The first successful U.S. cooperative was organized in 1752 when Benjamin Franklin formed the Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire — the nation’s oldest continuing cooperative.
Electric cooperatives began because it was not cost-effective for investor-owned utllities to string power lines into rural areas in the 1930s.
Indiana Electric Cooperatives, the statewide service association for electric cooperatives throughout Indiana (and publisher of Indiana Connection), was incorporated in 1935 and was the first organization of its kind in the country. The first electric cooperative in Indiana was Boone REMC headquartered in Lebanon, Indiana.
Electric cooperatives in Indiana serve 1.3 million Hoosier homes, farms and businesses in 89 of the state’s 92 counties.