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Friday, May 8, 2015

Phones Commandeered - Pt 2 –

 May 7, 1917… The biggest outrage of the Raid on May 7, 1917 came from the fact that before the raid a group of deputies entered the telephone office at gunpoint and ordered the operators away from the switchboard… in essence shutting it down to any and all phone calls for 53 minutes during the raid. The manager of the telephone office tried to make a call during that time but could not. He immediately went to the phone company, ordered the deputies to leave and the operators back to work. This did not happen so he left and returned with the company attorney. The Attorney entered the office and went to the switchboard himself to place a phone call to the judge to inquire into the authority of the deputies to close down the switchboard. When deputies ordered the attorney away from the switchboard he turned with a gun drawn. After a heated exchange of words the office manager and attorney left, soon to return with a group of armed citizens driving off the newly appointed deputies. The attorney was charged but eventually those charges were dropped. The Governor suspended the president of the City Commission stating he had allowed liquor to be sold, gambling to be done and “bawdy houses” to exist. He resigned and later then ran for re-election and won. In the end there was a lot of uproar in 1917 but very little changed on Third Street and life went on pretty much as it had before the raid.

1910 - Minot Telephone Exchange Building on Main St.

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