About CHECJuly 11, 1945 was a very good year.
On July 11, 1945 the late C.L. Weatherford, Sequoyah County agent, met with 48 rural leaders at the Sequoyah County Court House. Following a full explanation of the Rural Electrification Program by Lloyd M. Adcock, REA representative from Stillwater, the farmers voted in a group to accept the plan. They organized to run rural electric lines to all parts of the county.
A total of 450 members paid $5 membership to the organization within the first three weeks.
After redistricting and dividing, Articles of Incorporation were approved for Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc. to serve Sequoyah and Haskell Counties.
The first meeting of the Board of Trustees was held October 16, 1945 at Stigler, Oklahoma. Those present were W.L. Brockman, Vian; F.E. Butler, Kinta; Leonard Miller, Quinton; Alex Foreman, Sallisaw; Lee Tyer, Keota; Russsell Overstreet, Cartersville.
Mr. W.L. Brockman was chosen as Chairman of the meeting and Lee Tyler was Chosen as Secretary.
On March 13, 1946, the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) approved the first loan for $305,000.00 to build 200 miles of transmission, distribution and service lines.
In January 1947 the Board of Trustees authorized the purchase of one acre of land for $100 to build a substation in Haskell County and on October 3, 1947 a deed was accepted for property donated by the City of Sallisaw to build a substation in Sequoyah County.
Shortage of material, contractors unable to meet deadlines, conductor type changes, plus so many delays, all heightened the excitement of June 28, 1948 when a total of 187 miles of line was energized to serve 502 consumers.
Office personnel for the new Cooperative consisted of W.L. Brockman, Manager, Catherine Slyker, bookkeeper and Naomi Bullard, typist when it opened.
The year end report of December 21, 1948 showed 599 consumers billed in December, with sales of $1,796.76. The average usage per consumer was 40 kWh. Ten years later, the December 1958 report showed 4,522 consumers billed for $28,645.21 for the month with the December average kWh usage of 104 kWh per meter. At this time, 1,480 miles of line had been energized.
December 1968 showed the number of meters billed had increased to 6,164 with the amount of sales at $68,191.16. Residential consumers used an average of 367 kWh for the month and the total miles of line increased to 1,757.
Thirty years from the date the first line was energized, the December 1978 monthly report reflected sales of $317,328.00 with 9,689 meters in place. Residential consumers averaged 507 kWh per month.
Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc. first manager W.L. Brockman, served from May 1948 through September 1949 at which time F.E. Butler became acting manager. Mr. Butler was interim manager until December 1949. Mr. Kent Randall served as manager from May 1950 until October 1950. Mr. Jeff Montgomery was named as manager on January 1951. Serving the Cooperative after Mr. Montgomery resigned were: Mr. Carl Reed from Stigler; Mr. Orval Dennis from Louisiana and Mr. Herman Driscoll from Stigler. Driscoll served as manager from 1972 until his retirement in January 1982. J. Chris Cariker was named manager in September of 1982. Cariker was named CEO of KAMO Power in September of 1996 and resigned as General Manager of Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc. Kendall Beck from Wellington, Kansas was selected as the new General Manager on January 1, 1996.
Current trustees for the Cooperative at the present time are: William Mills, President, Keota; Joe Falleur, Vice-President, Muldrow; Kenneth “Chick” Kelley, Secretary, Stigler; William R. Wilson, Director, Sallisaw; Rocky Woods, Director, Roland; Joe E. Ogle, Director, Kinta and Ronnie Pevehouse, Director, Webbers Falls.
The current number of combined work staff from the main office at Stigler and the branch office in Sallisaw is 51.
The Cooperative's major source of power is supplied by the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) through Kansas-Arkansas-Missouri-Oklahoma (KAMO) Electric Cooperative in Vinita, OK and Associated Electric Cooperative at Springfield, MO. The Cooperative has 13 substations.They are locationed Stigler. Enterprise, Webber Falls, Tenkiller, Sallisaw, Muldrow, Humphrey, Keota, Marble City, Nicut, Vian and Liberty.
The Cooperative is member-owned and as of December 31, 2012 has paid back all margins to members through the year 1993. In December of 2012, Cookson Hills Electric mailed $676,315.13 in Capital Credits refunds.
Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc. has over 2,869 miles of line and serves 17,694 meters in all or parts of Sequoyah, Haskell, Cherokee, Adair, Pittsburg, LeFlore and Muskogee countries.