L.A. Gates Company was established in Beckley, West Virginia, in January 1985, to provide civil and mining engineering services. Our company continues a tradition of dedicated and continuous service to the mining industry which spans three generations of the Gates family. It began in 1920 when Lauren A. Gates joined Merrill-Ferguson Engineering Company (started in 1905 as E.M. Merrill Engineering Company).
In 1920 Lauren A. Gates established a reputation of providing dependable high quality consulting services to the coal industry in southern West Virginia. After World War II, his son, Leslie C. Gates, joined the firm and continued the Gates philosophy of supplying professional services on time at a reasonable cost. In 1961 the name of the firm was changed to Gates Engineering Company and was incorporated in 1962.
Professional services were expanded to include civil engineering and architectural services both functioning independently, but in addition, provided adjunct services to the mining division in the development of coal properties. In 1972, L.A. Gates, Lauren's grandson, joined Gates Engineering Company, Inc. enhancing the Gates tradition of service. In 1976, services were expanded internationally with a branch office in Sydney, Australia. In 1980, Gates Engineering Company, Inc. became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ebasco Services, Incorporated, a company started by Thomas A. Edison in 1905. In September 1985, Ebasco dissolved the subsidiary. L.A. Gates Company was formed in 1985. The rest of Ebasco went out of business in 1994.
Today, L.A. Gates Company continues to offer the same professional service which started over 100 years ago.
Leslie C. Gates Family Endowment
Gates Family Biographies
Born: November 17, 1918, Dorothy, West Virginia.
Education: B.S. Civil Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
Military: 300th Engineer Combat Battalion, U.S. Army, Commissioned Officer 2nd Lt to Major.
• 1941 to 1946: World War II, European Theater of Operations.
• Crossed the English Channel and entered Normandy on D-Day plus 3.
• Participated in five (5) battles and was a Purple Heart recipient.
Profession: Consulting Engineer
• 1946 to 1954: Associate, Ferguson-Gates Engineering Company, Beckley, West Virginia.
• 1955 to 1958: Partner, Ferguson-Gates Engineering Company, Beckley, West Virginia.
• 1958 to 1961: Owner, Ferguson-Gates Engineering Company, Beckley, West Virginia.
• 1961: Owner, Ferguson-Gates Engineering Company changes its name to Gates Engineering Company.
• 1961: After securing a large mining contract, Gates Engineering Company opens offices in Charleston, Denver, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and later Sydney, Australia.
• 1980: Gates Engineering Company becomes a subsidiary of Electric Bond and Share Corporation (Ebasco).
• 1985: Chairman, L.A. Gates Company, Beckley, West Virginia.
Memberships: AIME, National Society of Professional Engineers, among many others.
Died: September 7, 2008.