Our History

Lighting the way in Oklahoma for over 90 years

Shawver & Son, Inc. started as McEldowney & Son Electrical Contractors in 1919. McEldowney hired John W. Shawver as an electrical engineer and electrical construction supervisor in 1947. He acquired all of the McEldowney family interest in 1954, and in 1956, after the return of John W. Shawver II from military service in Korea the name was changed to Shawver & Son, Inc.


Pictured: John Shawver, John Shawver II, Dan Cheatham, Chris Schoolcraft, Don Schluchter

Founder and Leaders:

Originally from Shoshoni, Wyoming, our founder John W. Shawver, Sr. PE graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado in 1925. He moved to Oklahoma City in the 1920’s working as a field engineer for OG&E. Shawver “Senior” helped build much of the high-voltage underground electrical grid system of downtown Oklahoma City. 

John W. Shawver, Jr., PE attended the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a BS Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado in 1953. After working for Westinghouse Electric in Pittsburg and a tour with the USAF in Korea he joined the company in 1956 becoming president in 1966. John II and Dan Cheatham expanded the company into major commercial, manufacturing and institutional construction projects throughout Oklahoma in the 1960’s and ‘70’s building schools, grocery stores, shopping malls, hotels, lock & dam and manufacturing facilities and becoming one of Oklahoma’s largest electrical contractors.

Dan Cheatham was president from 1981 until his retirement in 1992, when John W. Shawver III became president. Dan was a Korea veteran Marine and had degrees in mathematics and Chemistry. John III graduated with a BSEE from OU in 1985 and Don Schluchter, PE, also an OU graduate served as president from 2010 to 2018.

All of the Shawvers, as well as Dan Cheatham and Chris Schoolcraft have served as President of the Western Oklahoma Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). Chris served as District 5 Vice President of NECA national from 2005-2008 representing the southwestern region of the U.S and was instrumental in implementing the construction electrician and construction wireman programs nationally. Officers of the company have served on numerous national, state and local regulatory bodies and code-making committees.

For over 100 years the company has grown from a few electricians and engineers to hundreds. Our employees are the best trained in the electrical construction business. Every project is planned and constructed to meet or exceed our customers’ specifications. We have always strived to provide the best quality and meet the highest standards of professional service.