University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Wisconsin Rural Electric Cooperative Association / First yearbook, 1938

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

Page 33

            With these short sketches of each cooperative, the
        story is by no means told. As authors often say, "time
        and space does not permit" the recording of the ups and
        downs experienced by the volunteer workers; the trials
        and cares of resident engineers and project superintend-
        ents; the unselfish service of those who represent the
        STATEWIDE office; the almost endless, tireless toil on
        the part of all concerned.
            When a project is designated "complete" we SEE
        miles of towering poles and gleaming wires, and as
        evening comes, bright lights twinkling over the country-
        side, but we who have watched them materialize, KNOW
        that they represent a principle.
                                           THE EDITOR
    Barron and Washburn Counties have a Cooperative with a member-
ship of 608, which was incorporated September 5, 1936, under the name
    In the spring of 1937, Wallace H. Holman began his duties as resident
engineer on the project. The Commrnwealth Electric Company started
construction in June. On the 19th day of that month the Cooperative
sponsored a celebration, the main event of the day being the setting of
the first pole. In solemn reverence it was dedicated to Mr. A. G. Bilodeau,
the first president of the Barron County Electric Cooperative, whose death
occurred the preceding month. Mr. Bilodeau had been an eager and loyal
worker, who would have rejoiced that materialization of the plans was
so far advanced.
    The office of the Cooperative had been established in the City of
Barron. This municipality is much interested in the electrification of the
surrounding rural community and have enlarged their generating plant
to afford them the capacity to sell wholesale energy to the Cooperative.
Mr. Lawrence Toynbee is the project superintendent, assisted in the office
by Miss Vesta Carpenter. The regular meetings of the Board of Directors
are held at the office. Their names and addresses follow:
                  JOHN E. OLSON, President, Chetek
                  KNUTE KNUTSON, Vice-president, Cumberland
                  WILLIS JEROME, Secretary, Barron
                  NELS NELSON, Treasurer, Rice Lake
                  S. A. CARLSON, Chetek
                  WILLIAM GOHL, Comstock
                  HENRY PALMQUisT, Barron
                  ALEX SCHNACKY, Rice Lake
                  OTIS BERGER. Hillsdale
     The first section of 86 miles was energized November 22 with 125
connections. The entire 178 miles of the original project is now carrying
energy and the superintendent reports connections are being made daily.
     Interest has received new stimulus since construction began and a 168
mile extension is in the Washington office awaiting approval for additional
allotment to allow construction to begin next spring.

Go up to Top of Page