The Marianna Scenery Hill Telephone Company, incorporated in 1911 by J. W. Shidler, forms the foundation of the Horne Family Fund. Over the years, several individuals have affected the company as well as the life of less fortunate people. Their memory will be honored through this fund.
The founder of Marianna Scenery Hill Telephone Company, J.W. Shidler was born in West Bethlehem Township in 1867. Shortly after his marriage to Nancy Martin (born in 1868) of Amwell Township in 1898, he was drafted for the Spanish American war in the Philippines. Returning from the war unharmed, J.W. started his company with a switch board out of the kitchen of his farm house, which his wife operated for many years. Together they had six children. As the company grew due to the town and local coal mines, J.W. and Nancy gratefully made contributions to their community. When retiring to Brownsville, TX in 1931, they sold the company to their fourth child Virginia and her husband Russell J. Horne.
Virginia and her husband Russell were both born in West Bethlehem Township. Virginia graduated from the California State Normal School in 1926, which is now PennWest California. Shortly after, she became a teacher in numerous Marianna schools and later the Bethlehem School District. The couple married in 1928 and had two children named Marjorie and Stuart Horne. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Virginia was a substitute school teacher after which she retired in 1973. Virginia was also one of the founding members of the Marianna Library in 1970 and a board member until 1991, where she held the position of the Treasurer. During her retirement years, she loved to travel around the world; she even went to Australia and New Zealand at the age of 83. She loved to read and, being a very generous person, was always interested in helping others. Virginia remained as the Secretary and Treasurer until 1992. Sadly, she passed away in 1993. Russell, who upgraded the company to an automatic dial system in December of 1959, passed away in 1962 making his son, William Stuart Horne, the President and Manager.
William Stuart Horne, often called Stu, was born in 1931. He attended the Greenbriar Military Academy before going to Ohio Wesylan University where he took part in many classes on telecommunications. William loved to play golf and was an active member at the Nemacolin Country Club as well as a board member. He also loved to play cards and was always a very generous person who was willing to help others financially. William married Mona Houston in 1957. She was born in Amwell Township and graduated from Trinity High School. She worked as a secretary for a real estate and insurance firm until she married William and became a stay at home mom. The couple had two children – Susan and Scott Horne. Mona loved to play golf and was also a member at the Nemacolin Country Club. At the time of her husband William’s death in 1985, his son, Scott Horne became the President and Manager of the Marianna Scenery Hill Telephone Company. Mona became the Secretary and Treasurer at the time of Virginia’s death in 1993 until 2001, when the com‐ pany was sold to Fairpoint Communications.
Initiated at the death of Mona Horne, her children Susan and Scott Horne founded the Horne Family Fund to honor their parents and grandparents, who believed in giving back to the community. Through this fund, they hope to keep their memory alive as well as help less fortunate individuals on their path to success.