Digging up Basin Electric history

Kathi Risch, senior writer/editor at Basin Electric, has been on a special assignment the past year and a half. She’s been editing “Generation for Generations: A vision for giant power,” Basin Electric’s 50-year history book. And in the process, she’s been collecting information on each of the cooperative’s 69 original incorporators. On May 5, 1961, these incorporators of Basin Electric met at the Patterson Hotel in Bismarck, ND, to sign the papers that made Basin Electric official.

Watch the video to hear Risch talk about digging up the information and writing stories on each of the incorporators.

Bob and Maralyn Marks

Bob and Maralyn Marks helped with original incorporator information.

Part of what Risch enjoyed about the process was talking to the children and grandchildren of the incorporators, and co-op employees and retirees. She found lots of photos, tidbits and interesting connections.

For example, Maralyn and Bob Marks of Salem, SD, were instrumental in helping Risch find information on Don Waugh. Bob Marks was the manager of McCook Electric, Salem, SD, from 1967 to 1990. Maralyn is his wife.

Don Waugh and his wife Donna were friends with Nancy and Richard “Dick” Kneip. Mr. Kneip was the governor of South Dakota for 7 1/2 years. His time in office was cut short because he was named the United States ambassador to Singapore by President Jimmy Carter. Also, Mr. Kneip made an appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1977.

Don Waugh original incorporator

Donna and Don Waugh have supper with Nancy and Richard Kneip.

If you have more information on any of Basin Electric’s original incorporators, please contact Kathi Risch at 701-223-0441 ext. 5606 or by email at krisch@bepc.com.

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