The James Valley Cooperative Telephone Company of Groton, South Dakota was incorporated September 8, 1951 and became the successor of the Groton-Ferney Mutual Telephone Company by purchase of the common stock held by Howard B. Fine on December 31, 1951. Telephone service in the area was at that period provided by old magneto 24-hour operator service.
The sleet storm of 1950 destroyed many miles of telephone lines that were never restored. At this time local people, interested in obtaining modern telephone service, realized that if proper equity could be raised, they could secure a Rural Electrification Administration loan to rebuild the old system and make service available to everyone in the entire area. With this in mind, the James Valley Cooperative Telephone Company was formed. In order to qualify for an REA loan, James Valley was required to have title to the physical assets of Groton-Ferney Mutual Telephone Company. A substantial amount of the funds necessary for this purpose was borrowed from Northern Electric Cooperative. Four hundred and sixty shares of Groton-Ferney stock, representing controlling interest of the company were purchased from Howard B. Fine on December 31, 1951. James Valley continued to purchase minority stock until it obtained 93% of the Groton-Ferney stock and dissolved that corporation. Original incorporators were chosen by people in their respective areas and were: Frank Becker, Turton; Norman Berry, Groton; Kenneth Holum, Groton; Lloyd Face, Stratford; J.F. Hopfner, Randolph; Ralph Herseth, Houghton; and J. Al Akerson, Claremont.
From the beginning, the goal of those who organized the Cooperative was to provide the best possible telephone service at the lowest possible cost and at the same time keep the company financially stable.
Each year, at the annual meeting held in October, the membership-at-large elects directors from two or three districts to serve on the Board for a term of three years. The Board of Directors meets on the third Tuesday of each month.