The Hanson family have been in and around the telecommunications industry since 1951. The family’s involvement in telecommunications started with Wes Hanson in a small town in southwestern Minnesota, Clarkfield. Wes worked for an equipment salesman representing a company that produced early automated switchboards. His name was Wayne Caldwell. In addition to selling equipment, Wayne would buy and operate telephone exchanges. Wes started as a lineman for Wayne and progressed to be manager of several exchanges in southwestern Minnesota. Through the years, Wes learned the “ins and outs” of purchasing and rebuilding telephone exchanges. In 1957, Wes took the first step in venturing on his own and purchased a telephone company in Hanska, Minnesota. Over the next several years, Wes continued to rebuild other telephone systems while operating Hanska. During this time, the largest rebuild was in Clara City, where several farmer-owned telephone systems were combined to form Clara City Telephone Exchange Company.

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