170 – More Towns Want Electricity

The Wellington Daily News – September 19, 1916

Argonia, Milan, and Mayfield, Kansas lit up their electric lights in May 1916. Now, in September 1916, Conway Springs and Milton and Norwich want Nathan Jones to provide electricity to their towns.

Jones obtained a franchise from each of these towns, and organized a new company, The Tri-County Light and Power Company. It had local investors who bought stock to finance the transmission lines. Jones got stock and was the general manager.

By May 1917 the lines were completed, and electricity was turned on. The residents were delighted.

The Milton Crescent – May 31, 1917

Viola wants electricity

A month later, Viola, Kansas gave Jones a franchise to provide electricity

The Argonia Argosy – October 15, 1916

Capron, Oklahoma wants electricity

In August 1917, Nathan Jones established his third company, O.K. Light and Power Company to supply electricity to Capron, Oklahoma and Hardtner, Kansas. This company would buy electricity from the Kiowa, Kansas electric plant.

Once again, local investors own the company, and Nathan Jones gets stock. Nathan Jones is age 25.

The Monitor Press – August 8, 1917

During the two decades after regulation appeared, utility companies expanded to provide increasing amounts of electricity, at lower unit cost, to a greater number of customers. The electrical output from utility companies exploded from 5.9 million kWh in 1907 to 75.4 million kWh in 1927. In that same period, the real price of electricity declined 55%.

Where were Ralph Jarvis and Chleo Webb?

In August 1917, Ralph Jarvis and others from Larned were in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. They had enlisted in spring 1917 and were training for deployment to France. Ralph was age 23.

Chleo Webb was a student at Larned High School. She was living at home. She was age 17.

Timeline – 1917


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