Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Story of Telegraphy in Mt. Pleasant (taken from Story of Telegraph by Kate B. Carter)

Annie M. Johansen was one of the early telegraph operators in Mt. Pleasant. Annie was a cripple and having to do such hard work for a living Mina Ericksen took her in and gave her the necessary training for a telegraph operator. She became very efficient. Annie went out of her way many times to help both the people of Mt. pleasant and the telegraph company. There were few phones in the small settlements and messages were carried by messengers. Ofttimes Annie would take the messages herself and, as they usually told of a death or some other tragedy, she would stay a few moments, and in her quiet, understanding way give strength to all who needed it. For many years she worked faithfully for the company and was given a certificate acknowledgting her years of service.

Williamina Henrietta Morrison, daughter of William Morrison was born in Ephraim, March 13, 1859. When she was three months old her parents moved to Mt. Pleasant where their first home was a tent. Here they remained several months where their first home was a tent. Here the remained several months until they moved into the fort for protection with other settlers while struggling to lay the foundation of their future city. During the three years they remained in the fort Mr. Morrison constructerd an adobe house to which he moved his family. They were now the parents of three children. The house was called "Bon Accord" meaning "Unity". As Williamina, now called Mina, grew to young womanhood she was selected to take three months training in telegraphy. The office was opened in the home of Bishop William S. Seely with Mina in charge. Two years later the office was moved to her parent's home. Although Mina was only sixteen years of age when she began her career as a telegraph operator, she was most capable and skillful. In 1891 a telephone system was established between Mt. Pleasant and Fairview along the telegraph line, and Mina became its first operator. Her services as telegraph and telephone operator covered a period of eighteen years.

photos added by Kathy Hafen

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Genealogy Quote

"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we have come from."

~Alex Haley

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