Review a copy of the Kankakee Valley Rural Electric Membership Corporation Bylaws (PDF).
Exceeding the Expectations of our Community through:
On June 28, 1939, Kankakee Valley REMC was organized under the “Not-for-Profit” Corporation Act of the State of Indiana.
First meter set February 27, 1940 at the residence of Porter Jack. (L to R): Wiring inspector John Hembree, Henry Welkie, Kankakee Valley REMC Supt. A.H. Christianson, (in doorway) Sam Jack, Porter Jack’s son, electrical wireman Bill Sebens, KV Directors Frank Pulver and Clarence Travis, Starke Co. Agent Shidler, employee Gene Warner, Directors George Knowlton and Challen Remster, and employee Paul Siegesmund.
A handful of visionary farm leaders founded the cooperative. They received guidance and support from Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives and field personnel from the Rural Electrification Administration (now the Rural Utilities Service).
Our records indicate those most active in getting the rural electrification program underway included Ray R. Bennett, Orville Bricker, Ewalt Dewtscher, Ed Hagenow, Clarence Halberg, George F. Harden, Byron Holm, Anton Kominarek, George Knowlton, M.H. Lake, Thomas Mills, Frank Pulver, C.M Remster, C.H. Travis, Chester Wacknitz and Otto G. Warnke. These area pioneers of rural electrification were responsible for laying the foundation of our present cooperative. From signing up members, to purchase of wholesale power and to the design of our electric system, they worked long hours without personal compensation.
By the first board meeting held June 28, 1939, the service area was divided into 9 districts. The first members of the Board of Directors were: Chester Wacknitz, Challen M. Remster, Thomas S. Mills, Clarence Hallberg, George Knowlton, Clarence H. Travis, Frank Pulver, M.H. Lake and Edward C. Hagenow.
A day to remember in the history of Kankakee Valley REMC was February 2, 1940, when the first meter was installed at the home of Porter Jack, Hamlet.
When the United States entered World War II in December, 1941, this cooperative was serving 1,716 members with 646 miles of line. During the war, 631 farmers were connected, but only 167 miles of line were added. The electrification of these farms contributed greatly toward keeping the nation’s food production high when many young men in the area were serving our country.
After the war ended, "rural electrification" was well accepted and the question most frequently asked was “How soon can I get electricity?”
Kankakee Valley REMC has grown from its humble beginning and now serves more than 18,000 members with 1,810 miles of line. We continue to overcome the challenge of meeting our members’ needs while still providing quality service.
For 73 years, Kankakee Valley REMC has been an important contribution to the economy of our area and we look forward to continually improving the service and quality of life for our members.
All cooperative businesses adhere to 7 guiding principles:
1. Voluntary and Open Membership – Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination.
2. Democratic Member Control – Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (1 member, 1 vote) and cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.
3. Members’ Economic Participation – Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
4. Autonomy and Independence – Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.
5. Education, Training, and Information – Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives – Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional, and international structures.
7. Concern for Community – While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.
All cooperative businesses adhere to 7 guiding principles:
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: email@example.com. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.
Kankakee Valley REMC
P.O. Box 157
8642 West US Highway 30
Wanatah, IN 46390
Download a copy of our Statement of Non-Discrimination (PDF)
Starke and parts of LaPorte, Porter, Lake, St. Joseph, Pulaski, and Marshall
7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST
Kankakee Valley News
Miles of line energized:
Members per mile of line:
Wabash Valley Power Association