FMG’s history begins in the late 1800s when Mr. Stein Bangs began providing engineering and surveying services to the booming mining industry and budding municipalities of the Black Hills of South Dakota. Quickly becoming synonymous with engineering and surveying in the region, Mr. Bangs partnered with Mr. Stuart Ferguson in 1950. Both professors at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology during their careers, the partners continued the practice of municipal and mining engineering and surveying.

Mr. Ferguson was joined by Mr. Rod Meador in 1967 and by Mr. E Harlan Gellhaus in 1969, adding geotechnical and material testing services that same year. Upon Mr. Ferguson’s retirement in 1972, Mr. Meador and Mr. Gellhaus partnered with Mr. Vinal “Doc” Francis, City Engineer of Rapid City from 1953 to 1959, to form Francis-Meador-Gellhaus, Inc. The group continued to be a leading provider of engineering services in the Black Hills and was commonly known simply as FMG.

After the retirement of Mr. Gellhaus and Doc Francis we existed for a brief period via purchase by Hoskins-Western-Sonderegger, Inc., providing services nationwide, but market forces didn’t allow us to operate in the tradition that the firm was built upon. In 1985, simply retaining the letters of the predecessor firm by which we were commonly known, FMG Engineering was established by Rod Meador, Allen Foster, and R. Rick Baker as principals and retaining all of the assets and personnel of the long established Rapid City office. Al and Rick remain with the firm today.

The current ownership group, most of whom began their careers with FMG more than 30 years ago, continues to build upon that tradition of quality and reliable engineering services started by Stein Bangs more than 115 years ago.

BH railroad surveyors