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History2017-09-21T15:30:22-05:00

OUR HISTORY

In the late 1890s, when Americans relied heavily on trains and waterways to travel the country, and giant corporations like General Electric were just getting started, forward-thinking Charles Alfred (C.A.) Sheppard embarked on a path as an entrepreneur.

He could not have known that leaving his post as a professional engineer for Louisville and Nashville Railroad to offer land surveying and engineering services was the start of a legacy, a legacy still going strong after more than 120 years.

At the turn of the 20th century, C.A. partnered with his brother-in-law, W.H. Morgan. Together, the men solidified their business in Edwardsville, IL. and continued to offer land surveying and engineering services to a variety of clients.

While Sheppard and Schwaab were cultivating their business, C.A.’s son, C.H. Sheppard, attended engineering school and obtained his degree at U of I in 1917. Rather than immediately joining his father’s firm, C.H. chose first to serve his country in World War I. After completing his military service, he gained experience in both the public and private sectors until he formed his own partnership with John Schwaab in1921. The pair operated in Alton, IL.

Although working in two separate partnerships, the four men helped each other build strong businesses and reputations. But in 1928, an automobile accident took the life of C. A. Sheppard and led to merging of the two firms. That year, the company formally became Sheppard, Morgan & Schwaab Engineers, with offices in Alton and Edwardsville.

By 1945, both Schwaab and Morgan had passed away, leaving no heirs and C.H. Sheppard with the company. Ten years later, C.H.’s son, C.L. Sheppard, joined his father in the business and remains today as the Chairman of the Board. His son, C.A., who goes by Cas, joined the firm in 1981. Cas assumed the role as President in 2001 and continues to manage the day-to-day operations of the company.

Today we live in a world where in just a few hours, one can travel to the other side of the country by plane and small business is the backbone of our economy. At SMS, our tools of the trade may be different, but the traditional values on which the company was founded still guide us: hard work, dedication to clients and attention to detail.

COVID-19 Notice:

As we navigate through the new, unprecedented waters of the COVID-19 pandemic, please know that we take this seriously.  SMS is committed to the well-being of our clients, employees, their families and the general population.

On March 20, 2020, Governor Pritzker announced a mandatory closing of all non-essential businesses to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.  According to his order, our office at 215 Market Street will be closed through April 7, 2020. However, all SMS team members are working remotely in order to maintain a continuity of business.

If you need to get a message to anyone at our office, you can go to our website, under the “Company” tab and then select “People”.  This lists most of our employees and their e-mail link.  If you don’t know specifically who you need to contact, you may send an email to Susan Weaver at sweaver@smsengineers.com and she will forward your email to the appropriate person.

We appreciate your understanding during these unusual times.  We will continue to monitor the situation, and we will update our website if any changes to the above notice occur.

Thank you!