early as 1897, representatives from Illinois independent
telephone companies were gathering together periodically
to discuss common telephone problems. Such meetings
were largely local, made up for the most part
of telephone representatives from neighboring
counties. Gradually, common interests and problems
gave rise to organized associations of telephone
men and women.
of the most important of these and a predecessor
of today's organization was the Illinois Telephone
Assn. It was created at a meeting of representatives
of 25 independent companies at Springfield on
June 18, 1897. Dr. I. A. Lumpkin was elected
as first president, serving the next four years
with distinction. It's interesting to note that
Dr. Lumpkin was the great-grandfather of Richard
A. Lumpkin, chairman and chief executive officer
of the Illinois Consolidated Telephone Co., Mattoon.
Richard Lumpkin is a member of the board of directors
and a past president of the United States Telephone
Assn. He was a past president of the Illinois
Telephone Assn., as was his father, R. A. Lumpkin.
1898, the association officers were: Dr. I. A.
Lumpkin, president, Mattoon; F. A. Brooks,
vice president, Charleston; A. M. Howell,
secretary, Hillsboro; and M. Weinburg,
treasurer, Augusta. The executive committee included:
A. M. McPhearson, Decatur; Dr. W. W.
Tobey, Danville; and B. M. Burke, Carlinville.
Apparently, the organization in those earlier
years was more informal. Then in April 1905, over
100 representatives of Illinois independent companies
met in Peoria to formally organize the Illinois
Independent Telephone Assn. Interim officers elected
during this preliminary meeting included: C.
H. Glass, president of Pekin; C. A. Camp,
vice president of Henry; and A. Schuler,
secretary of Streator. The following year, the
first annual convention of the Illinois Independent
Telephone Assn. was held, at which time E.
R. Conklin was officially elected the organization's
was taken during the annual meeting of the Illinois
Independent Telephone Assn. in 1911 at Quincy
to incorporate a clearinghouse (The Independent
Toll Clearing Co. of Illinois), which was to function
as a toll pool conceptually comparable to access
charge pools of today. The clearing house operation
was abandoned in the '50s.
the 1922 annual convention held in Springfield
on November 10, Illinois Bell Telephone Co. became
a member of the association. The association,
as a result, presented a solid front comprised
of 96 percent of the total telephone properties
in the state. The organization's name was then
changed to the Illinois Telephone Assn. since
Illinois Bell became a member.
1930, J. A. Parsons became the first full-time
secretary of the association; and in 1944, J.
G. Hardy was secretary, a post he held until
his retirement in 1960. Jack Tharp served
as Secretary of the Association until 1997 when
the Illinois Telephone Association became the
Illinois Telecommunications Association. Jack's
title was changed to President and the membership
was expanded to represent all companies certificated
by the Illinois Commerce Commision to provide
telecommunications in Illinois. Jack Tharp retired
in early 1998 and Douglas Dougherty was
hired to serve as President of the ITA. Doug resigned
in early 2011 and C. Matthew Johnson was
hired to serve as President of the ITA.