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Video Archives

Cooperative Storytellers

AIEC Coordinator of Video Productions Paul Dow has been doing some archival work while sheltering in place. Each week Paul will release a short video of someone talking about their electric cooperative.

Volume 1:

Former M. J. M. Electric Cooperative member Dr. Loren Klaus talks about first receiving power at the family farm, shortly after WWII.  Dr. Klaus, a retired educator, was the first president of Shawnee Community College, serving from 1968 until 1987.


Volume 2:

Opal Parish holds the distinction of being Clay Electric Cooperative account #0001. In this video, Mrs. Parish talks about some of the big changes that came along with the electrification of the family farm.

Volume 3:

Evertt Atkinson is a 98 year old member of Tri-County Electric Cooperative. Evertt joined the U.S. Air Force at the age of 19, just days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After quickly rising through the ranks he became a fighter pilot, then a flight instructor. After the war, Evertt returned home along with his wife Doris to run the family farm, near Mt. Vernon, Illinois.


Volume 4:

Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos tells the story of when her father’s family first received electricity.


Volume 5:

Retired Lineman Kenny Essman talks about his career at Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative, in Paxton, Illinois.


Volume 6:

In the fall of 2019, four linemen from Illinois electric cooperatives joined with volunteers from Iowa and Wisconsin to bring power to a remote village in Guatemala.


Updates from Home

Scenes of AIEC staff and families sheltering in place during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. (April 16, 2020)

Lineworker Appreciation Day

2019 In Memoriam

AIEC Caravan vignette (2016)

Former cooperative employees talk about the old days of the Illinois Annual Meeting Caravan.

Queens vignette (2016)

A look at the Annual Meeting Queen contests from years ago.