Communications: Thriving Independents

Marching into the business office of the small (9,145 telephones) Harrisonville Telephone Co. in the farming community of Waterloo, ILL., recently, a visiting New Yorker demanded to see the president. A complaint, perhaps? Not at all. The visitor had just used one of the three sleek air-conditioned telephone booths outside the building; he merely wanted to pump President Henry W. Gentsch's hand and tell him that the big Bell System could not do better than that back home in New York

To many a telephone user, it comes as a surprise to learn...