Politics and Telephones

The reporting of the Skidmore News sometimes leaves modern readers wondering about the story-behind-the-story – and sometimes leaves little doubt about the editor’s thoughts on the matters reported.  Here’s some fine reporting from the front page of the April 13, 1916 Skidmore News:

Telephone Election

Promptly at nine o’clock Monday morning a very large majority of the stockholders of the Consolidated Telephone company met in the Opera House to adopt a new set of by-laws for the better guidance of the company’s welfare.

It seems as though that ought to have been an easy matter, but in this instance there was a twin by-laws and like other twins they were not quite alike, so that was where the trouble was going to be.

In order to avoid any adverse contingency that might arise the telephone company secured the personal services of George Bobb Ellison who acted as sort of godfather for one of the twins and Tom Cummins acted in like capacity for the other one.

In their opening pleas – maybe that isn’t the legal way to state it – the aforementioned counsel made such goody, goody, get together speeches one might think they had been dining on pacifist meetings for a whole week or perhaps it was the effect of their attending Sunday school together – in their dreams.

They said such nice things in such a pleasant, smiling way that it was hard to tell whether they were talking for their own side or the t’other side.

After a little while of a whole lot of talk Chairman Hitchcock appointed Frank Goslee, W. W. Grigsby and J. F. Kellogg as inspectors or judges of election.

The inspectors first examined the proxies and then the twin by-laws were read, section by section, the stockholders marking how they wanted to vote on each section and handed the ballott in after all sections had been considered, except a few who voted early and went home.

The board of directors of the telephone company will meet this Thursday evening and receive the certified report of the election inspectors and it looks now as thoughthe shadow of trouble, which has been hanging over the telephone business for the past month or so is disappearing under the soothing influence of the happy springtime sunshine.

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