Joseph (Abie) Miller, Jr., was the dynamo behind the greatest growth and development of three independent
telephone companies, known as the Fruitdale Telephone Company, the Mississippi Telephone Corporation (sometimes referred to as the Greene County Telephone Company), and the Georgetown Telephone Company.
Fruitdale Telephone Company was organized in March, 1906, by Abie's grandmother, Elizabeth Good Miller and his father, Jacob Abraham Miller, both of whom had moved to the Fruitdale Community from Lima, Ohio.
Abie organized the Mississippi Telephone Corporation in February, 1936, and the Georgetown Telephone Company on December 9, 1961.
Joseph (Abie) Miller, Jr., acquired the ownership of the
telephone company in Leakesville, Mississippi, after having bought the company in 1936. Miller assumed ownership of the family-owned Fruitdale Telephone Company after he bought the shares of his brothers
Harry and David Miller. Abie continued to share ownership of the Fruitdale Telephone Company with his mother Mary Caroline (Carrie) Massey Miller until her death in July 1979. Abie acquired ownership of the
telephone company in Georgetown after having bought the company from W.H. McCardle in 1961. In 1984, the Mississippi Telephone Corporation was sold, and in 1985, Fruitdale Telephone Company was sold.
The first central office switchboard equipment in Georgetown was a 70 line Kellog Magneto manual switchboard and for long distance service, the company used one-system of K-21 Kellog carrier with
open wire lines. Over the years, through various changes, the company was able to convert its telephone system from party-line service to a system that offers all of its customers one-party; having been
completed in 1988. H.W. Spitchley, was Georgetown Telephone's long-time serviceman; employed from 1961 to 1997.
Presently, three members of the Abie Miller family are involved in the management
of the Georgetown Telephone Company. Olene Beech Miller, wife of Abie, first became involved in 1951. Olene has served in many capacities within the telephone company. She was first involved as a switchboard
operator and later in 1968 assumed management of the business office in Leakesville, Mississippi. Upon the death of Abie on January 19, 1986, Mrs. Miller assumed ownership of Georgetown Telephone Company.
Joseph (Joie) Miller, III, began his involvement in the company at the age of ten. Joie became the company's General Manager after the death of his father. Joie's wife, Michele, beginning in 1987, serves as
the manager of the company's business office.
The Georgetown Telephone Company became the focus of national television when Charles Kuralt's story of Georgetown Telephone Company's conversion
from magneto to dial was featured in his book On The Road with Charles Kuralt. The story was also featured in the September 3, 1985 issue of "Family Circle Magazine". The picture of Patricia
Beasley, operating the old switchboard, brought nostalgia to the minds of those who happened to catch a glimpse of history in the making and passing.
Today, many changes have continued within
and throughout the company. In 1988, the business office moved from Leakesville, to Georgetown Mississippi, after substantial renovations and remodeling of the old telephone office. In 1995, Georgetown
Telephone received a loan from the USDA, Rural Utilities Services to completely rebuild its outside lines, install a new Digital Central Office, and construct a new business/central office. Once completed in
1997, the company was able to provide custom and advanced calling features as well as equal access to long distance carriers for Intra and Interstate long distance services. Due to the growth, companies such
as Telepak.net chose Georgetown Telephone as their local exchange company.
In May, 2003, Georgetown Telephone Company sold the company to American Broadband, Inc. Since the sell, the new
ownership is preparing to construct Fiber Optic cable for improved long distance connection. This would allow for better call quality, increase circuit speed, and more circuit capacity. American Broadband
applied for and received a Matching Broadband Grant from the USDA, Rural Utilities Services for the purpose of providing DSL to its customers. They are also creating a Community Center allowing Georgetown
area residences free access to DSL.
Presently, Georgetown Telephone Company serves nearly 400 customers in its area including the Town of Georgetown, and parts of Copiah and Simpson Counties in
Information complied by Mrs. Abie Miller and Joie Miller and written, in part, by Debbie Miller Shankster.