Bethesda, IA: Organized in 1901, the Bethesda Telephone Company (BTC) kept its switchboard in the August Swanson home. In 1911, the company voted to publish a directory of its 16 lines, and to improve the house to include a cistern, a coalhouse and chickenhouse and a 12-foot deep cave. A new switch was installed in 1921, and was later moved to an office in 1929 which cost under $4,000 to build.
In 1953, BTC wanted to develop a better system with a higher standard of phone service, but with less than 100 customers, it wasn't financially or physically feasible to establish a dial exchange. Local customers stepped in, and buying stock that averaged $300 per customer, footed the bill for a new modern dial exchange that was in operation by March 1, 1955. In 1967, BTC merged with FMTC.