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Camellia Communications is an affiliate of Hayneville Telephone Company, Inc. which began in 1946, when Mr. and Mrs. Howard S. Powell, II purchased the telephone company from the Sutherland family. At the time of purchase the operation consisted of a switchboard in their home and approximately fifty customers.
Howard and Jessie faced all the challenges of a small telephone company in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. They had to grow their company as they grew their family, Howard III (Smitty), Penelope, and Herbert. In the mid 1950’s, they introduced dial service and housed their small switchboard on the site that is now the business office for the company and all its operations. All other functions of the business continued to be provided from their home.
In the late 1960’s demand grew for telephone service in the rural franchise area. To provide this service, the Powells responded by incorporating the business and receiving their first loan for REA. Service was then expanded to the Lowndesboro and the Gordonsville, Alabama areas. The subsequent increase in business required Howard and Jessie to move the business operation from their home, so in 1972 they built the first business office in Hayneville.
As a result of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, competition was opened to the telephone industry. The Powell family saw an opportunity to offer services to neighboring cities and Butler County. As a result, in 2004 Camellia Communications became a reality. Now proudly serving these areas, The Powell family has recommitted themselves to delivering hometown customer service and providing the high-tech services our customers need. As the years passed, the family continued to grow including children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Currently three of Jessie and Howard’s grandchildren and two great-grandchildren run the family business. Although the generations have come and gone, their commitment to our community and customers continues to be the cornerstone of their success.