JC REMC History

Jay County REMC first year of operation began in 1936.

Year:1937 The first Board of Directors, Incorporators and Contractors were on hand to set the first pole. The contractors had the power equipment to dig the holes, lift and place the poles in the holes. The tamping of the ground was done by hand. Construction started north of Portland near the Lon Wehrly farm. REMC members were urged to complete the wiring in their house and other buildings before REMC line construction was completed. Delay of home wiring would delay receiving electric current. Beginning on the right side: Frank Wegmer-Director, Lon Pettis-Incorporator, John Schmidt-Director, Clarence Strauss-Director, Frank Bunker-Director, Clynas Flesher-Director, Fidelis Wagner-Director, William Theurer-Director, John Macklin-Manager, Harley Brumm-Director, Willis Bye-Incorporator, Joe Remakluse-Incorporator, Lora Frank-Director, Dennis Frank-Director, Chester Ryle-Incorporator. Those on side and back are not named and were contractors.


Co-op incorporated: June 25,1936

Incorporators: Fifteen Jay and Delaware County leaders, sponsored by the Farm Bureau.

Co-op energized: May 1, 1938

First to be energized: Eyman Turner farm

Location of first pole: Two miles north of Portland, near the Lon Wehrly farm.

First REA loan: August 24, 1937

Amount of first loan: $150,000

Location of first co-op headquarters: Rented room in Farm Bureau building.

Members when co-op energized: 150

Members now: 4612

Price per kwh of electricity when co-op energized: First 30 kwh - 7.5 cents; Next 30 kwh - 5 cents; Next 170 kwh - 3 cents; Over 230 kwh - 2 cents.

Average monthly electric bill of consumer then: $3.91.

Miles of line when co-op energized: 150

Miles of line today: 1247

Number of members per mile when co-op energized: 1.4

Number of members per mile today: 4.4

This great video features a fast-action hand-drawn guide to the history, structure, and purpose of rural electric cooperatives. It was created by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

Group of Jay County REMC Linemen from 1949