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Johnson City in Blanco County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Lyndon B. Johnson and Hill Country Electrification

 
 
Lyndon B. Johnson and Hill Country Electrification Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Anderson, November 21, 2018
1. Lyndon B. Johnson and Hill Country Electrification Marker
Inscription.  By the 1930s, many residents of cities across the U.S. were benefiting from the common use of electricity. However, a vast majority of rural areas lacked electric service, which compounded depression-era problems for farmers whose crop returns were already meager. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) to make loans to cooperatives established by the farmers themselves.

Although the REA quickly helped bring electricity to rural America, its program did not extend to the Texas Hill Country, whose sparse population did not meet qualifications. In 1937, future President Lyndon B. Johnson worked to bring electricity to the area, a promise he made during his successful run for the U.S. Congress that year. His plan focused on two lower Colorado River dams: Buchanan in Burnet County and Marshall Ford (now Mansfield) in Travis County. Johnsonís appeals to Roosevelt and government agencies led to an easing of the REAís requirements.

Rancher E. Babe Smith joined Johnson in canvassing his district to convince farmers to pay $5 deposits, which would allow the Pedernales Electric
Lyndon B. Johnson and Hill Country Electrification Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Anderson, November 21, 2018
2. Lyndon B. Johnson and Hill Country Electrification Marker
Cooperative (PEC) to build infrastructure and sell power. In 1938, with about 3,300 families signed for electric service, the REA awarded the PEC a loan to build over 1,700 miles of electric lines, the largest allotment ever made by the administration. In the fall of 1939, electricity began to flow. The PEC became the nationís largest electric cooperative and remains among the dozens of other such cooperatives across Texas. Lyndon Johnsonís work was essential in their formation and the expansion of electrification in the Texas hill country.

175 years of Texas independence * 1836-2011

 
Erected 2011 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 16864.)
 
Location. 30° 16.527′ N, 98° 24.581′ W. Marker is in Johnson City, Texas, in Blanco County. Marker is on South Avenue F south of East Elm Street, on the right when traveling north. Marker is located in front of the headquarters of the Pedernales Electric Co-Op. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 201 South Avenue F, Johnson City TX 78636, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc. (a few steps from this marker); E. Babe Smith (a few steps from this marker); L. B. J. Boyhood Home (about
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400 feet away, measured in a direct line); LBJ Boyhood Home (about 400 feet away); Johnson Settlement Trail (about 500 feet away); The LBJ Legacy (about 500 feet away); Johnson City (about 500 feet away); First Baptist Church (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Johnson City.
 
Also see . . .  Rural Electrification - The Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) (Submitted on November 26, 2018, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas.) 
 
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More. Search the internet for Lyndon B. Johnson and Hill Country Electrification.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 28, 2018. This page originally submitted on November 26, 2018, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas. This page has been viewed 57 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 26, 2018, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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