Eighty-seven years ago on May 11th, 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt created the Rural Electrification Administration (REA). On that same day, a co-op in Mississippi became the first REA-financed co-op in the country to energize its lines.
In November 1939, Mrs. Roosevelt hosted a few visitors for tea. One of those visitors, Harry Slattery of the REA, shared many human-interest stories with Mrs. Roosevelt. She decided on her next trip, she would visit farms that had recently been connected to electricity and share their stories in her newspaper column.
Like her husband, Eleanor Roosevelt understood firsthand the need for rural electrification. Mrs. Roosevelt wrote about rural electrification and related topics in her syndicated newspaper column, My Day, which ran daily from 1936 until her death in 1962.
Hill County Electric Cooperative (HCE) has a long history beginning in 1945. Local farmers in Hill County began advertising in the Havre Daily News for their neighbors to get their applications in to be part of the Farm Electrification at HCE. In April of 1946 HCE, received its first REA loan and hired Harold Ebaugh as the first manager. By 1948, 400 miles of line had been completed and energized. We can thank the first five members serving on the first HCE Board of Trustees and General Manager for their dedication to bring HCE to fruition.
Today, I am proud to say that we serve 3,864 meters and 3,082 miles of line in five counties. This could not have happened without our past board and I want to thank the Hill County Electric current board members and our employees for their hard work and dedication to the members we serve.
I would like to remind all our HCE members to attend the 77th Annual Meeting of Members for Hill County Electric Cooperative on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at the Student Union Building on the campus of MSU-Northern. Registration begins at 9:00 am and the Business meeting will follow at 10:00 am. Hope to see you there! If you can’t make it, please vote by mail-in ballot. As always, stay safe and stay healthy!