KLM Telephone

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K.L.M. Telephone Company is a rural telecommunications provider based in Rich Hill, Missouri. Consisting mainly of small, rural, family-run telephone companies it absorbed, it provides local telephone service to 1400 southwest Missouri telephone customers. It is owned by American Broadband.


Formation & Expansion

KLM Telephone Company began in 1955 as a business investment by Ken Kern. He purchased the Rich Hill Telephone Company, which had been owned by the Shopper family of Rich Hill since 1941.

The name "KLM" came into being when Kern asked a college student, Raleigh Masur, if he would like to join in on running the venture; James Lamble later joined. Rich Hill Telephone Company was then renamed KLM Telephone Company, representing Kern-Lamble-Mauser. The partners formed a holding company for the telephone company, called KLM Corporation.

James Lamble resigned from the company in 1957. Mr. Kern continued to teach until 1962, when he moved to Rich Hill, MO and assumed the day to day management of the company. Raleigh Mauser sold his shares in the corporation and partnership to Kern in January 1965.

Deerfield, MO, near Richards, MO, was still a mutual exchange in 1971 with magneto service. Some customers within the area petitioned the Missouri Public Service Commission for Bell telephone service because they wanted dial telephone service. Mr. Kern made arrangements to rent some Stromberg-Carlsen equipment and plowed cable through the winter of 1972....
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