In 1935, less than 11 percent of the farms in the United States had electric service. Investor owned utilities could not foresee the possibility of providing electricity to Rural America because it would not be profitable for them to serve sparsely populated rural areas. Responding to the need, Rural Electric Cooperatives were born.
LaGrange County farmers and community leaders joined together to form an electric cooperative. LaGrange County REMC was incorporated on October 29, 1936. Serving on the first board of directors were: Orrie Anderson, president; Elvie Greenawalt, vice president; Roy Wilson, secretary-treasurer; James Powell; and Russell Brill.
Following the incorporation of the cooperative, the task of building the distribution system could begin. It was a slow process. Linemen had to manually dig each hole, set the pole, and then physically climb each pole to attach the line before electricity could be delivered to the members. It wasn’t until January 3, 1939 when the first farm was energized. The farm known as the Frank Elliott farm was located on CR 400 E of LaGrange. At that time there were 457 members and 54 miles of energized line.
Many years later, the cooperative spirit lives on as the directors and employees strive to bring our member-owners reliable electric energy with service that is second to none!