Meet The Team
I started with the company in 2004, where I worked as the Technical Services Manager, and moved to the Manager position in 2016.
I am the Vice President of the Hwy 20 Hot Rod Association, active with the Plainview Chamber of Commerce, on the Plainview Development Company Board, and also a board member of the Plainview Country Club.
I enjoy spending time with my wife, son, and daughter. I also spend a lot of time working on cars, hunting and fishing.
Customer Care Representative
I am responsible for assisting customers with all aspects of their service and directing them to the personnel who can best resolve their problems. I receive and post payments and maintain various databases for the company. I also help develop and teach Tech Center Classes and can help customers there in a one-to-one setting.
I began my employment March 1, 2006 and have been with the company 12 years.
Outside of my job I also farm with my husband, Tim, and I am the bookkeeper for Trinity Lutheran Church in Foster.
Customer Care Representative
I started with the company on July 1, 2022. My job duties include assisting customers with payments and processing service orders. I also might be the one you hear on the phone trying to help you find the best plan for your phone or Internet needs.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and two daughters. I also enjoy gardening, decorating, attending our daughter’s sporting events and cheering on the Huskers.
I started as a customer service representative in 1984, later was promoted to office manager and eventually also took on the accounting duties. I have been with the company for 34 years.
I enjoy spending time with my husband, children, and grandchildren. I also enjoy being outside in the garden, watching the birds, and hanging out with my groupies (aka the family pets).
Technical Services Manager
I am responsible for completing modifications and repairs of various telecommunications services and systems.
I have 36 years of telecommunications experience and have been with Plainview Telephone Co. for over 4 years.
I enjoy camping, aviation and playing golf at Plainview Country Club with my wife, LeAnn, and spending as much time as we can with our grandchildren.
I started with Plainview Telephone in August of 2011. My job includes doing locates and installing surveillance cameras, telephone systems, and other equipment for our customers.
I am the president of the Ballbackers (youth baseball/softball).
My hobbies include hunting/fishing, spending time with my wife and four kids, and woodworking.
In the summer of 2000, W. F. Nye wrote a short history of the Plainview Telephone Company for the Plainview News to print in its planned supplement in August. It has been slightly modified by his son, Eric, in what appears below.
As early as 1903 merchants in downtown Plainview were provided with primitive telephone service connected through a switchboard by an operator, and within a year or two, several rural farm lines arose, at first as small cooperatives with neighbors sharing in the cost of wiring the resultant “party line.” As many as seven or eight subscribers were connected with suspended wires, sometimes simply attached to fenceposts before telephone poles, linking them to the central office. By 1910 the owner of this network, F. W. Hansen, employed three switchboard operators and a lineman, and he boasted of 235 town lines and 102 farm subscribers divided among a number of party lines.
Long distance service that routed through different exchanges was sporadic before the consolidation of companies early in the 20th century, a consolidation that later emerged as the Northwestern Bell company. Dedicated toll lines were then developed. Long distance also required the development of technologies for intensifying the voice signal to cover greater distances. During WWI the US telephone network was operated by the Postmaster General, and rates and services became more standardized.
Even before the war, in 1912, Plainview’s fledgling telephone enterprise was purchased by C. W. Smith (1865-1942), an experienced telephone pioneer owner from the central Iowa towns of Primghar and Tama. His descendants have operated the company ever since: his only child Hildred (1899-1985) and her husband, G. F. “Doc” Nye (1896-1983) from 1948 until 1979; his grandson Dr W. F. Nye (1926-2022) from 1979 until 2010; and Dr Nye’s three children, Eric, Hoyt, and Nancy, subsequently. C. W. was active in Plainview affairs, serving several terms as mayor, chair of the hospital board, founding member of the Lions Club, etc. He soon formed a business partnership with George Story, a state legislator from Plainview, to supply gravel for state and county roads in Pierce, Knox, and Antelope counties. After C. W. Smith died, the Smith & Story Sand and Gravel Company was sold to Clyde Fitch, a long-time employee, who later passed it to the Reigle family who still operate the business four miles west of Plainview.
Steady telephone growth forced a move out of the cramped room in the Frost building which housed the first switchboard. In 1922 Smith built the telephone office building on Main Street on the space it still occupies and rented two unused rooms on the north side to Dr Cline, a veterinarian. This new building contained the latest technology, a splendid Western Electric switchboard manned 24 hours a day, a system-wide lightning protector, a large bank of storage batteries for emergency use during the periods of city power failures—which were common in those early days—storage for the heaps of poles, cross-arms, glass insulators, and miles of steel wire and other supplies needed for servicing some 900 town and rural subscribers.
Smith himself and Wayne Demmer, lineman, fulfilled the technical needs of the company for nearly thirty years. Mr Francis Stone, Edith Shoemaker, and her two younger sisters, Florence and Frances, Beulah Benedixon, Dorothy Thompson, Josephine Hansen, June Ristow, and a number of others served as switchboard operators at one time or another over the long history of the company. With few exceptions these men and women were employed for many years, some even for decades.
After the war Marvin Tepner replaced Demmer and stayed for over 30 years, earning a reputation as a master of all skills from watch-making and safecracking to musician, electrician, mechanic, printer, magician, toolmaker, inventor, patent-holder, chemist, dynamiter, home-builder, plumber, geologist, surveyor, and raconteur, and a number of other abilities.
Marv helped in the conversion from the traditional switchboard operator to dial telephones which occurred in 1961. This change marked the end of an era of personal service which was lamented by many, but which ushered in the possibility of technological advances previously undreamt of. That same year, 1961, Plainview became the first independent company in Nebraska (i.e. one not owned by the Bell System) to achieve a 100% buried wire and cable system, thereby protecting the community from weather-related telephone interruptions by lightning, wind, and ice which plagued the more common pole and wire network configuration. Over four hundred miles of cable were buried in the rural service area alone to achieve this.
It was a sad day in late 1961 when the last operators departed and the switchboard was retired. Francis Stone said “goodbye” to the Murphy bed he slept in as the night operator for decades; chief operator, Edith Shoemaker, put away the last of her long-distance time tickets. The wall-mounted crank-type magneto telephones used mostly in the country were hauled off to the city dump by the truckload, and the era of finding a friendly operator on the line day and night yielded to the rotary dial telephone, efficient but impersonal. Marvin Tepner remained at the company long enough to install a few rotary phones with the latest “touch-tone” models, faster and more versatile, but then retired in the late 1970s, soon to be replace by Calvin Fluckey.
Technology accelerated during the ensuing years and is still accelerating. Rural party line service was converted to all-private lines by the early ‘80s; several miles of new fiber optic cable were buried to supply high-demand areas like the schools and hospital in town, and soon this fiber optic was extended east nearly to Randolph for long-distance traffic. In 1990 a major decision was made to convert the entire system to digital switching, replacing the large mechanical crossbar switch that Eric and Hoyt Nye remember spending hours cleaning with a small brush while perched on a ladder during their summers as teenagers in Plainview. It was replaced with a much smaller computer. This transition made possible a host of new features: customer chosen long distance carriers (“equal access”), call waiting, call forwarding, teleconferencing, voice mail, calling cards, and later caller ID. Local internet access by dial-up modem was first offered in 1997, and then in 1999 PTC offered high-speed digital subscriber loop (DSL) connections directly to the digital backbone. That same year the old central office was demolished and replaced on Main Street with the present building that survived the fire in 2019 that destroyed the True Value store to the north.