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Born Apr. 12, 1929, on a farm in Tuttle, Okla.,


Verle Barnes spent his younger years without electricity. It was not until 1952 that the Barnes family hooked up to OEC service. "We came in during the time of the new


building," says Barnes. Of course, he is speaking of the building on Main Street in Norman that served as OEC's headquarters from 1949 through 1974. The correlation is interesting because just as Barnes joined OEC service three years following the move to a new building, Barnes joined OEC again in a different capacity 3 years after the 1974 move to 242 24th Ave., NW in Norman when he was elected Trustee of District 7 July 26, 1977.


Verle Barnes, 34 years of service


by Tory Tedder


Far left, a clipping of the Sept. 1977 OEC News article introducing Verle Barnes as the newly-elected trustee for District 7; below, Verle and his wife, Betty, today. The couple still lives on the family farm in Tuttle.


Barnes has seen many changes in his 34 years


as Trustee but much has remained the same. He served on the Western Farmers Electric Co-op board as a representative of OEC when the Hugo coal plant was built in ??. "We weren't allowed to build gas plants then,


so we built coal. Government regulations required us to scrub plans for the Black Fox Nuclear Power Plant, which took us 10 to 15 years to pay off," he remembers. "Today it's switched–they don't want us to build coal and they won't let us build nuclear."


All the frustrations aside, his most treasured


experience is, "working with such good people. They've really got the co-op at heart."


Tuttle farmer and rancher Verle Barnes was elected July 26 by District 7 members to serve the position previously held by Owen Skaggs, also of Tuttle. Barnes and his wife Betty have been member-consumers of Oklahoma Electric Cooperative for approximately 27 years. A native of the Tuttle area, Barnes operates a 2,000 acre cotton, wheat and stocker operation. The Barnes have two daughters who both live in the Tuttle area: Terri (Mrs. David) Henry and Gail (Mrs. Jerry) Campbell. —From the archives: OEC News, Sept. 1977, reporting on the election of new trustees.


OEC News Magazine | February 2012


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