Fort Atkinson Electric Light & Power Co.

Date in History: 1889 to 1905

In 1889 Arthur Hoard brought the first electricity to Fort Atkinson by installing a generator at Hoard’s Creamery located on the south bank of the Rock River. To allow his family to take advantage of this new found luxury, he then ran a single wire to his home on Merchants Avenue a couple of blocks away.

A year later Hoard joined with Lucien B. Caswell, Jr. to form the Fort Atkinson Electric Light and Power Company providing an electric current to subscribers from sun up to midnight. H. G. Brandel who owned a cigar factory in town was the first to utilize the power to run a motor for the production of his cigars. In 1904, the city purchased the private enterprise from Hoard and Caswell and took over the utility. By 1905, 254 people were receiving power throughout Fort Atkinson.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 10/10/2005.

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