It was with great sadness that I read about the death of former Sidney Mayor Elwood “Dixie” Davis last week.
I got to know Dixie when I was starting out as a freelance reporter working for area weeklies in the 1990s. His kindness and patience helped convince me that I could could do the job, and got me started on a career I began late in life.
That experience also helped acclimate me to the people and organizations in the Sidney community, which made it possible for me to apply for the bureau job at The Daily Star when it became available.
I called Dixie several times over the years as a way of expressing my appreciation, and just to say “hi.” He was always friendly, and displayed his characteristic self modesty and good humor. For me, he set a standard for public servants in the village that all those I’ve worked with after have met. Thanks again Dixie, you will be missed.
The recent annual meeting of the Delaware County Electric Cooperative gave me a chance to explore the organization’s history on its website. Today, the cooperative has grown to serve over 5,100 members/consumers covering over 800 miles of line. The cooperative’s service territory encompasses the rural areas of 21 towns in Delaware, Schoharie, Otsego and Chenango counties.
But it had humble beginnings. In May 1941, the first of a series of meetings that formed the cooperative were held in Delhi. A corporation was formed July 15, 1941, known as the Delaware County Electric Association, Inc.
On April 29, 1942, state Gov. Herbert H. Lehman signed the “Rural Electric Cooperative Law” permitting farmers to provide electricity to themselves through cooperatives. On May 12, 1942, Delaware County Electric Association Inc., was converted to a cooperative in accordance with the new “Rural Electric Cooperative Law” and became Delaware County Electric Cooperative Inc. On May 25, 1942, the first set of bylaws was approved and the first officers were elected.