Manager of the Cooperative. The Logan Rural Telephone Cooperative was a dream come true. Many people gave of their time and efforts to get it established. In 1966, the company's name was shortened to Logan Telephone Cooperative, Inc.
Throughout the 1970s and 80s, the outside plant facilities were upgraded and all exchanges were cut over to buried plant and digital service. In 1982, the Cooperative purchased the Neal Building next to its original office to expand office space.
The 1990s consisted of many plant upgrades and the introduction of fiber optic service and advanced calling features for its customers. The company became the first local Internet service provider in Logan County in 1995, and it expanded into the long distance business in 1998. In 1999, the Cooperative broke ground for its current location at 10725 Bowling Green Road, and the new headquarters building opened in June 2000 with much celebration.
In 2002, Logan Telephone Cooperative reached a milestone when it became the first telephone company in Kentucky to offer DSL service to 100 percent of its telephone customers. In August 2003, the Cooperative kicked off a year-long 50th Anniversary Celebration with the grand finale event in May 2004.
Over the next decade, the Cooperative felt the impact from the challenging economic times as the number of landline customers began to decline and government reforms threatened the Cooperative’s existence. However, our Bluegrass Cellular investment was a huge success and the high-speed Internet service continued to grow. The future is bright as Bluegrass Cellular continues to add towers and offers the best cellular coverage in our area, and Logan Telephone Cooperative looks for ways to increase high-speed Internet bandwidth to meet its members’ growing demands.
The "Cooperative Experiment" has been very successful due to the hard work and dedication of those early pioneers with a vision, and will continue to succeed thanks to the loyalty and hard work of its members, directors, and employees.