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10 interesting factoids about Indiana’s electric co-ops

Posted on Sep 26 2022 in Boone REMC, Features
Boone REMC truck
Boone REMC was the first electric cooperative to be energized in May 1936.

To celebrate October as National Cooperative Month, here are some factoids you may not know about Indiana’s electric cooperatives.

  1. Boone REMC was a model for other rural electric groups in the country. The REMC received the Rural Electrification’s first loan on July 22, 1935. It was energized on May 21, 1936. 
  2. Claude Wickard, a member of Carroll County REMC (now Carroll White REMC), served as the Rural Electrification Administration’s fourth administrator from 1945-53. He took over that job after a five-year stint as U.S. secretary of agriculture.
  3. White County REMC’s incorporators and first board included two women: Mrs. Lewis Miller, Chalmers, and Mrs. Katherine Hair, Brookston.
  4. Clark County REMC’s first office was in a shoe store in Sellersburg. Both Fulton County REMC and Fayette-Union County REMC (now Whitewater Valley REMC) had their first offices above shoe stores.
  5. The first co-op merger in the state was between Huntington County REMC and Allen-Wells REMC. They became United REMC on Dec. 2, 1964. In November 2014, United REMC merged with Wabash County REMC to become Heartland REMC.
  6. In 1953, Henry County REMC, headquartered in New Castle, was the first electric cooperative in the nation to pay off its Rural Electrification Administration loan — 13 ½ years ahead of schedule. 
  7. Hancock Rural Telephone Corporation in Greenfield was the first Hoosier phone cooperative to receive an REA loan. The co-op received the loan in 1951. In 2011, Hancock Rural Telephone (then known as Hancock Telecom) merged with Central Indiana Power (formerly Hancock County REMC) to create NineStar Connect, the only cooperative in the state to offer electric, communication, water, and sewer utility services. 
  8. The largest electric co-op in terms of miles of line is Southeastern Indiana REMC, headquartered in Osgood, with 3,249.65 miles of line.
  9. Newton County REMC, headquartered in Goodland, is the smallest co-op in the state. It has 1,038 members and 508 miles of line.
  10. South Central Indiana REMC, headquartered in Martinsville, has the most electric cooperative members in the state with 29,261 members.