ABOUT E.T. Simonds
General Policy Statement
Our reputation as an outstanding company has resulted from the belief that the best methods of construction, use of the best materials available, the best equipment and superior employees is necessary. Management has always required, and will continue to require, that our finished product be of high quality.
The management of E.T. Simonds Construction Company operates its affairs in what we consider to be the best business manner possible. In doing this, we insist that all activity be accomplished in an ethical and honest fashion. We want to do superior work in a quiet manner, using the best equipment, and the best methods available. Our goal is to see that all Owners and/or Customers are pleased with the finished product, and are pleased with E.T. Simonds Construction Company for having done a superior job.
Our company is interested in hiring, and retaining, only those individuals who are willing to provide their services in a fashion consistent with our philosophy and business standards. In other words, we will strive to have superior employees willing to do superior work.
Personnel, whether they be management, the office and engineering support teams, or our field employees, are critical to the quality product, which must also be constructed efficiently and profitably. It is this profitability that perpetuates a healthy business, which in turn, allows compensating employees in an equitable fashion. We believe that our employees should be happy to work for E.T. Simonds Construction Company not only because they are fairly compensated, but also because the company provides a work environment that enables each employee to maintain dignity, self-respect and pride in their work.
E.T. Simonds Materials was formed in 2014.
Short Brothers Construction was purchased in 2014.
Co-founder Mrs. E.T. Simonds passed away in 2014 after living to be 100 years of age.
Kate Simonds Stevens also joined the team in 2006 and currently works for Illini Asphalt.
In December of 2005 Kassy Simonds retired.
In December of 2003, Mrs. Katy Simonds retired after 57 years of service. In March of the following year, Beck Simonds came aboard as an operations manager. Beck was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2013.
Kinkaid Stone quarry was purchased in 1999 and still operates today. Anna Ready Mix was purchased in 1999, operated for 13 years and later sold in 2012.
The third generation entered into the workforce in 1993. Will Pyatt came to work for E.T. Simonds and shortly thereafter was promoted to Operations manager at Anna Quarries. Will is currently the General Manager at Anna Quarries and Kinkaid Stone.
Mr. Eugene T. Simonds passed away May 12, 1989, and the leadership of the company passed to Edward T. (Bill) Simonds, who was elected to be president of E.T. Simonds Construction Co. on May 19, 1989.
In 1986 Kassy Simonds joined E.T. Simonds Construction and eventually became Vice President and Controller.
E.T. Simonds Construction Co. had been operating from the office and shop on West Main Street, a repair shop on Chestnut Street, and a storage yard in the Crab Orchard Refuge area. In 1980, the company built the present office, repair shop, and storage area on 40 acres at the present location, 1500 North Oakland. It has since added another 68 acres of surrounding ground to this area.
In 1975 Bill Simonds bought a distributor and chip box from E.T. Simonds Construction Co. and started in the oil and chip business as Illini Asphalt. The following year Illini Asphalt bought all of the oil and chip equipment from E.T. Simonds Construction Co. and still operates from the Benton location.
Charles Harrison passed on in 1971. Mr. Simonds later purchased Mr. Harrison’s interest from Mrs. Harrison.
Through a series of mergers in 1970 and 1971 the four companies: E.T. Simonds Construction Co., Howell Construction Co., Franklin Asphalt Co., and Gilmore Asphalt Co. all were merged into one, with E.T. Simonds Construction Co. being the survivor.
The 1970’s were good construction years with all the work on I-57 and particularly I-24. During this time E.T. Simonds Construction Co. laid all the hot mix and did all the concrete paving on I-24 from the Ohio River at Metropolis to the I-57 interchange except one three-mile section near Round Knob.
In 1969 the company got in the crushed stone business with the purchase of Anna Quarries and the purchase of Midwest Stone in 1970.
In 1968 another asphalt plant was purchased and erected at Equality; then in 1969 yet another plant was purchased and erected at Harrisburg.
Al Howell retired in 1967 and Gene Simonds purchased his interest in the various companies.
In 1966 Gilmore installed a “BAM” plant at Anna, purchased University Asphalt in the Carbondale Industrial Park, purchased Coles Asphalt in Marion and moved that plant to the University Asphalt Plant site in Carbondale.
The next major step for the company was in May of 1965 when Gilmore Asphalt Co. at Anna was purchased by Gene, Al, and Charlie. Gilmore at that time had one 5,000# asphalt batch plant. This opened the door for other plants to be installed and operated.
Late 1950's - Early 1960's
Through the late 50’s and early 60’s E.T. Simonds Construction Co., Howell Construction Co., and Franklin Asphalt Co. continued to grow and acquire more equipment. The first paving project on I-57 for E.T. Simonds Construction Co. was between IL Rt. 146 and Dongola. Several projects were completed on I-57 between then and when I-57 through District 9 was completed at Cairo in 1975.
The first major paving project for E.T. Simonds Construction Co. was awarded in 1958. This project was the building of new runways for the Springfield Airport.
Howell Construction Co. was started in 1955 with its primary business being concrete and steel structures, while E.T. Simonds Construction Co. did mostly roadway work.
In the fall of 1955 the company moved into the West Main Street office, which it occupied until 1980.
Mr. Campbell’s interest in E.T. Simonds Construction Co.; Howell Engineering Co.; and Franklin Asphalt Co. was purchased in March 1951.
In 1950 the company was awarded its first major project — the basement and foundation work for the Coca-Cola bottling plant in DuQuoin.
In 1949 Gene, Al, Jack, and Charlie Harrison purchased Franklin Asphalt Company in Benton. This company did primarily oil and chip work. That same year the company moved into its first office — what is referred to as the “Old Chicken House.” It was located on Willow Street just west of where the newspaper office is now.
In January 1947 Al Howell joined the company as a partner. Al served in the Army during WWII and also worked at IDOT prior to this.
April 1946, Gene and Katy started their own construction business with Jack Campbell, who had also returned from WWII military service and had worked for IDOT. They started their business with a pickup truck, a wheel barrow and a few shovels doing sidewalks, curb and gutter, pipe culverts, etc., and operated out of their home with Katy as the bookkeeper and Gene in charge of the operations.
Shortly afterwards he was called to active duty to the Army Air Force and served as a navigator aboard a B24 Bomber flying missions over Germany. Gene served with the Army Air Force until January of 1946 at which time he returned to work for IDOT.
In 1937, he married Emma Kathryn Becker and continued to work for IDOT. After three more years he returned to the University of Illinois and graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering. Following graduation he returned to work for IDOT.
Gene started college at the University of Illinois during the 1930’s. After a couple of years he went to work for what is now the Illinois Department of Transportation.