November 25, 2006
Two-term U.S. Congerssman Clyde T. Ellis of Garfield (Benton County) was a pioneer in the national rural electrification movement, a New Deal program designed to bring electricity to rural America. In 1943, he was appointed the general manager of the National Rural Electrification Association (NREA), a post he held for over twenty years, with only a brief absence while serving in World War II. He played a key role in the development of electric cooperatives and, for his efforts, was referred to as Mr. Rural Electrification. After suffering a stroke and a heart attack in 1967, he resigned as general manager of the NREA.