Roosevelt signing Communications Act of 1934

The Communications Act

The Communications Act of 1934 that established the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) came as a result of various laws introduced under President Roosevelt's administration and the New Deal Program.

Installing phone line

Rural Telephone Administration

In late 1944, a bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate to establish a Rural Telephone Administration modeled after the already successful Rural Electrification Administration (REA). Action finally came in 1949 on bills to amend the Rural Electrification Act, making long-term, low-interest loans available to rural telephone systems. The availability of low-interest loans sparked a new era of growth for rural telephony, which continues today. More importantly, the availability of high-quality telephone service at reasonable rates improved the quality of life for millions of rural Americans.

Eastern New Mexico Rural Telephone Cooperative

A Board of Directors evolved from an interested group of civic leaders, farmers, and ranchers to answer the call from rural New Mexico for affordable, reliable telephone service. This founding group filed the Articles of Incorporation in December 1949 that created Eastern New Mexico Rural Telephone Cooperative.

Old phone switch

First bylaws were adopted on October 21st and specified items as requirements for membership in the Cooperative; rights of membership; meetings; general powers of directors; officer elections; and financial reporting requirements. The Cooperative received its first REA low-interest loan of $581.000 for the construction and operation of telephone lines and facilities in Curry, DeBaca, Quay, Roosevelt, and contiguous counties.

Telephone tech truck

Rural telephone systems were often comprised of open wire strung between houses, a dead tree, a barn, or among a few other homes.

Long distance call

In April, the first long distance call is placed over ENMR lines from South Clovis to Washington, D.C.

Telephone co-op

The first telephone cooperative in New Mexico with rotary dial service replacing "crank" phone technology.

Newspaper Article

ENMR Board of Directors

Substantial efforts and resources are put into infrastructure and a network of reliable telephone service. A completed telephone system is designed, engineered, and constructed. The first telephone calls buzzed across open copper wires in the ENMR service area.

Cooperative Board Members

Original ENMR Telephone Cooperative Board of Directors. Left to Right: Board President Andrew Chitwood; Manager, Oliver Kimbrough; Cooperative Attorney, Earl Hatley; L.A. Pearce; J.R. Harrell; D.F. McCasland; Gibbs Rucker.

Following the installation of overhead wiring for telephone service, ENMR initiated an ambitious program to provide the first buried cable system in rural New Mexico. The personnel demands grew from 2 to 60 in less than a decade.
ENMR logo

Physical plant operations moved to 600 Commerce Way in Clovis from previous location at Farmers' Electric. ENMR becomes a separate entity from Farmers' Electric.

First General Manager of ENMR is named. Robert M. Harris reports directly to the ENMR Board of Directors.
New Office


Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for ENMR’s new physical plant and headquarters located approximately 2 miles North of Clovis (still at its current location). The first digital switch was installed at the Pleasant Hill exchange.

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