Hospers, Iowa first had Telephone Service in 1904. The company
was called Floyd Short Line Telephone Co., and consisted of 22
phones. Service was enhanced in 1907 by the addition of two long
lines which linked to switchboards in Granville and Newkirk.
In 1920, Jerry Raak from Orange City purchased the company from
John Van Royen and Case Van Zyl. At this point, the Company was
comprised of 425 rural and two subscribers and was renamed Hospers
Telephone Company. It was run by Jerry and his new bride Ruth with
the help of a few switchboard operators.
Jerry’s son Don came to work for the Company in 1937. The first
telephone cable was buried in town that year, with all digging
done by hand. The rural area surrounding Hospers was served by
several Co-Op farmer owned companies for which Hospers Telephone
Co. served as switch. Each Co-Op contracted with Hospers to do
all maintenance and construction.
Switchboard Operators became unnecessary in 1957 when a Leich dial
switchboard was installed. Telephone subscribers in and around
Hospers could now dial direct. The rural lines were split so that
were were no more than ten parties per line while subscribers in
Hospers had two to three per line.
Shortly after Jerry Raak’s death in 1966, Hospers Telephone Co.
began purchasing rural lines from the Co-Op companies purchasing
the last one in 1970. Also in 1970, the company buried cable to
the rural area around Hospers, which, along with a switchboard
expansion, allowed for private lines.
Don’s son Dave
joined the company in 1974. In 1975, the last of the cable in town
was buried and arial lines removed. In that same year ground was
broken for a new office building in its present location. Also
a North NX-2A switchboard was installed, which would provide totally
private lines and all touch tone calling.
In 1984 the Company recognized a need to diversify if it were to
remain progressive. That year two paging systems were installed:
one at Hospers and another at Le Mars, Iowa. An Interconnect
company was organized that year to sell, install, and maintain
phone systems outside of the Hospers service area. A new Corporation
called Hastel Corporation was begun for this purpose.
In 1984, after 47 years of service to the telephone industry Don
Raak retired from the company while staying on as President of
the Board. Dave Raak was elected Manager.
In July, 1989 equal access was provided to enable customers to
choose their own long distance company.
Hospers Telephone Company purchased a cable television system in
January 1996, servicing the towns of Hospers, Sheldon, and Sibley. Later Ashton and Ocheyedan were added.
In 2011 HTC buried fiber optic cable to all its customers in the city of Hospers and the rural areas of Hospers and Sheldon.
Hospers Telephone Company is now doing business as
HTC Communications. We feel this name more accurately reflects our core business, a total communications company.