TAYLORSVILLE, Miss.(WTOK) - Southern Pine Electric celebrated an 80 year milestone Thursday.
"Southern Pine, it's just a good place. I think back to when it was formed in around 1938, it was formed because the other utilities didn't want the country people,” says former Southern Pine employee Johnny Barr.
Eighty years later, Southern Pine is providing service to almost 45,000 members. The company showcased how much it has grown at its annual membership meeting Thursday.
"This is an engagement, accountability measure we do for our membership. Our membership owns and operates the corporative. This is our opportunity to show them the business that we've done over the past year, report the financials to them and have a chance to give back, visit and let them meet our employees and see the work we do and where we were,” says Vice President of Administration Drummonds McAlpin.
Southern Pine's members and early employees also told stories about life before electricity by dressing up as farmers and linemen from the 1940's.
"44 to 50 years ago, you couldn't imagine what you see here now. It was like going from a teepee to a mansion. It's just a humongous operation now,” says Barr.
Linemen also gave members a glimpse at how dangerous their jobs can be.
Company officials say seeing so many members at this year's meeting was incredible.
"This is what we want to see happen we want participation. We want our membership involved,” says McAlpin.
Southern Pine Electric serves 11 counties in Miss. including Newton, Jasper, Scott and Smith counties.
It was chartered in March 1938 to serve 481 homes and farms.