Iola in Waupaca County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The CWEC Electriﬁed Rural Iola in 1939
The Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2012. It dates to Peter M. Johnson, Ed A. Leer, William Selmer, and Erick Solberg – all of rural Iola – and K. M. Sannes of rural Scandinavia signing articles of incorporation on May 6, 1937, establishing the Waupaca Electric Cooperative. In September, 1938, a Rural Electrification Administration $151,000 construction loan was approved. About 40 miles of distribution lines were surveyed and staked in early 1939; the first utility pole was set on May 25.
In November, 1938, the cooperative had hired its first employee, Louis Rasmussen as construction superintendent. The former Olson Motor Sales garage situated at this South Main St. location was leased as its operating location in December. Membership applications from 147 locations along 139 miles of lines had been accepted and built when service delivery began at the Louie Myers farm on Oct. 3, 1939; 83 in the vicinity of Iola and Scandinavia were energized that first day. Another 276 miles of lines were constructed to serve 376 additional locations, mostly in southwest Shawano and southeast Marathon counties.
The Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative resulted on when the Waupaca Electric Coop and the Marathon-Portage electric Coop merged
By 2009 CWEC’s Iola location was bursting at the seams: the cooperative had grown from 2,000 members, 15 employees, and 4 million kilowatt-hours annual sales in 1952, to 8,300 meter locations, 30 employees, and 100 million kilowatt-hours annual sales. With the service area by then spread over northwest Waupaca, northeast Portage, southeast Marathon and southwest Shawano counties, a new more centralized facility was built near Rosholt. Ground was broken at that new location on June 24, 2010: it was inaugurated for the cooperative’s annual meeting on April 9, 2011.
Erected 2017 by Iola Historical Society. (Marker Number 11.)
Location. 44° 30.389′ N, 89° 7.864′ W. Marker is in Iola, Wisconsin, in Waupaca County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street and Iola Street, on the right when traveling south on South Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is located in front of Village Hall. Marker is at or near this postal address: 180 South Main Street, Iola WI 54945, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Iola’s Dr. Loope (within shouting distance of this marker); R. I. Anderson Machine Shop (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); 1999 Father's Day Fire (about 400 feet away); Iola’s Early History (about 500 feet away); Birthplace of Numismatic News (about 600 feet away); Krause Publications (about 700 feet away); The “Spud Alley” Era (about 700 feet away); Iola Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Iola.
Additional keywords. Rural Electrification Administration
Categories. • Charity & Public Work • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 14, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 12, 2018, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 35 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 12, 2018, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.