THOMAS S. NEWLAND
The Wichita Beacon, Thursday, Jan. 4,
Died: Jan. 4, 1917
S. Newland of
the Age of 75 Years He
Serving as “Hello”
Thomas S. Newland, probably the oldest telephone operator in the United States, died this morning at the age of 75 years after four days of pneumonia at his home in Andover.
He had been the telephone
operator for Andover and farmers of that vicinity for ten years. He served
until the moment when illness compelled him to give up his seat at the
switchboard to a young woman from Benton and go to bed, too weak to remain
longer on duty. The switchboard was in his home.
When death struck the veteran
operator at 6:15 o’clock this morning, the young woman operator in his place
notified the community over his switchboard in a general call. Wichita
received the next notice.
Mr. Newland was a Civil War
veteran serving in the 78th Illinois Infantry. He had been a resident of
Andover for thirty years and of Kansas for forty-six years. He is survived
by his wife and four children. A son, Harry Newland, of Miama, Ariz. Was
hurrying to his father’s bedside when informed of the death. The two
children are Clarkson Newland of Mountain Park, Ok.; Mrs. Anna Riley, of
Newkirk, Ok. Funeral arrangements await the arrival of the son. The
Wichita Undertaking Company is in charge.