In 1936, most of the area that today comprises Southern Pine was without electricity. In fact, less than one out of 25 local farms had electricity at that time. Though local leaders had long pleaded with utilities to run electric lines throughout the area, those utilities did not think such action was financially feasible.
That situation was soon to change when on May 11, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, by Executive Order, established the Rural Electrification Administration (REA). The Rural Electrification Act authorized a governmental, electrification loan program designed to help bring electricity to rural America.
Many people across the area that was to become Southern Pine, wanted electricity and were prepared to make the necessary sacrifices to receive that service. Local leaders in favor of electrifying the area hit the roads and on their own time began recruiting members for a local rural electric cooperative.
At ten a.m. on August 23, 1938, seven men filed into the law offices of McMillan, Caffey and McMillan in Brewton, Ala. The original board members were: Ben L. Martin, chairman; H. W. Pruitt, secretary; Jack McGowin, A. M. Coley, C. B. Moore, E. M. Amos and Alvin Mixon.
They and other leaders throughout the area devoted much of their personal time to make Southern Pine a reality. By November 1, 1938, almost 250 area citizens had paid their $5 membership fee and become official members of Southern Pine. At last, in August of 1939, the first Southern Pine power lines were energized. A dream was realized as many local farmers and other rural residents could at last light the darkness of their homes and farms.
Much has changed through the many years since that history-making date. Schools, businesses and industries have located within the co-op's service area. Towns have grown and what was once rural area may now be a subdivision or an industrial park.
Today, Southern Pine serves more than 21,144 accounts and 3,314 miles of line in portions of Baldwin, Conecuh, Covington, Escambia and Monroe counties. While much has changed over the years since its inception, one thing that has not changed is the co-op's devotion to its members. Past and present board members, management and employees have worked countless hours through the years with one goal in mind: Meeting the needs of the Southern Pine membership in the most reliable, competitively-priced manner possible.