1910 was the year that electric service first was introduced in Nowata. The Nowata Electric Light and Power Company was formed by W.D. Dodge, Roy Dodge, D. W. Lovett and B. L. Brookins. The company was purchased in 1911 by the Crystal Ice and Power Company. There was a generator housed in a metal building just south of the present day Nowata Filtration plant at the corner of Elm St. and E. Choctaw Ave.
In 1916 the newly formed Public Service Co. of Oklahoma purchased the company and remains Nowata’s provider today. PSO’s roots can be traced back to 1889, when the Vinita Electric Light, Ice and Power Company was chartered in Indian Territory to provide electric service to that community. PSO was incorporated May 29, 1913 in Oklahoma City, by consolidating that company with electric companies and related businesses in Tulsa, Guthrie, Coalgate, Lehigh and Atoka.
PSO’s founder and first president was Frederick William “Fred” Insull, who moved PSO’s headquarters to Tulsa in 1916. Insull was the nephew of Samuel Insull, a former secretary to Thomas Edison, who later became one of the most prominent figures in the electric utility industry.
In the Nowata Museum you will find an electric stove made in 1916. It was owned by Dick Graham who was an employee of the electric company for many years. The stove has the outward appearance of a wood burning stove, but had some interesting features…such as a drop-in stew pot, which functioned much like the crock pots of today.