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.
Viola wants electricity
A month later, Viola, Kansas gave Jones a franchise to provide electricity
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.
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
- Quote – Percent of US electrified – Uncovered: 100 Years of Electricity History – https://www.power-grid.com/news/uncovered-100-years/#gref
- Photo – Thomas Edison at Pearl Street Station – 1882 – 4 September 1882: Edison lights up Wall Street – https://moneyweek.com/335672/4-september-1882-edison-lights-up-wall-street
- Image – Farmers at table with lantern – Farming in the 1930s – https://livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe30s/life_08.html
- Image – History of Wellington power plant – City of Wellington, Kansas – cityofwellington.net
- Newspaper articles – newspapers.com
- Photo – Ralph Jarvis on bicycle – Jarvis Family Documents – Chleo Webb Jarvis collection