During a time when hope was hard to come by and much of rural America was suffering, an idea was born in a back room of Will McPeters’ furniture store in Corinth, Mississippi.
By the early 1930s, The Great Depression had devastated much of rural America. Banks were closed. Foreclosures were common. On a single day in 1932, almost 25% of all the land area in the state was auctioned for unpaid taxes. The low price of cotton offered no hope of improvement for the agriculture-based economy of Alcorn county. Kerosene lamps and wood burning stoves were the way of life for most families, and electricity was an unattainable luxury.
While rural electricity at this time was unheard, a group of community leaders including Ben Liddon, a Corinth banker, and farmer Delphus (Dee) Crow, Sr. (whose grandson, John, is employed at Alcorn County Electric Power Association) were interested in improving the economy by bringing power to Alcorn County. By working with the Tennessee Valley Authority that had just begun producing cheap hydroelectric power, the two were able to garner community support and begin the Alcorn County Electric Power Association, America’s first rural cooperative.