Half of Shentel’s stock owners live in Shenandoah County

Shentel is one of Shenandoah County’s oldest and most successful businesses, beginning in 1902 as the Farmer’s Mutual Telephone System of Shenandoah County with one share of stock costing $10.

The owner then had to string his own copper wire from his home to the switchboard office. That share, if held through stock splits during the company’s 11 decades of growth, is now worth more than $550,000.

Half of the company’s current stockholders live in Shenandoah County.

[Top Shentel exec plans retirement]

Today, Shentel and its subsidiaries provide advanced broadband services that include local and long distance telephone service; high-speed internet and data services; digital TV; wireless voice and data services, and alarm monitoring.

Headquarters is a one-story, 60,000 square-foot concrete building just outside Edinburg on 38 acres atop a hill above Old Valley Pike. It has a clear view of the Massanutten Mountains, housing 250 of the companies’ approximately 1,200 employees.

With the acquisition of nTelos last year, Shentel became the sixth largest public wireless company in the United States, although still relatively small compared to industry giants like Verizon, AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile US, Frontier and U.S. Cellular.

Forbes Magazine last year named Shentel one of the 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America.