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Wisconsin Rural Electric Cooperative Association / First yearbook, 1938

Introduction: local cooperative histories,   pp. 33-49 PDF (4.3 MB)

Page 43

    A three day celebration was staged in Richland Center, Sunday,
September 7, being the momentous day. Thousands of people gathered
from near and far to witness the setting of the first REA pole in this
state. The President of the Cooperative, Mr. A. Vernon Miller, very ably
conducted the ceremonies. Among the speakers were Mr. Boyd Fisher,
who represented the Administrator of the Rural Electrification Administra-
tion of Washington, our own Director Orland S. Loomis, and many other
people who had been instrumental in bringing Wisconsin's program to the
stage where actual material results were to replace the plans of the pre-
ceding months.
    H. H. Stofen, who served as resident engineer during the construction
period, was approved as Manager of the project. He reports 700 con-
sumers as of December and states also that connections are being made
almost daily. Bernard Beranek has employment at the office which is
located in the Farmers and Merchants Bank Building, Richland Center.
    The following Board of Directors serve in the interests of the RicH-
                A. V. MILLER, President, Richland Center
                RONALD FERGUSON, Vice-president, Bloom City
                THERON JANNEY, Secretary, Richland Center
                OTTO STANEK, Treasurer, Yuba City
                WENCIL STANEK, Bloom City
                JOE SEEP, Casenovia
                JAY G. SHEAFER, SR., Richland Center
                ED. KELLER, Richland Center
                EARL EATON, Richland Center
     Another "first" must be claimed for this cooperative, first
to energize,
the long looked for event taking place on May 7, 1937, when 267 miles
were energized.
    These interested people promptly set about organizing another group
who desired REA service, and a new allotment for the construction of
approximately 150 additional miles was awarded in February of the next
year. The contract for the extension was awarded to the Arft-Killoren
Electric Company of Appleton, who plan completion early in 1938,
sixty-five miles being energized in December. Clare V. Wells is serving
as resident engineer on the extension job.
     This project when present plans are complete will contain nearly
400 miles of line and more than 1,200 consumers. The city of Richland
Center enlarged their municipal power facilities to be able to furnish
energy to the cooperative.
     Construction on this project went forward rather slowly, as all pro-
 cedure was new and many solutions to problems must be evolved as the
 need arose. Opposition was keen and persistent, small scars still being
 visible, but when hundreds of people work with the same aim, under lead-
 ers who have courage, successful achievement is very likely to be the result.
     A school district in this county financed the building of a line through
 permanently enjoined territory to the nearest REA service, and the owner
 of a large blacksmith shop moved the building approximately a quarter
 of a mile to reach a point where his objective could be realized.
     Incidents of this type are cited to show the determination which is

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