On April 20, 1938, a group of 450 area farmers attended an organizational meeting at the Farm Bureau office in Quincy. All of these people had one hope in common that night; they wanted electricity for their homes and farms. During that momentous evening a group of people were elected to the board of directors of what was to become Adams Electric Cooperative. The Co-op established headquarters in the southeast corner of the Adams County Farm Bureau office, and on May 11, 1938 it was incorporated under the Not-For-Profit Corporate Laws of the State of Illinois.
Each director was responsible for signing up members and attaining easements in their area. These dedicated, optimistic people had to be troubleshooters – convincing fellow neighbors that electricity and the cooperative would really work. The biggest selling factors for the directors were lights and convenience. Electricity would change the way people lived and worked for the rest of their lives.
On a chilly March day – March 29, 1939, to be exact – a group of about 50 men and women scarcely seemed to notice the cold. History was about to be made at a rural Adams Electric Cooperative substation in Adams County. (Pictured above is Adams Electric Cooperative’s first substation.)
In the beginning Adams Electric Cooperative served a little over 700 Members with 384 miles of line. (Pictured left is John Sargent and Roy Sharrow, early directors. Roy Sharrow was the first president of the Board of Directors.) Today, over 75 years later, Adams Electric Cooperative is over 7,200 Members strong (8,600 services) and has over 2,230 miles of line in Adams, Brown and Schuyler counties, as well as parts of Pike, Hancock, McDonough and Fulton counties in Illinois. Boundary lines have been established and Adams Electric only serves within its territory. Thirty-four dedicated, well-trained employees operate the Cooperative.
Adams Electric is one of about 1,000 rural electric cooperatives in the United States. The ultimate control of the organization is through a board of directors elected by the Members of the Cooperative.
The main office of Adams Electric Cooperative is located in Camp Point on Highway 24. Jim Thompson is the general manager of Adams Electric Cooperative. Lyle Waner is the president of the Adams Electric Board. Adams Electric operates off the principle of providing its members with high quality service at reasonable rates.