Michelmann Steel Celebrates 150 Years in Business

Past to present (L-R): Michelmann Steel Construction Co. in 1940 and a current staff group photo. (Photos courtesy of Michelmann Steel)

AISC Member fabricator Michelmann Steel Construction Company, located in Quincy, Ill., is celebrating a century and a half of business this year.

The company was founded 1865 and had its beginnings as a boiler and tank shop. Founder J.H. Michelmann was born in Prussia in 1830 and came to America at the age of 23, where he went to work for a boilermaker named Valentine Stegemueller in Evansville, Ind. In 1855, Michelmann moved to Quincy with the business and a year later, he bought a small boiler and tank shop from Stegemueller and started the Michelmann Boiler Company with his son, Henry L. Michelmann.

In 1898 the company moved to its present Quincy location, taking over the old Aetna Iron Works. The building has been enlarged several times, most recently in 1956. In July of 1900 the company was incorporated, and due to the increased emphasis on fabricated structural steel, its name was changed to Michelmann Steel Construction Company.

Michelmann’s current president, Laura Gerdes Ehrhart, is the great-great-granddaughter of founder J.H. Michelmann, and the daughter of the company’s fourth president William F. Gerdes III.

The Central Fabricators Association will be recognizing Michelmann Steel Construction Co. for this achievement on April 27 at their spring meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel in Chicago.

Photo at right: A look inside Michelmann's steel fabrication facility today.