Company History

Company History

Early Years


William Clarke and Marie Williams purchased the Oak Ridge Telephone Company for $500 from F.E. Hogan, Sr. There were 75 paid subscribers. The switchboard was relocated to the Williams’ front parlor so the family could man the board 24-hours a day. The exception was between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sundays, when the office closed for church and dinner. Marie wrote out the bills by hand, and eight-year-old son Clarke McRae Williams delivered them on his bicycle.


Clarke McRae Williams married Mary Kathryn Lee on his return from service in World War II. His parents gave the company to the couple as a wedding gift.



The company was incorporated as Central Telephone and Electronics, with Clarke M. Williams as President and Chairman of the Board. He had expanded the business into three states serving 10,000 access lines.

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