Fayette Electric Cooperative’s Charter Members and First Board of Directors - George Diers, C.M. Janda, H.C. Doan, L.A. Giese and Charles Friedrich.
Like the vast majority of farms in the United States in the early 1930s, folks living in rural Fayette County had no electricity. But that was soon to change because President Franklin D. Roosevelt had a bold vision.
In 1935, the Rural Electrification Administration was established as a unit of the U. S. Department of Agriculture by an executive order of President Roosevelt. At that time, only 10 percent of the farms and ranches in the United States were receiving electric power from a central-station generator. The order signed by Roosevelt authorized the REA to extend loans for the purpose of building electric power facilities in rural areas.
In 1936, Congress passed the Rural Electrification Act which provided that cooperatives and public bodies would be given preference in allocating REA loans.
Fayette Electric Cooperative had its birth on May 12, 1937 when a group of influential local farmers met and formed the Fayette County Committee on Rural Electrification. A brisk campaign got underway to sign up local farmers as members for a fee of $5 each. By early October 1937, the local project was temporarily allotted $100,000 to build 120 miles of line in the communities of Bluff, Trinity Hill, BridgeValley, Plum, Hostyn, Swiss Alp, Kirtley, Muldoon, Rocky Ridge, Ammannsville, Holman, Dubina, Freyburg and Praha.
By November, 1937, the new venture had a permanent name – Fayette Electric Cooperative, Inc. The Articles of Incorporation were signed, thereby making application to the Secretary of State for a Charter to do business under the special Rural Electric Cooperative bill.
By late October, 1938, 38 transformers were hung and 150 homes were wired. It wasn’t long until a switch was thrown and members along the first 50 miles of line in Fayette County had electricity on their farms for the first time. The power at that time came from the Texas Power and Light Company.
Over the years, the number of FEC members grew rapidly. Today, FEC maintains over 2,878 miles of line serving more than 9,600 members in parts of seven counties – Fayette, Bastrop, Lee, Washington, Austin, Colorado and Lavaca counties.