1. The Telephone Hall of Fame was founded in 1965 by a group of Pioneers who envisioned a special recognition for individuals in the industry who contribute not only to their company but to the industry at large; a forum through which excellence is rewarded by colleagues, employers, and leaders in telecommunications.

    The Hall of Fame Honors Committee processes applications for all Hall of Fame inductees.  Please click below to download a copy of the Hall of Fame Nomination form.



    The accomplishments of those inducted into the Telephone Hall of Fame represent an unmatched insight into the development and growth of telephony. The telecommunications industry has made a significant contribution to the nation's private and public sectors and the lifestyle of its people, especially in the rural areas. These successes also serve as a standard to which present and future generations can aspire.

    Nominations for the Hall of Fame include individuals who have made positive and substantial contributions to the development, growth, and public perception of the telephone industry, on a national scale, over many years.  To be eligible, an individual must have reached age 70, be retired from the industry for at least three years, or be deceased.

  2. Please welcome our 2024 Hall of Fame Inductees:

    Ladson "Lad" Adville Barnes. Jr.


    Mary Lou Jackson-Forsyth

    into the ITPA Telephone Hall of Fame!

    Ladson Adville Barnes Jr. (Lad), son of the late Ladson Adville Barnes and Oma Thelma Workman Barnes, was a third-generation telephone industry family member. Lad spent his entire 72-year career serving the independent telephone industry.  Lad was a pioneer in various practical aspects of telephony as well as in the delivery of service to individual customers - in both urban and rural areas.

        Lad’s family has owned and operated Rock Hill Telephone Company since 1912. During his formative years, new technologies and the means of delivering expanding services were topics of conversation around the family dinner table.  After Lad graduated from Clemson in 1948 with a degree in engineering, he returned home to work for the family company.  Lad helped the company adopt technological advances to keep the company on the cutting edge, enabling the delivery of superior services.  Lad used his leadership and managerial skills to train and support his team both on and off the field.  He modeled a polite, professional, and positive image of the company and of the industry.  His operational roles developed the practical side of providing communication services while also being insightful and forward-thinking in the delivery of excellent customer service.  After the purchase of the Fort Mill Telephone Company, Lad transferred across the river and eventually assumed the role of Vice President of Operations.  He held that position until the merger of the family company and its affiliates into Comporium in 2001, after which he became Vice Chairman of the Board for Comporium.  He later served as Chairman of Comporium's Board of Directors for several years.  When he stepped down from the position of Chairman, he focused on handling shareholder matters and enjoying his family until he passed, in 2021.

         As Director, Vice Chairman, and Chairman of various company boards, Lad was required to focus on the bigger, longer-ranging trends within the telecommunications industry.  As a member of the Comporium Pioneer Club and a Life Member of the ITPA, Lad advocated for participation in activities that mutually benefited his fellow Pioneers and the communities they served, shining a positive light on the role of independent telephone companies in society.  Lad valued education and served on the board of York Technical College. He was an avid supporter of his community, and throughout his lifetime he helped dozens of non-profits, including the Unity Presbyterian Church in Fort Mill, where he remained a member until his passing.  Lad understood the importance of independent telephone companies to the communities they serve, and he participated in company efforts to positively influence legislation affecting the same.


         Mary Lou Jackson Forsyth, a lifelong resident of McIntosh County, Georgia, graduated from Darien High School in 1960.  She attended Florida State University briefly before officially beginning her career with the Darien Telephone Company.  Mrs. Forsyth’s grandfather purchased the fledging Darien Telephone Company in 1921. The company was founded in 1911 when the Darien City Council issued the company’s business license, allowing two businessmen to construct, maintain, and operate telephone lines in the city of Darien.  Since then, 5 generations of the Jackson family have continually owned and operated the Darien Telephone Company. 

         By age 10, Mary Lou could operate the company’s switchboard, and by the time she was a teenager, she was accustomed to the company’s day-to-day operations.  She formally joined the company’s employee roster in 1960 as a bookkeeper. At the time, Darien Telephone Company had only 3 full-time employees, which has since grown to 45 employees. Mrs. Forsyth later became Vice President of Darien Telephone Company in 1985.  During her tenure as Vice President, the company conjoined all of Darien, Eulonia, and Sapelo Island exchanges - consisting of over 3,000 telephone stations. Mrs. Forsyth then became President of the company upon her mother’s passing in 1989.  Under her leadership, the company launched a new facet of the business, becoming a local internet access provider to customers, in 1996.

         Mrs. Forsyth is also renowned for her cooking and charitable work, including the 2004 publication of her cookbook Something to Talk About, which consists of a superb collection of favorite recipes that reflect on Coastal Georgia’s living and eating.  Proceeds from the sale of the cookbook funded various community projects.  

         Mrs. Forsyth now shares Darien Telephone Company’s Corporate Officer positions with her daughter, Mary Alice White, Vice-President, and her grandson, Richard Jackson Thomas, Chief Financial Officer.  She is proud of her company’s family legacy and the high quality of service and technology they provide to their customers.  Her goal is to continue contributing to the growth of McIntosh County, by offering innovative technologies to new and existing customers alike.   



  1. Telephone Hall of Fame Honor Roll

    Below is a list of the members of the Telephone Hall of Fame, followed by the year of their induction.


    • Adams, Arthur F, 1965
    • Agee, John H, 1966
    • Alden, Raymond M, 1994
    • Atherton, J. Ballard, 1969
    • Bailey, Carl F, 1998
    • Bailey, Clyde S, 1972
    • Balch, John A, 1976
    • Barnes, Edwin L., 2016
    • Barnes, Frank S., Sr, 1980
    • Barnes, Frank S., Jr, 1996
    • Barnes, John M., 1999
    • Barnes, Ladson, A., 2024
    • Barnhart, Henry A., 1969
    • Barnhart, Hugh A., 1982
    • Bell, Alexander G., 1999
    • Berry, Loren M., 1982
    • Blain, Ray, 1981
    • Blakeslee, Edwin M., 1965
    • Blomeyer, Edward C, 1965
    • Bohn, Frank F., 1966
    • Boylan, John P., 1965
    • Bozell, Harold V., 1970
    • Brorein, Carl D., Sr., 1976
    • Brorein, William G., 1968
    • Brown, Clyson L., 1967
    • Bryant, Glenn E., 2015
    • Bunke, Robert W., 1995
    • Burfiend Raymond H., 1967
    • Cadwell, Charles S., 1970
    • Carlson, LeRoy T., 2014
    • Case, Weldon W., 1991
    • Clerkin, James J., Jr., 1988
    • Cook, John Brown, 1981
    • Cook, Wallace I, 1969
    • Corman, William F, 1989
    • Densmore, Leonard D., 1983
    • Fargo, Hiram D., 1974
    • Ferguson, Peter M., 1969
    • Fisher, Burgie L., 1966
    • French, Warren B., Jr., 1993
    • Ford, Joe T., 2017
    • Forsyth, Mary Lou, 2024
    • Galloway, Josey K., 1984
    • Garnett, Wilson B., 1995
    • Gary, Theodore, 1965
    • Geist, James E., 1996
    • Guild, Douglas S., 1984
    • Hageman, Herman E., 1965
    • Harris Joseph, 1967
    • Hart, Alden L., 1969
    • Haskin, Eleanor G., 2020
    • Henry, William C., 1973
    • Henson, Paul H., 1992
    • Hill, Luther W., 1970
    • Hirsch, Gustav, 1965
    • Hirt, Donald, 2001
    • Holderness, H. Dail, 1985
    • Johnston, John K., 1967
    • Keen, Jack C., 2000
    • Kellogg, Milo G., 1965
    • Lancaster, Hannah, 2023
    • Loomis, Wesley H., III., 1981
    • Loveland, Chester H., 1976
    • Lucier, Phillip J., 1994
    • Lucier, Ralph F., 1972
    • Lumpkin, Richard A., 1990
    • MacKinnon, F.S., 1965
    • Mahoney, Harry P., 1967
    • Martin, Talbot., G., 1976
    • Mason, Charles F., 1966
    • McCartney, James E., 2019
    • McClelland Robert S., 1997
    • McBerty Frank R, 1965
    • McGraw, Max, 1968
    • McHenry, Houck, 1965
    • Nehring, Roland, 2001
    • North, Charles H., 1969
    • O'Brien, Janice Eloise, 2023 
    • O'Connell, John F., 1993
    • Odegard, Sigurd L., 1993
    • Ostline, John E., 1977
    • Payne, Harold G., 1987
    • Peterson, D. Wayne., 2021
    • Pirnie, Robert M., Jr., 1991
    • Porter, John R., 1967
    • Power, Donald C., 1975
    • Quatman, George S., 1977
    • Reese, Frank D., 1997
    • Reno, Ralph C., 1971
    • Reynolds, John G., 1980
    • Scupin, Carl A., 1973
    • Smith, Ray H., 2013
    • Stewart, H. Milton, Sr., 1983
    • Stocker, C. Paul, 1985
    • Stoffels, Robert E., 2016
    • Stromberg, Alfred, 1965
    • Strowger, Almon B., 1965
    • Sullivan, R. Parker, 1983
    • Swanson, Dean Charles 2018
    • Thomas, James M., 1966
    • Warner, Leslie H., 1980
    • Welch, Francis X., 1981
    • Wettstein, Otto., Jr., 1977
    • Wilburn, Hugh R., Jr., 1986
    • Williams, Clarke McRae., 2014
    • Woods, Frank H., 1965
    • Workman, Mayme, 1965
    • Wright, John H., 1965