Happy Birthday, Sam Houston EC!

Happy Birthday, Sam Houston EC!

It’s a story that begins in darkness and ends in light. Generations of rural Americans struggled to “get lights” and bring the wonders of electricity to the vast areas not served in the United States. How these residents accomplished that goal is a true story of trial and triumph. 

The people of rural America needed electric power. Our founding members dreamed of bringing “power to the people.” And so they did.

Word spread of a proposed REA project in the piney woods of East Texas. Residents and county officials joined together, rallying support from their friends, families and neighbors in constructing their electric cooperative. 

On Aug. 27, 1938, the articles of incorporation for Sam Houston Electric Cooperative Inc. were drafted and a rural electric cooperative was born. Their persistence finally paid off, when on May 16, 1939, a charter was granted by the Secretary of State—Happy Birthday, Sam Houston EC!

After obtaining an REA loan, the Cooperative began construction of its first power lines, 243 miles, on Jan. 15, 1940. Those first lines would serve 661 members in Polk, San Jacinto, Walker and Liberty Counties. 

By 1943, Sam Houston EC had 1,306 members. In 1951, that number jumped to 7,500 consumers and 2,300 miles of line. 

Today, Sam Houston Electric Cooperative maintains more than 6,000 miles of power lines serving 54,000 members in parts of 10 counties.