The Telephone Company of Galva was purchased by Miles and Blanche Baldwin in November 1933 from the McGuire Family. They owned and maintained the system until June 1950, when Miles Baldwin passed away. Wayne, their son, was working for the company at this time and in August 1950, he purchased the system from his mother and moved into the telephone office/home to maintain the Magneto office day and night.
In October 1952, Wayne and Irene Baldwin purchased the Magneto Telephone Exchange at Geneseo from the Adams Family. On March 13, 1955, the new corporation was formed and named Home Telephone Company, Inc. The Baldwin's maintained both exchanges with hired help day and night until Galva was "cut to dial" December 15, 1957. Geneseo was "cut to dial" in January 1958. Both exchanges were maintained with Leich equipment and in 1963, Galva added the New Gottland rural area northwest of Galva to the switchboard. Geneseo was upgraded in 1969 and more lines were added to the Geneseo switchboard. In 1975, Galva was upgraded to private line and a new CEO switchboard was installed. The Geneseo exchange was then worked on and private lines were installed throughout the system.
On November 2, 1973, the Roxbury exchange was purchased and on December 6, 1973 the Salemsborg exchange was purchased. On December 18, 1976, Salemsborg was "cut to dial" with all private lines. Roxbury was maintained as the last Magneto exchange in Kansas until it was "cut to dial" on January 8, 1977.
The system was maintained and constantly upgraded to the present digital computer switches. Galva was "cut" October 1984. Roxbury, Geneseo, and Salemsborg were "cut" during 1986. In December 1989, Assaria Telephone Exchange was purchased, and the switch was upgraded in 1990.
Wayne retired in 1981 and Irene retired in 1986. Wayne and Irene's children, Robert, Nancy, and Lynn came home to work in the business throughout the 1970's. Lynn was tragically killed in a work accident in August of 1981. Nancy retired in 1999 and Robert retired in 2004, but has been part-time since then.
Now in its fourth generation of ownership and management, HCI provides quality telephone service, internet , video services, security systems and rentals to customers in Galva, Canton, Roxbury, Assaria, Mentor, Salemsborg, Bridgeport, Falun, Smolan, Geneseo and other surrounding rural areas via state of the art fiber-to-the-home facilities.
The fourth generation of owners-employees has included Robert's three children and Nancy's stepson and daughter. Currently, Carla (Baldwin) Shearer serves as President, Tina (Baldwin) Anderson is the Customer Account and Billing Manager, Richard Baldwin is the director of Research and Development, and Chris Flaherty is the Central Office and Headend Supervisor.
Since its' humble beginnings with Miles and Blanche Baldwin in 1933, HCI has grown into a technology leader for rural communications.