Give thanks for the pioneers of rural electric cooperatives

Posted on Oct 26 2020 in Features
Early workers for Marshall County REMC
A photo of the early pioneers of rural electricity at Marshall County REMC in Plymouth, Indiana

They did their work nearly 90 years ago. But, the legacy of the men and women who petitioned, paid for and built the electric cooperative that serves your community lives on every time you turn on the lights, watch TV or charge your cell phone.

This holiday season, give thanks for the pioneers who helped bring electricity to the rural communities and farms that the big investor-owned electricity companies refused to serve. Perhaps your grandparents or great-grandparents or your neighbors’ relatives were involved in collecting membership fees or signatures. Maybe you’ve heard their stories.

Thanksgiving is an appropriate time to recall their sacrifices, their pre-electricity lifestyle and their foresight, which laid the foundation for the at-your-fingertips electric, phone and internet service that you enjoy today.

When you take your turkey out of your electric oven this season, or when you switch on your electric furnace or heat pump for the first time this fall, remember those who lived without the convenience of electricity — and that they wanted it so badly that they literally took matters into their own hands.