History of Dubois REC
Indiana was one of the states that took the lead in rural electrification. The REMC Act was adopted in 1935 and provided the legal framework for organizing REMC's. During that same year, President Franklin Roosevelt issued an Executive Order creating the Rural Electrification Administration as part of his emergency relief programs to fight the depression.
President Roosevelt was expecting the private power companies to use the more than $100-million appropriated to build rural electric lines. The private power companies did not accept the challenge.
Consequently, the Rural Electrification Act was adopted by the Congress in 1936 to lend capital to locally owned rural electric cooperatives, such as your REC. Let us emphasize the REA was lending money which was to be repaid with interest. These were not grants. REA, as it turned out, did not become a relief agency, but instead was transformed into a federal lending agency to supply capital to those who wanted to help themselves.
Establishing Dubois REC back in 1939 was a tough job. It meant holding a meeting to explain what could be done, signing up neighbors as members of the co-op, working with engineers and lawyers to set up the REC, obtaining easements from folks, some of whom thought this was a government trick to get their land, and showing people how to wire their homes for electricity.
Some of the men and women who helped organize Dubois REC were: Russell W. Archibald, Rector Callis, Peter L. Friedman, Albert Kaiser, Herschel Rainsforth, Jeanette Rauscher, Albert E. Rudolph, Mary Schlensker, and Alfred E. Wellmeyer.
Watch this video to learn about rural electric cooperatives.