Saturday, May 15, 2010

Electricity in Marion and Crittenden County

The first electricity was put in Marion in 1900 by R. W. Wilson.  This first small plant consisted of a 100 horsepower steam engine which would produce 1150 volts, single phase.

This power plant was located on Depot Street near the railroad and train depot.  It was a small plant that only ran at night.  There was a special time for people with electric washers to wash their clothes, which was on a Tuesday morning.  The plant ran on Thursday morning until dinner so people with electric irons could iron their clothes.

The plant also had a moonlight schedule which meant that they didn't burn the street lights on a moonlight night.

October 1901 was a historical day in Marion.  On Oct. 10th, twenty arc lights flashed their rays up and down the streets of Marion, driving away the murky darkness that had so long enveloped the town.  No towns and very few cities could boast of a better system of street lights that  those of Marion.  The lights were turned on at six o'clock in the evening and would burn all night during a moonless night.
In 1921 Mr. Marshall Jenkins, who had taken over the plant in 1915, put in two diesel engines.  They produced much more horsepower.  The plant ran steam in the day and diesel at night.

In 1926 the Kentucky Utilities Company bought out Mr. Jenkins.  They ran lines to Mexico, Dycusburg, Frances and Crayne. 

In 1942 the R. E. A. came into the county.  Their line ran down the Ohio River bottoms to Weston, Dam 50 and Tolu.  From Tolu the lines went all over the county.

No comments: