GREENVILLE — Barry Bowers is closing his business of 30-plus years, Greenville Truck and Tractor Repair Shop on Eidson Road.
“We shut down Friday,” said Bowers, who indicated it was time to retire. “I won’t even be 62 until January.”
Bowers began his career at Harvey Hole Mack in Versailles and then went to Kirk Brothers in Troy followed by going to Garner Brothers in Dayton.
While working at Garner’s, he went into the truck and trailer business with good friend Mark Brewer on Potter-Lyons Road, Rossburg, and, after Brewer’s death in 1970, he opened up the business in a building at Hiddeson and Front streets in Greenville for five or six years when it was Treaty City Truck and Trailer. He has been on Eidson Road for 24 or 25 years.
“I have met a lot of great people and a lot of good friends,” he said. “I have a lot of good employees. I’ve learned a lot of things in my years of business.”
Bowers said he has been supportive of the community, such as youth football and softball as well as the Darke County Fair by purchasing livestock.
“Most of all, my kids have been behind me to help me out and the that that I have missed out on in their young years, but all three of them have been successful in their lives,” he said. “There’s a time to say it’s time. With this past year of health problems, it’s time to make a change. I have farmed, raised hogs, drove truck and been a mechanic and I have enjoyed all of it for the past 40-plus years.”
He continued, “I am a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. I learned on the farm and did everything… built a couple of motors and did everything but electric in the house. I have even remodeled homes.”
He extends appreciation for the patronage and support people and customers have given him over the years.
Bowers, who also has five grandchildren, said his business caters to various companies and farmers.
“Ninety percent of our trucks are semis,” he said. “I really don’t like working on cars and I didn’t do tire work. We’ve done it all…. rebuilt motors, put beds on and stretched frames.”
He remembers one year when he worked on the Budweiser Truck and Trailer, which broke down at during the Darke County Fair.
“It took about a day to fix,” he recalled.
His biggest account, he said, was the Council on Rural Services and its bus fleet.
“It has been a fun career,” Bowers said. “If I wouldn’t have been doing this, I would have loved sales.”
One of his mentors was the late Gene Cox, who owned a nearby dairy farm.
“He came here every Thursday at 1 o’clock and drank coffee,” Bowers said. “He even brought me a cat one time to solve the mice issues I had. I still have the cat.”
At the highest point in his business, he had 10 employees and two shifts. Among the long-timers are Chris Levering, Jeremy Scantland, Hank Pohlman and his brother, Ron Bowers.
What’s Barry going to do now?
“I don’t know yet,” he said.
Contact Staff Writer Linda Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 548-3330. Read more news, features and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.