215 North Main - Bell Telephone Office - St. Charles, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 38° 46.957 W 090° 28.843
15S E 718831 N 4295668
Marker for former telephone exchange building in downtown St. Charles.
Waymark Code: WMDEVQ
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 01/05/2012
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member muddawber
Views: 9

Text of marker:

215 North Main
Bell Telephone Office - 1909 - 1957

1866 - Valentine Zerr

German shoemaker Valentine Zerr leased this building to the Bell Telephone C, for $40 per month from 1909 to 1928.  Local and long-distance caller were connected manually on the switchboard.  Operators were required to have a good voice and good penmanship.  Operators handled everything from unusual questions to emergency calls.  The night operator in the 1950s, Mabel Wilke, often repeated the story of a call from an expectant dad whose wife was in labor at home.  The baby came quickly, and as the dad was reporting the news to Mrs. Wilke, he said, "Oh wit a minute!  There's another one!"

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
"215 N. Main, ca.1865 Greek Revival 2-story, 3-bay brick house-store with cast iron lintels on 2nd story windows; brick dentil cornice; single pedimented dormer. Built by Valentine Zerr, a shoemaker from Alsace, who purchased the 26-foot lot in 1864 for $1250. In 1909 Zerr heirs began leasing the building to the Bell Telephone Co. (at $40 per month); the company bought the property in 1928 and sold it in 1957." NRHP Nomination Form

Additional point: Not Listed

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