Choctaw Electric Cooperative, Inc (CEC) was incorporated June 8, 1940, after a small group of rural Choctaw County residents gathered in Hugo, Oklahoma in May of the same year to discuss rural electrification. The group was compelled to come together following the creation of Rural Electrification Administration (REA) just a few years earlier by the federal government. REA opened the door for newly formed cooperatives to bring electricity to areas overlooked by for-profit electric companies. Once CEC was officially incorporated, the founders set out to find enough applicants who wanted electric service to warrant a federal loan for the initial electrification project. On November 10, 1941, electricity began flowing for the first time to CEC customers.