Joe R. Hinds

Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative - Inducted in 2013


A visionary leader, willing to play a prominent part by accepting widely diverse roles, Joe Hinds guided the successful launch of Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative in August 1939. He had a key role in enrolling the first members of the Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative and became a charter member of the cooperative in 1939.  Joe organized membership drives and traveled from farm to farm by horseback explaining to each perspective member, in great detail, how rural electrification would enhance their quality of life.


He was one of nine board members selected from the group of 17 that met to form the cooperative. Next he transitioned from serving on the original board of directors to be selected as the first general manager of the cooperative. 


In total he served the cooperative for 28 years. During his term of leadership, Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative was soundly established as a regional provider of electricity to households, farms and business in south central Missouri. He worked diligently to stay abreast of the many changes that were occurring in the early years of rural electrification. Additionally he maintained strong relationships with elected officials to assure that rural electric rate payers always received fair and equitable treatment when it came to impending legislation or regulation. 


Joe represented what it truly means to be a cooperative – people working together.  He was able to bring a common shared vision to the membership as well as to the cooperative employees. He truly was a “once-in-a-lifetime” type of leader.  Joe was the kind of leader who was essential for the cooperative in its infancy years. Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative and its membership continue to benefit from the sound principles initiated by him.



visionary cooperative pioneer; exceptional ability to serve in diverse roles; talent for bringing people together; once-in-a-lifetime leader