REA-Rural Electrification Administration
The Rural Electrification Administration was created by Executive Order 7037 of May 11 under authority of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935, approved April 8, 1935, (49 Stat. 115).
Before the onset of the New Deal, only 10 percent of areas outside cities had electricity. The REA encouraged farmers to join cooperatives formed with the purpose of bringing electricity to the farming communities. The REA then granted low-cost loans to the cooperatives.
|Rural electrification. San Joaquin Valley, California by Dorothea Lange|
As of 1940 only 40% of farms were electrified, but the program continued and eventually there was a 98% success rate.
Among the successful California Cooperatives was the which was formed in 1937. Other cooperatives still in place today are the , the , and the .
Perhaps your family was involved in the forming of a co-op. The REA annually published a There are snippets from these reports online, a search on WorldCat might help you locate them in a nearby library. These reports might supply details about emerging cooperatives. Look also for records of the cooperatives themselves in local archives, historical societies and cooperative headquarters.
Have fun watching the New Deal propaganda films for the REA:
Then learn more about the REA and their records at: