75 Years of Cooperative History

Seventy-five years have passed since the men and women of rural Oregon began envisioning a better life for themselves and their neighbors and organized the Benton-Lincoln Electric Cooperative. In the years since, so much has changed that the current operation of Consumers Power, Inc. bears little resemblance to the earliest days of the cooperative. Bucket trucks and digger trucks have made new construction much easier and safer than it was when a lineman’s day often meant eight hours of climbing and working on poles. In the office, automation and computers have replaced the clunky and clumsy equipment of years past. So, too, have the members’ lives changed since those early days.

The backbreaking and often dangerous labor of everyday life in rural America has been exchanged, in large part, for a life of greater ease, albeit one of much greater complexity. And while the service Consumers Power, Inc. supplies has become almost as necessary to our existence as the air we breathe, the irony is that we too often take it for granted. The truth is the people of Consumers Power, Inc. work with the same dedication as did the people who organized and worked the cooperative in its earliest days. They are committed, now as much as ever, to serving their communities…their friends, their families, their neighbors…and this is their story.