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K.L.M. Telephone Company

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K.L.M. Telephone Company
Private (Subsidiary of American Broadband)
Founded 📆1955
Founder 👔
Headquarters 🏙️Maitland, MO, United States
Area served 🗺️
Key people
Shawn W. Hanson, President & General Manager
Products 📟 Local Telephone Service
Number of employees
ParentRBJ (1992-2007)
American Broadband (2007-present)
🌐 Websitehttp://www.klmtel.net/
📇 Address
📞 telephone

K.L.M. Telephone Company is a rural telecommunications provider based in Rich Hill, Missouri. Consisting mainly of small, rural, family-run telephone companies it absorbed, it provides local telephone service to 1400 southwest Missouri telephone customers in Deerfield, Metz, Rich Hill, and Richards.[1] It is owned by American Broadband.


Formation & Expansion[edit]

KLM Telephone Company began in 1955 as a business investment by Ken Kern. He purchased the Rich Hill Telephone Company, which had been owned by the Shopper family of Rich Hill since 1941.

The name "KLM" came into being when Kern asked a college student, Raleigh Masur, if he would like to join in on running the venture; James Lamble later joined. Rich Hill Telephone Company was then renamed KLM Telephone Company, representing Kern-Lamble-Mauser. The partners formed a holding company for the telephone company, called KLM Corporation.

James Lamble resigned from the company in 1957. Mr. Kern continued to teach until 1962, when he moved to Rich Hill, MO and assumed the day-to-day management of the company. Raleigh Mauser sold his shares in the corporation and partnership to Kern in January 1965.

Deerfield, MO, near Richards, MO, was still a mutual exchange in 1971 with magneto service. Some customers within the area petitioned the Missouri Public Service Commission for Bell telephone service because they wanted dial telephone service. Mr. Kern made arrangements to rent some Stromberg-Carlson equipment and plowed cable through the winter of 1972. The Deerfield area was converted to dial within six months. Missouri Union Telephone Company, Deerfield's service provider, was merged into the KLM Telephone Company in 1973.

By 1975, KLM Telephone Company consisted of the merged operations of the following acquired telephone companies/family run operations:

  • Rich Hill Telephone Company - 1955
  • Papinville, MO telephone operations - 1956
  • Metz, MO and Richards, MO telephone exchanges - 1959 - managed as a separate partnership, Missouri Union Telephone Company
  • Missouri Union Telephone Company, fully absorbed in 1973

On December 21, 1987, all KLM exchanges were converted to digital. Call waiting and touch tone dial finally became available to KLM customers.

Ken Kern died on February 10, 1990. His widow Cathy continued to operate KLM Corporation until she sold it to the RBJ Corp. on December 23, 1992.[2]

RBJ Corporation[edit]

The Copsey family of Rich Hill ran the RBJ Corp. (RBJ stands for Reese, Bruce and Jennifer.) Evan Copsey ran the corporation.

In 1999, KLM customers were finally able to choose their long distance providers thanks to a switching equipment upgrade in KLM's central offices.

American Broadband[edit]

In November 2007, RBJ Corp. was purchased by American Broadband.[3] KLM Telephone then became one of the operating companies to comprise ABB's business unit American Broadband Missouri.


KLM Telephone Company operates in Bates County, Missouri and Vernon County, Missouri. The Berry Company publishes telephone directories for KLM.

KLM Telephone Company is managed by Shawn W. Hanson from Maitland, Missouri, as are the other American Broadband operations in Missouri.


  1. Telcodata.us, K L M Telephone Company, Accessed April 27, 2012
  2. History, KLM Telephone Company, klmtel.net. Accessed April 27, 2012.
  3. "American Broadband acquires Copsey Family Telephone Operations, November 29, 2007". Archived from the original on July 5, 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2012. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)

External links[edit]

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