South Central Bell Telephone
The year 1922 marked the start of telephone service in the city of Germantown. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen contacted the Collierville Telephone Company mid-way through that year asking if it would be interested in building and operating a telephone exchange in the city.
On October 26, J.A. Neely, president of the Collierville Telephone Company, responded to that request by providing the board with information on the cost for each customer.
According to Neely, basic phone service would cost Germantown residents $2.50 a month for a direct line, or $2 a month for a five-party line. If a customer’s calls were all made within a one-mile radius of the exchange, then that would be the total cost. Calls outside that radius would be extra. A five-minute station-to-station call to Memphis, for example, would cost an additional ten cents.
The business rates were slightly higher. A direct business line would cost #3.50 a month, while a two-party line would cost a Germantown merchant $3.00 a month.
“It is understood,” Neely wrote, “that the telephone service is to be continuous day and night, and is to be paid for monthly in advance, on or before the 10th of each month.”
The office building at 2120 S. Germantown Rd. (presently Flinn Clinic) was the old South Central Bell Telephone building from the 1930s until 1975 when Germantown Trust Savings & Loan bought it. Paul and Carole Turner bought the building in 1978 to house his Century 21 business.
The building is one of, if not the oldest continuous business locations still being used in Germantown.
Source: Germantown News February 22, 1990