Colorado Homestead Built Homemade Phone

William Craig had lived 10 years on his ranch on Florida Mesa, near Durango, Colorado, when he decided in 1908 that he should have a telephone. He obtained permission to build a homemade phone line westward from his home to a point where he could tap the Farmington, Colorado line.

This was the first and for some time the only homemade telephone on the Mesa and it soon became community property. Anyone needing phone service headed for the Craig house. There he found a key to the back door. He simply went inside and made his call.

One common purpose of those early calls was to summon the doctor for confinement cases. 

Carrie Craig Dyer
Durango, Colorado

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.