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Miss Callahan, Personnel Assistant

October 17, 2017

The door to the room that is our current living space, the ‘Apartment’ has some ghosted labels from when the BAB was the Riverside telephone exchange.

The room was last the lady operators’ lounge but before that it was an office.

At a recent conference, I was reminded about the Missouri History Museum Library collection of company magazines and how to use them to research genealogy and local history. The Library has a group of volunteers indexing the names and companies that are listed in magazines. The speaker said that these company magazines are a good resource to find personal stories and military records about the employees. To see the articles requires a trip to the Library but you can also pay a small fee to have the pages copied and mailed to you. I used that method in the past to find information about our building’s architect, I.R. Timlin. I decided to try to find out more about our Miss Callahan.

There were a number of different Miss Callahan’s in the Southwestern Telephone News but I was able to narrowed the search to Mary Callahan after finding an article in the 1951 Post Dispatch archive about her retirement after 49 years with Bell.

Post Dispatch, August 31, 1951

I took a lunch hour trip to the Library and this is what I found:

She is second from the left. I’m guessing Estelle is her sister. There were a few listing for Estelle in the index, too, so I’m guessing she was also a Bell employee.

It appears that she was well liked. In 1928, she chaperoned a picnic for the ‘girl’ operators here.

She lived 9 years after retiring, passing away in January, 1960, at the age of 72.

A lunch hour was not enough time to go down this history rabbit hole! The Librarian that was helping me find the articles pulled several other items off the shelves for me and showed me how to use their databases in the Library. There will be a number of future history posts about the building, the companies and the people that were here.





8 Comments leave one →
  1. Maurine Pruchnicki permalink
    October 18, 2017 1:49 pm

    Those dresses and hats surely remind me of my mother and her friends. Do you remember seeing pictures of the dress and hat she wore to your Dad’s; and my wedding? Really enjoyed reading about your Miss Callahan.

    • Sue permalink*
      October 18, 2017 1:53 pm

      Yes! l spent a lot of time looking through your wedding album when I was a kid. I was so excited to find a photo of her.

  2. Alice D Abrams permalink
    October 17, 2017 8:54 pm

    Miss Pruchnicki –

    This is fascinating reading material.

    Yours truly,
    Miss Abrams


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