Marshall Fouts was born in 1924 in the Lotla Community of Macon
County. His earliest memory of electricity was lights in the house.
"We did not have a refrigerator or washing machine, just light
bulbs." He states that he was ten years old when his home received
electricity and remembers sitting around the oil lamp doing homework.
"When electricity came we moved around the entire house and did
things after dark. Lights were hung from a wire in the ceiling
and had a little chain that was pulled to turn the lights on and
off. Electric lights made a big difference in our lives."
Work in the general store that Marshall
Foutsí father ran was made easier due to electricity. Before electricity
a hand pump was used to pump gas into a glass globe where it was
then measured. Customers could only measure ten gallons at a time
before emptying it out and starting all over again. However, "after
electricity you could pump as much gas as it took to fill up a
"We were one of the few families in
the community that had electricity, so families from all over
the community would gather at the house and listen to the Grande
Ole Opry on the radio every Saturday night. We would also listen
to World Championship boxing matches as well." He remembers that
most individuals did not understand electricity. He even admits
that he didnít fully understand it until high school.
In his home he remembers carrying water
from the spring house to the house before electricity. His family
then got a hand pump with a lever and was able to pump it instead
of carrying it from the spring. However, life became much easier
when they received electricity and his father installed an electric
pump and was able to pump water onto the back porch.
Within his community his church and
school received electricity which allowed them to "put on plays
after dark." He states that, "electrification was very positive,
it was a change for the better."