About Orpha A. Higgason
From the 1956 book 'Community History, Zearing, Iowa' by Donald H. Grimm:
Zearing Telephone Association
We do not have the exact date the local telephone company was organized. The first office was a small booth in the Ingledue drug store. Elwood C. Ingledue died in 1902. So we know that there was telephone service in Zearing before that date.
Orpha Higgason worked in the drug store. A part of her duties was to take care of the switchboard. Orpha said that there was little activity at first. She said that when the bell rang it always startled her.
The first rural line was constructed northwest from Zearing. James A. Ruxton joked about that. He said that the reason was his interest in the telephone operator, Orpha. James and Orpha were married but we do not know how great a part the telephone played in the romance.