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Songs and Stories
     October 3, 2019      #24-276 SsK

'Hello, Central?' The telephone comes to Kankakee

'Hola, Central?' El teléfono llega a Kankakee.

By Jack Klasey

Today, almost everyone in Kankakee carries a cellphone; there literally are thousands of telephones here (most of them in seemingly constant use).

But there was a time when the number of telephones in the city could be counted in single digits. In early 1878, there were four telephone lines (and, thus, eight telephones) in Kankakee. One line connected Hatch’s Furniture store with Bonfield’s Drug Store (which also was the town’s post office). A second provided communication between Frank McGrew’s gristmill and residence, and a third connected the homes of Gazette editors Charles and ...

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Jack Klasey
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