The first switchboard was placed in McClure by the Bell Telephone Company. It was located in a lean-to type building on the side of what was Rechner’s Hardware Store. This new switchboard connected McClure with the toll network through a switchboard in Napoleon, Ohio. The toll main frame was located in Maumee, Ohio at the time. The first telephone lines were also run by the Bell Telephone Company to connect village residents. But, running rural lines was deemed too expensive and residents outside the village were unable to subscribe.
In 1899 Cliff Kerr decided he, along with the cooperation of the community, could provide telephone service cheaper than the Bell Telephone Company. As a result Mr. Kerr placed a switchboard in his home on North East Street and asked the residents of the community to erect and maintain their own telephone lines. Each line was placed by the people using that line with the poles crafted out of trees culled from nearby woods. By 1904 this community cooperation had strung lines over most of the community. Eventually Mr. Kerr purchased the facilities in the village that were operated by the Bell Telephone Company.
In 1909 the Citizen’s Mutual Telephone Company was formed and purchased the equipment that was owned and operated by Mr. Kerr. Citizen’s Mutual subsequently moved the switchboard to the Farmers State Bank building in 1910. In the 1940′s the long distance toll lines used by subscribers in McClure were switched from two Bell Telephone Company lines operated in Napoleon to five lines operated by the Bowling Green Telephone Company in order to improve long distance service. The Citizen’s Mutual Telephone Company operated until October 1, 1969 when it was purchased by Otto Miller and the name was changed to The McClure Telephone Company on January 1, 1970. The telephone company is still run by the Miller family and remains a family owned and operated business.
The McClure Telephone Company has ushered in numerous advances in communications technology. Since becoming The McClure Telephone Company the McClure exchange has seen a transition from the switchboard of old to touch tone dialing and electronic switching on machines the size of an average kitchen to computerized softswitches the size of a cabinet. In 2006 The McClure Telephone Company began the process of constructing a Fiber-to-the-Home network for the next generation in communications technology. With the new Fiber network, called FUSION, The McClure Telephone Company now offers Digital IPTV and High Speed Internet services.