El Paso Electric forerunner takes over as supplier for the Southwest
On this day in 1901, the El Paso Electric Railway Company took over as supplier of electricity for much of the Southwest from the Brush Electric Light Company. Brush had been organized in the late 1880s by Mayor Joseph Magoffin and the El Paso City Council at the urging of a group of local citizens. By 1890 El Paso pioneer Zach White had taken over the electrical business and installed generating equipment to enable the use of incandescent lamps in the city. The El Paso Electric Railway Company was originally incorporated in 1901 to provide power solely in the El Paso area. In 1905 the company purchased the International Light and Power Company, and in 1914 acquired the electrical divisions of the El Paso Gas and Electric Company. The name was changed to El Paso Electric in 1925. The company expanded into New Mexico. As it subsequently grew, it extended its services to other communities and added capacity from new generating plants, including nuclear and solar voltaic generators. By the 1990s the company was serving 550,000 customers over an area of 10,000 square miles.