The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965 Page: 392
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Valley of Texas, had its origin a few years ago in a seminar in
business history at the University of Texas and was developed into
a master's thesis before appearing in book form. The author,
a native of the Guadalupe Valley, writes from a first-hand ac-
quaintance with the area served by the cooperative (the counties
of Gonzales, Guadalupe, Lavaca, and Wilson) and of the rural
folk who constitute most of the organization's membership.
In telling the story of the Guadalupe Valley Electric Coopera-
tive, the author provides a study of the effects on the local level
of the Rural Electrification Administration, an important New
Deal agency which has made possible hundreds of similar co-
operatives through low interest loans. There is no doubt but that
the "rather drab existence" of rural life in the Guadalupe Valley
was considerably improved and the incomes of farmers sub-
stantially increased as the use of electric lights, farm machinery,
and household appliances was made possible by the cooperative.
The boost given by the cooperative to the economy of the area is
seen in terms of not only the rising farm incomes but also the
large G.V.E.C. payroll and the purchase by cooperative mem-
bers of an estimated $37,700,000 worth of electrical appliances.
The catalytic agent for the cooperative in the Guadalupe Valley
was the state Grange organization, and specifically the Grange in
Cost, a tiny community in Gonzales County. The cooperative
was organized there in 1938, energized its first lines two years
later, and then, following the difficult years of the second world
war, "came of age" in the 1947-1962 period, at the end of which
some ten thousand member-customers were being serviced. Prob-
lems confronting the cooperative were legion; farmers reluctant
to sign up for electric service when there was a cooperative on
paper only; the antagonism of private power concerns in the
area; and the opposition of the South Texas Chamber of Com-
merce, which, although the G.V.E.C. was a member, refused ad-
vertising in its journal to an institution which was considered
outside the "free enterprise system."
There are a number of shortcomings in this interesting little
book. An unnecessary repetition of facts in a number of cases
perhaps indicates that the book was conceived chapter by chapter
rather than as a whole. A few statements surely must be in error,
e.g., that although Texas in the 1930's was first among states in
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965, periodical, 1965; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/m1/463/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.