“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Rural Electrification 💡 Historical Markers

Markers highlighting the expansion of rural electrification and how it has changed rural life. Many markers highlight the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, which provided federal loans to cooperative electric power companies for the installation of electrical distribution systems to serve isolated rural areas of the United States. The series also covers rural electrification efforts throughout the world.
JTE Whigham Bridge image, Touch for more information
By Mark Hilton, February 16, 2014
JTE Whigham Bridge
1Alabama (Barbour County), Blue Springs — Pea River Electric Membership Corporation
The Pea River Electric Membership Corporation was energized on this site on June 8, 1939. This rural electric cooperative was organized under an executive order signed by President F. D. Roosevelt on May 11, 1935. Rural members of Barbour, Dale . . . Map (db m71804) HM
2Alabama (Butler County), Greenville — Pioneer Electric Cooperative
The Butler County Electric Membership Corporation was formed as a rural electric cooperative in Greenville in July 1938. The first home receiving electricity from the cooperative was located near here. The Cooperative's original Board of . . . Map (db m70756) HM
3Alabama (Clarke County), Coffeeville — Clarke-Washington Electric Membership Corporation
The Clarke-Washington Electric Membership Corporation was organized near this site on March 2, 1936, by some 83 members from Clarke and Washington Counties. This was the first rural electric cooperative organized in Alabama under an executive order . . . Map (db m80356) HM
4Alabama (Escambia County), Brewton — Southern Pine Electric Membership Corporation
The Southern Pine Electric Membership Corporation was energized at this site on September 12, 1939, sending electric power flowing into 75 homes and businesses in rural areas of Escambia, Conecuh, Monroe and Baldwin Counties for the first time. The . . . Map (db m84372) HM
5Alabama (Pike County), Goshen — Goshen Substation
South Alabama Electric Cooperative’s Goshen Substation provided the first electric energy to rural Pike County. The station was energized at 11:26 A.M. on April 4, 1938. The first 86 miles of electric lines served 170 members. The cooperative . . . Map (db m38947) HM
6Georgia (Burke County), Munnerlyn — Site of Planters Electric Membership Corporation Organizational Meeting
On August 5, 1936, an organizational meeting of the Planters Electric Membership Corporation was held in the Bellevue Plantation commissary building. Those present and elected to become officers were Porter W. Carswell, President; Frank M. Cates, . . . Map (db m169037) HM
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7Georgia (Carroll County), Carrollton — First “REA” Substation in Carroll County
In 1936, a young attorney from the Victory community began investigating the possibility of bringing electric service to rural farms and homes in the West Georgia area. Together with rural merchants, farmers, a preacher and a mail carrier, they . . . Map (db m12804) HM
8Georgia (Houston County), Warner Robins — Flint Electric Membership Corporation
Flint Electric Membership Corporation provided electrical service to Wellston, Georgia in 1939. Population: about 43 people. In 1943, when the name was changed to Warner Robins, a major commitment was made by Flint EMC to serve the electrical needs . . . Map (db m206548) HM
9Georgia (Lamar County), Barnesville — Lamar Electric Membership Corporation
Dedicated August 11, 1938 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt Rededicated to service 1988 E.J. Martin, Jr., President W.H. Averett, Jr., V. President J.H. Gunnels, Secretary H.B. Cromer, Treasurer J.H. Barnes, Jr. J.C. Caldwell F.C. . . . Map (db m28215) HM
10Georgia (Lamar County), Barnesville — Lamar Electric Membership Corporation Incorporating Board of Directors
REA Project 75 was chartered in February 1937 and was energized August 11, 1938, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It became Lamar Electric Membership Corporation. This day, January 23, 2005, as we change the name to Southern Rivers Energy, the . . . Map (db m28213) HM
11Georgia (Laurens County), Dudley — The Oconee Electric Membership CorporationDudley, Georgia — Incorporated November 18, 1938 —
To honor the founders whose vision transformed this rural area from darkness to the splendor of light; who serve as our reminder that no job is too difficult if the cause is just and the people are determined. Incorporators: Paul J. Jones . . . Map (db m14562) HM
12Georgia (Taylor County), Reynolds — Taylor County Rural Electric Cooperative
In 1936, a group of farmers in the Crowell area investigated the possibility of bringing electric service to the community. In 1937, they formed Taylor County Rural Electric Cooperative with a loan from the Rural Electrification Administration to . . . Map (db m14510) HM
13Idaho (Minidoka County), Acequia — 341 — Minidoka Dam
An important pioneer federal reclamation dam and power plant provides water and electricity for farms and cities nearby. Constructed 5 miles east of here between 1904 and 1906 at a cost of $675,000, Minidoka Dam diverts water into . . . Map (db m124027) HM
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14Kansas (Brown County), Horton — "Four Horsemen of the Lines"
Unquestionably the most widely published photograph in rural electrification history captures high drama and momentum as the last miles of line are pulled only the day before energization for the Brown-Atchison Electric Cooperative Association, . . . Map (db m63775) HM
15Kansas (Brown County), Horton — 111 — First REA Project in Kansas
At this site the first power pole for the Brown-Atchison Electric Cooperative was dedicated in special ceremony on November 10, 1937. Brown-Atchison was the first rural electric project to energize in Kansas financed by loan funds from the Rural . . . Map (db m63774) HM
16Kentucky (Barren County), Glasgow — 2425 — First Farmers Rural Electric Co-Op Substation
On Jan. 12, 1939, the Goodnight substation was energized. The circuit powered 107 homes along 51 miles of power line in Barren Co. This substation was the first in Farmers RECC service territory. Electricity improved rural life, increased . . . Map (db m96997) HM
17Kentucky (Boyle County), Perryville — 2399 — Site of First Rural Electric Co-Op Substation in County
W. H. Rogers, president of Inter-County R.E.C.C., threw the switch at the Perryville substation on June 10, 1938, to energize 56 miles of line to 115 homes. In 2013, on the 75th anniversary of this event, Inter-County Energy served more than 25,000 . . . Map (db m68402) HM
18Kentucky (Christian County), Herndon — Pennyrile Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation1937
The dream of central-station electricity became a reality for 165 homes in the southern part of Christian County when a switch was thrown at this spot on the night of September 2nd, 1938. These 165 homes were the first members to be served by the . . . Map (db m123636) HM
19Kentucky (Clark County), Winchester — 1894 — East KY. Power Cooperative
On July 7, 1941, thirteen of Kentucky's rural electric co-ops formed East Kentucky Power Cooperative to relieve the electric power shortage common in rural areas. In 1951, Hugh L. Spurlock became EKPC's first general manager. Construction began . . . Map (db m167030) HM
20Kentucky (Owen County), Owenton — 1819 — First Rural Electric In County
Governor A. B. Chandler threw switch at New Liberty Substation, January 29, 1938, to energize some 130 miles and brought electricity to 370 homes and businesses by December. Owen County R.E.C.C. now includes 9 counties. Charter members, 1937, were: . . . Map (db m88068) HM
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21Pennsylvania (Adams County), Cumberland Township — Rural Electrification
In 1936 seventy-five percent of Pennsylvania farms had no electric service. During the next five years, with Federal support, 14 consumer-owned cooperatives were formed in this Commonwealth. Adams Electric Cooperative at Gettysburg, serving members . . . Map (db m26818) HM
22Pennsylvania (Clarion County), Parker — Rural Electrification
In 1936 seventy-five percent of Pennsylvania farms had no electric service. During the next five years, with Federal support, 14 consumer-owned cooperatives were formed in this State. Serving users in seven counties of western Pennsylvania, Central . . . Map (db m64235) HM
23Pennsylvania (Huntingdon County), Smithfield Township — Rural Electrification
In 1936 seventy-five percent of Pennsylvania farms had no electric service. During the next five years, with Federal support, 14 consumer-owned cooperatives were formed in this State. Valley Rural Electric Cooperative, serving seven counties from . . . Map (db m6754) HM
24South Dakota (Clay County), Vermillion — 495 — First Rural Electric Cooperative
On November 25, 1935, 17 farmers from Clay and Union counties held an historic meeting at the Manning/O'Connor store in Burbank, three miles south of this spot. Their purpose was to form a consumer-owned corporation which would allow the rural . . . Map (db m179899) HM
25Texas (Bell County), Bartlett — 313 — Bartlett Electric Cooperative
Although the town of Bartlett had regular electric service by 1905, farmers in the surrounding rural area were not supplied with electricity until thirty years later. On May 11, 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed an executive order . . . Map (db m28816) HM
26Texas (Blanco County), Johnson City — E. Babe SmithPedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc.
E. Babe Smith was instrumental in the founding of Pedernales Electric Cooperative in the late 1930s. His vision, along with that of Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson and others, brought electric power to the farms and ranches of the Texas Hill Country. . . . Map (db m31095) HM
27Texas (Blanco County), Johnson City — 16864 — Lyndon B. Johnson and Hill Country Electrification
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 . . . Map (db m126764) HM
28Texas (Blanco County), Johnson City — Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc.
These plaques were first installed on the original Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc. headquarters building in 1939. Pedernales Electric Co-operative - Incorporated - Erected 1939 Dedicated to the extension of electric . . . Map (db m31093) HM
29Texas (Gillespie County), Stonewall — Farm History
1900 - 1920 The Dawn of a New Century The years following the turn of the century heralded sweeping changes in agriculture throughout Texas and the nation. Advances in technology led to improved irrigation and farming methods . . . Map (db m91053) HM
30Virginia (Greensville County), Emporia — Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative
Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative was chartered March 11, 1938, by a group of Mecklenburg County residents. The first office was located in Boydton, Virginia. The group's stated purpose was: "To advance the position of agriculture, to enrich the life . . . Map (db m48290) HM
31Wisconsin (Chippewa County), Chippewa Falls — 222 — Nation's First Cooperative Generating Station
On Sunday, May 2, 1937, Wisconsin Power Cooperative was organized by an assembly of farmers for the purpose of developing a generating and transmission facility to provide low-cost electric service for the rural areas of Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, . . . Map (db m13798) HM
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Nov. 28, 2022