Mary S. Connolly, who joined the company in May 1919, remained until her retirement in March 1965, becoming the first “life-long employee” to leave the company. According to Mrs. Connolly, there were about 800 subscribers and 25 employees when she began her service with Rock Hill Telephone Company.
“In the telephone office we didn’t have the automatic machines as we do today . Toll calls were entered by hand with pen and ink and all bills were mailed to subscribers on penny post cards. Telephone numbers were one, two, and three digits. That was long before the dial. You’d just pick up the phone and the operator would say, “Number please?” If you didn’t know the number, you told the operator who you wanted and she’d connect you. Operators knew most of the numbers from memory then. Gradually the number system grew to four digits followed by a party line letter.”
Mrs. Connolly worked for three generations of the Barnes family.