John Yellott Rust (June 6, 1867 - October 7, 1952)
Marker No: 2824
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Location: 14 West Twohig Avenue, San Angelo
Marker Text: President and general manager, for more than 50 years, of San Angelo Telephone Company (first office near this site). Born to a prominent family at Leesburg, Virginia, Rust was educated there and in Maryland. He went to work at 16 digging post holes for a telegraph company and at 17 became construction foreman on a telegraph line from New York City to Buffalo. At the age of 19 he moved to Hamilton, Texas, and spent 12 years there as a farmer and rancher. In 1892, joined by two younger brothers, he moved his outfit to West Texas.
On a cattle-buying trip in 1898, he first saw San Angelo and recognized its potential for growth. Soon he bought the local hand-operated telephone business and began running toll lines to nearby towns. In the early days he and his brothers dug the holes, placed the poles, and strung the telephone wire. On occasion, they even handled the downtown switchboard.
Under Rust's leadership the company extended 100 toll lines to 10 counties, serving 19 exchanges in this area. When he retired in 1948 it was the second largest Independent telephone firm in Texas.
A civic leader, Rust served the city as alderman after it incorporated in 1904. He died in San Angelo on October 7, 1952. (1973)