Allene Boyett, who turns 86 this month, knows a thing or two about the history of Diverse Power’s Pataula District, headquartered in Cuthbert.

Her late husband, W.H. “Hill” Boyett Jr., served on the Pataula EMC board of directors for many years, and his father, W.H. Boyett Sr., was a founding director of the electric cooperative when it formed in Cuthbert 75 years ago.

Boyett Sr. lived in Morris Station in 1938 when he joined Quitman County Agent Wyatt Bullock and other residents to meet with Rural Electric Administration (REA) representatives about forming an electric cooperative to serve local farms. Thanks to this early groundwork, Pataula Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) was chartered on May 6, 1940. Boyett Sr. was elected vice president of the founding board of directors and, in 1941, Pataula’s first lines were energized to serve 441 member-consumers in Randolph, Calhoun, Quitman and Clay counties.

Mrs. Boyett recalls the days before electricity came to Quitman County.

“When I was a little girl, we had a 25-watt bulb hanging on a drop cord in the center of the room,” she says. “I remember when electricity came; it was very exciting to have the lights in every room.”

Mrs. Boyett, who remembers her mother cooking on a wood stove, shares one of her own recipes to be featured in Diverse Power’s cookbook set for publication in 2016.


Pineapple Cheese Casserole

¾ cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoons pineapple juice
1 container (20-ounce) chunky or crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
¼ cup butter, melted
½ cup Ritz cracker crumbs (about 9 crackers)

Mix sugar and flour with pineapple juice. Add chunky pineapple and cheese. Pour mixture into 1-quart casserole dish that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.

Combine butter and cracker crumbs. Top casserole mixture with crumb mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.

–Allene Boyett


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1400 South Davis Road
P.O. Box 160
LaGrange, GA 30241

Pataula District
373 U. S. Hwy 82E
P.O. Box 289
Cuthbert, GA 39840

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