The Heins Family Expands Telephone Company to Serve the Community | Archives


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After writing last week about the life and contributions of Isabel Heins Lawrence to this community and state, some readers have requested more information on the founding of Heins Telephone Company. Isabel died on December 14, 2021.

Several years ago I interviewed Isabel for an article and she told me the story of the Heins Telephone Company. The story began at the turn of the century when Isabel’s grandfather, Edward Chandler Heins, Sr., born July 30, 1862 and nicknamed “Papa”, became fascinated with the Ridgeway Station Telegraph in Carolina. from South. “Daddy” owned a general store and ordered a Morse code kit from the Sears Roebuck catalog and used it to connect between the store and the house. “Daddy” wife Isabelle Cooper Heins was too busy to master Morse code while raising young children, so he devised a way to use all available lines allowing easy direct communications.

Isabel said her grandfather’s invention was so popular that she led to many more being created in her community. Meanwhile, a traveling salesperson who visited the general store was impressed with what “daddy” had done and quickly shared what he saw with business leaders in Statesville, NC. . Soon after, in 1895, “Dad” purchased the burgeoning Statesville Telephone Company.

At that time, the Heins family moved from South Carolina to North Carolina and then moved several times as they developed telephone services in other communities including Salisbury, Mt. Airy, Raeford and Clinton.

In 1922 “Dad” purchased the S&J (Sanford and Jonesboro) Telephone Company from a company run by President Kate Scott McIver, widow of Duncan McIver and sister of SV Scott. Records indicate that the Heins Group paid $ 5,000 for land around Moore Street and Carthage Streets and paid $ 25,000 for the company.

THE COMPANY IS DEVELOPINGIsabel said her father was born on December 27, 1890, and his young life was shaped by his faith as he battled tuberculosis at the age of eight. Isabel said: “He not only survived this devastating disease that claimed the life of his teenage sister, but he is resolutely committed to using his life for good.”

Isabel noted: “Although his body required leather and metal suspenders to enable him to stand up, he still offered a smile and a kind word to everyone. He stood by his father’s side as the family developed numerous telephone companies.

Despite her health problems, “Tuts” and Isabel’s mother, Ethel Pearl Spaugh Heins, “lived a busy life,” according to their only child, Isabel.

Isabel said her father was also a gifted artist who worked in oils and loved to paint birds. She attributed her interest and talent for art to her father.

In addition to “Tuts”, Mr. and Mrs. Heins had three other sons, Bill, Max and Leland, as well as the daughter who died. The four sons eventually worked for the Heins Telephone Company, and when “Dad” retired, Tuts became president of the Heins Telephone Company.

“Papa” Heins died on February 28, 1953 at the age of 90, but the system continued to grow from its original 364 phones to 7618 stations in 1959.

At that time, Sanford, Broadway, Jonesboro and Olivia were included in an automatic numbering system providing service to subscribers in the four exchanges.

“Tuts” ran the business until a heart attack interrupted his career in 1954, but Isabel said he remained active in the Sanford Chamber of Commerce and other community affairs for many years. years thereafter. “Tuts” died on March 3, 1974.

Meanwhile, Isabel’s husband, William “Bill” Walter Lawrence, got involved in the growth of the business and was promoted to secretary and vice president of the telephone company. Isabel’s first cousin, Buddy Heins, served as president for many years.

In 1984 the Heins Telephone Company was bought by ALLTEL, who then sold it to Windstream, but that’s another story for another day.

The saga continues next week.

AlexSandra “Sandy Lynn” Lett is the author of seven books, Timeless People Making a Difference; “A place out of time, let’s cast a spell on the country store”; “Timeless moons, seasons of the fields and materials of the heart”; “Timeless recipes and remedies, local cuisine, customs and remedies”; “Coming Home to my Country Heart, Timeless Reflections on Work, Family, Health and Spirit”; “The harvest, timeless lessons for an abundant life”; and “Living naturally, from stress to rest”. See www.atimelessplace.com. She can be reached at 919-499-8880 or [email protected]

AlexSandra “Sandy Lynn” Lett is the author of seven books, Timeless People Making a Difference; “A place out of time, let’s cast a spell on the country store”; “Timeless moons, seasons of the fields and materials of the heart”; “Timeless recipes and remedies, local cuisine, customs and remedies”; “Coming Home to my Country Heart, Timeless Reflections on Work, Family, Health and Spirit”; “The harvest, timeless lessons for an abundant life”; and “Living naturally, from stress to rest”. See www.atimelessplace.com. She can be reached at 919-499-8880 or [email protected]

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