The Southwest News was published and mailed to STEMC members from 1950-2003. It is an interesting history of your electric cooperative and how far we have come in the past 70 years.

April 1950     July 1950     August 1950

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February 1958     May 1958     August 1958     

August 2004     August 2005     August 2006     August 2007     August 2008     August 2009

August 2010     August 2011     August 2012     August 2013     August 2014     August 2015

August 2016     August 2017     August 2018     August 2019     August 2020

RURAL BEGINNINGS

During the early and middle 1930′s, there virtually was no electric service in rural areas. In 1936, a group of rural citizens from Madison, Tipton and Haywood Counties met in Jackson, Tennessee in order to develop a plan for “getting electricity” for their homes and farms and for those of their neighbors.  The business was incorporated on July 1, 1936.  A temporary Board of Trustees was elected for the purpose of obtaining a charter for a new electric cooperative from the State of Tennessee.

In October of 1936, the charter was received, and shortly thereafter, the fledgling cooperative applied to the Rural Electrification Administration for a loan in the amount of $290,000 to begin construction of electric lines. The first construction contract was awarded in January, 1937.

Southwest soon purchased the West Tennessee Power and Light Company, which added 125 miles of line and 1,280 customers. This purchase included Mason, Stanton, Munford, Atoka, Brighton, Covington, Gallaway, Whiteville, Mercer, Pinson and Henderson.

Growth was steady until World War II, during which time all materials were in short supply, as was the labor supply. However, growth accelerated rapidly after the war’s end, and has continued at an almost steady pace to the current time.

First Pole
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