Carl A. Scupin started his business career as a traveling efficiency expert for a group of electric, gas and telephone utilities headquartered in Abilene, Kansas, controlled by Cleyson L. Brown. In 1926, he became assistant to the president after the Brown properties were organized under the name of United Telephone & Electric Co. Following Brown’s death in 1935, Scupin became consultant to the trustees and in 1937 he was elected finance officer. Prior to the 1938 reorganization of the company as United Utilities, Inc., he was elected vice president and treasurer, serving under Alden L. Hart. He succeeded Hart as president and director in 1958 when the system served 450,000 telephones in 444 communities.
Starting a plan to bring dial service to 262 communities in five years, he finished the job in four years. Meanwhile, under his direction, United Utilities’ securities were listed for trading on the New York Stock Exchange, the Midwest Stock Exchange, and the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange. As chairman of the board, 1964-65, he presided over United’s initial steps toward diversification into manufacturing, CATV and other communication-oriented endeavors. By the time of his retirement in 1966, the United Telephone System had grown to 970,000 telephones in 17 states.
Scupin also served the Eisenhower Foundation as trustee, 1946-1972; treasurer, 1954-1967; vice president, 1967-1970; and president, 1970. He was the moving force behind the new Museum of Independent Telephony, dedicated in Abilene, Kansas, on May 29. 1973. He died in 1972.