SIEC 75 YEAR ANNIVERSARY....The Cooperative Purpose
Imagine if you will, what it must have been like after dark in the farms and small towns of southern Illinois 75 years ago...before there was power...before there was electricity. But that was all about to change, and change it did, when farmers and rural families banded together to shine a light on the need to turn the on the lights in rural America. WATCH VIDEO HERE. (photo courtesy of NRECA)
Chris L. Bennett Named New GM
Chris L. Bennett has been named SIEC's new General Manager by the Board of Directors. He will assume the responsibilities of this position effective July 12. Click here for details.
During long-term power outages, many rely on portable generators for emergency power. The growing popularity of portable electric generators has resulted in millions being placed in homes and small businesses across the nation. But, it's estimated only a small percentage is hooked up correctly. Safe Electricity and SIEC urge members to understand the proper safety steps that must be taken.
Read more by clicking the safety tab on the menu to the left.
(Photo courtesy of SIEC Dir. Admin & Finance Chris Bennett)
|When the Lights Came On|
Published in ILLINOIS COUNTRY LIVING • May 2009
Southern Illinois Electric Cooperative member George Holhubner read a previous article in the Illinois Country Living by Art Tenhouse, a member of Adams Electric Cooperative in Camp Point, Ill. Art described his great grandfather’s struggle to get electricity to his rural farm in 1929. This prompted George to write the following letter about his own experience of “when the lights came on” and how REA helped his family back in 1939.
My parents were married in 1926 and soon after that, my father asked the (investor-owned) utility company if they would extend a line to our farmstead. It (our farmstead) was a little over ¼ mile from their line on our west farm boundary, and about the same distance to the south from a field-crossing line that ran into the Village of Olmsted.
They didn’t even quote a price. They just said something about a few light bulbs and a couple kitchen appliances being out of the question. It always amazed me that the (investor-owned) utilities didn’t have the foresight to see potential electric usage on farms; i.e. dairies, beef feeding operations, hog farms, grain handling, farm shops… the list goes on and on. Our home, barns, corn crib, grainery and other buildings were wired by REA in 1939.
Power was turned on late that year or early 1940. I was six years old in 1939 and my parents, brother and I were really excited about having electricity. I am third generation on our farm, and I am still thankful for those early leaders who did the pioneering work to get our Southern Illinois Electric Cooperative
Southern Illinois Electric Cooperative energized its first lines (195 miles) in March, 1939. It now serves over 11,500 meters and energizes over 2,100 miles.
If you remember when the lights came on, tell us your story. Write to: