Engelbert Gast was a young sculptor and stone carver who emigrated from Füssen in Bavaria (Germany). He worked with the artist Leonard Wells Volk in making the bronze life masks and hands of Abraham Lincoln. After joining Buscher, he worked in marble, Indiana limestone, and granite.
In 1906, Engelbert's son, Joseph F., born in 1873, bought out Mr. Buscher (the Buscher of Buscher & Gast, later partner of Engelbert Gast in Gast Monuments) and renamed the business Joseph F. Gast Monumental Works. The company began focusing on the design and carving of memorials.