H.M.S. Enterprises was founded in the early 1960's by Henry M. Smith of St. Paul, Kansas, who owned and operated several grain elevators in the Erie, Stark, and St. Paul areas of Southeast Kansas. Smith's son, H. Miles Smith, Jr. (Miles), worked for him in several capacities and another son, Lawrence C. Smith (Larry) was part owner and operator of another grain elevator concern, S&S Grain.
In those days crews that would reclaim spilled grain from railroad accidents were few, so the three, Henry, Miles, and Larry, would often work together to perform just such a service. Besides reclaiming the grain for other companies they would occasionally bid on it themselves. Eventually they were asked to submit bids on other railroad salvage and did so. When storage was needed for these items S&S Grain, Inc. purchased a warehouse next to its grain elevator office in Brazilton, KS to store these items such as lumber, furniture, appliances, or other miscellaneous railroad salvage.
In February of 1965 Henry, Larry, & Miles formed the company "Derailed Commodities" to market railroad and insurance salvage, close-out inventory, and unclaimed goods. In August of 1967 the company began to merchandise building materials such as paneling and lumber. This is considered the founding of the present day company.
In 1969 Larry and Miles traded some paneling for carpet which was the beginning of what would eventually lead to over 16 million dollars a year in floor covering sales today!
In 1970 Derailed Commodity was incorporated as a division of H.M.S. Enterprises, Inc. with Henry, Miles, and Larry each owning approx imately an equal share.
Enterprises, Inc. In 1973 outlets were opened in Butler, Mo and Independence, KS. They were warehoused from the home retail operation in Brazilton, KS which went from a mere 8,500 square foot of warehouse space in 1968 to more than 40,000 square feet by 1989! In 1974 the Emporia, KS; Joplin, MO; and Fayette, MO stores were added. During the years between 1974 and 1984 locations were opened and closed in Topeka, KS; Ft. Smith, AR; Oklahoma City, OK; and Springfield, MO. Eventually in 1984 a successful Topeka operation was begun. 1985 saw an affiliate opened in Chillicothe, Missouri bringing the number of stores at that time to 8.
In 1988 two stores using a new marketing approach were started in Grand Island, NE, and Enid, OK. Instead of using the Derailed Commodity moniker of the past, they were called "Carpet Plus, Warehouse Sales". This new approach, although not totally different from the way business was performed at the "Derailed Commodity" locations, involved doing business under a name that better identifies the retailing category carpet, plus other home improvement items and magnifies the warehouse sales philosophy that H.M.S. & Derailed has embodied since 1967. That warehouse sales philosophy is to buy only those goods that can be bought at low prices, stocking large quantities of everything sold, courteous sales service without pressure sales, along with keeping costs down so that the customer will find greater values!
This philosophy turned out to be successful enough that in 1989 the Topeka and Emporia, KS locations underwent extensive remodeling and were renamed "Carpet Plus Warehouse Sales" In 1990 a "Carpet Plus" was opened in Hiawatha, Kansas and then Sedalia, Missouri in 1995.
In 2001 the corporation purchased the "Carpet Barn" flooring store in Springfield, Missouri keeping their names "Carpet Barn" and "Carpet One of Springfield". In 2002 HMS opened a "Carpet Plus" store in Manhattan, KS. 2004 saw the consolidation of Carpet One into the Carpet Barn building and the addition of "Carpet Plus, Bargain Barn" in Maryville, Missouri bringing the total number of stores to 15, all with central distribution and offices out of Brazilton, KS.
Late 2004 saw the company add furniture to its merchandising mix in several locations, Chillicothe and Enid. When a new retail building was built at Brazilton they built enough square footage to add furniture to it's retail floor. In 2005 a stand alone furniture store was opened at the site of the previous flooring store on South 10th street in Independence, Kansas.
After Henry's retirement in 1978, Larry and Miles bought his stock and became full owners of H.M.S. Henry passed away in 1991. Larry went into semi-retirement in 1990 and passed away in October of 2002. Miles Smith entered in to semi-retirement in 2004 transfering day to day responsibilities onto his and Larry's children to continue the operation. Miles continues to be a presence at the company, consulting the next generation on important matters and has on occasion been called upon to fill in when resources are stretched. Miles was available for support when the 16th flooring outlet was opened in January of 2006 in Kirksville, Missouri.
The total number of full time equilvalent employees number nearly over 90, with over 20 working out of the Southeast Kansas headquarters.