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Central Union Telephone Company collection

Identifier: L289

Scope and Contents

This collection includes blueprints and requests for permission to build from Central Union Telephone Company in Indianapolis, Indiana ranging from 1913 to 1918 regarding the installation of telephone poles, cables, conduits, etc.

There is also a volume of court exhibits ranging from 1879 to 1886 concerning the trial of a superintendant of the company for criminal misconduct.


  • 1913-1918


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Administrative History

The Central Union Telephone Company provided telephone service to New Castle, Indiana and Indianapolis, Indiana in the late 1800s to the 1920s.

The Indianapolis service area comprised of five exchange districts: North, Irvington, Woodruff, Prospect, with a Main exchange at Meridian and New York Street. At some time in the 1920s, the Bell Telephone Company bought the Central Union Telephone Company. The Main Exchange location was renovated in a remarkable engineering feat in 1929 that consisted of rotating and moving the building in its entirety to suit plans for expansion on the site.

On March 3, 1886, a superintendent, Mr. Hocket, was found guilty of criminal misconduct by the Marion County Superior Court for charging rates higher than allowed by Indiana law and A.G. Bell, who then held the telephone patent.

The Public Service Commission in Indianapolis tried to force a merger in 1914 of Central Union with the Indianapolis Telephone Company, a local competitor, to eliminate duplication of services.


2 Cubic Feet (1 cubic foot box, 2 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Willard Heiss on 1969/04/11.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2014/09/23 by Braden Pefley. EAD finding aid created 2014/09/23 by Braden Pefley.
Central Union Telephone Company collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.