"Back then, there were maybe 50 wreckers all over the county," Butts told the Banner Graphic. "We started a rotation between all of us and that really helped. Before it was kind of harem, scarem. With the rotation everybody got a turn."
"It was good for those who were new to the business too. It got them some business right away," he added. Butts was instrumental in the creation of that rotation process.
After 19 years, he is hanging up his towing hat. His cousin Jerry Butts recently took over the towing service. Steve has kept his other enterprises, which include U-Haul rentals and welding gas and supplies. He'll even keep his building.
Jerry has moved the tow trucks a little higher up the hill where they have a storage area as part of their 17 acres of land. Jerry has worked with Steve for a number of years and has operated all kinds of industrial equipment and trucks. He was also a crane operator. Jerry has been the chief operator for the Steve's Wrecker for over 13 years.
Butts rented his first office space in 1990 and in 1991 he took over the Ford tractor building. Then in 1994 he built the current building. His towing service has been part of the city, county and state police rotation for a number of years.
Butts tells some entertaining stories about some of his wrecker calls. He recalled having to pull a car out of a quarry lake after putting it in the water for an episode of Highway Patrol.
"I still see that episode every once in awhile on one of the old channels," he smiled.
Butts finds it hard to believe that he has answered over 28,000 calls in the last 19 years.
"We've had 80 fatalities out of those calls. That's when it's hard. But, anytime you can help somebody it's good. I get a kick out of helping people," he added.
Butts is also proud to have worked with so many emergency management people in Putnam County.
"This county is so fortunate with volunteers here. They really work at being so professional. When we first started out here, we had to do a lot of what the emergency people do now. We carried equipment to open up cars and do a lot of what they do now. We're the last one they call now. It's neat that emergency management has come so far," said Butts.
"I'm really grateful to all my pals with the Greencastle Fire Department, our volunteer fire fighters and all the law enforcement agencies that protected me at all their calls. And Putnam county Dispatch has always been there serving with integrity and honesty," he reflected.
Steve and his wife Jenny have been married for 32 years and have three daughters and one son. Jenny works in the family business alongside Steve. His daughter Kim also works for the business.
The couple will continue to handle U-Haul business and are expanding their welding supplies. They already provide oxygen and acetylene gas for welding.
They are located at 1135 N. Jackson St. in Greencastle. For information about Steve's Enterprises call 765-653-8600.