Over the past 45 years, several Morehouse businesses have come and gone. Some of those businesses made a mark on the parish, others did not, but Tubbs Wrecker Service has continued to help the people of Morehouse by providing quality service to those in need
Zane Tubbs joined his father-in-law, Howard Yates in the ambulance and wrecker business 45 years ago today, June 12, 1968. At that time, Yates had been in business with his brother, Vader Yates for about 25 years, running the Yates Brother Service Station. Tubbs bought out Vader and the station became Yates and Tubbs Wrecker and Ambulance Service. It provided services to the community in both the medical and the towing fields as well as a full-service gas station and a hang-out for mill workers and coffee drinkers.
"For many years, customers could pull up at the gas pumps, have their gas pumped for them and receive a tire pressure check and a clean windshield," Tubbs said.
The station was originally a Phillip's 66 station, owned by Wimberly Oil Company in Oak Ridge, with Yates and Tubbs renting the property located at 729 East Madison.
Tubbs was able to purchase Howard Yates' portion of the business around 1983 and he continued the same top quality service to his customers. Eventually, he purchased the land and building.
Over the years, there were changes in staff as well as services offered, but two employees have been with Tubbs since almost the beginning.
Tubbs' youngest son, Steve was born in 1969 and has been a part of the history of the station his entire life.
"We would look up when Steve was little and he would be asleep in the display case in the front of the station," Tubbs said.
Both of Tubbs' sons, Mike and Steve, worked around the station for most of their younger lives but Mike decided he would rather pursue a career in law enforcement, which he began when he was 19 and he is now the Sheriff of Morehouse Parish. Both sons did go through Emergency Medical Technician School and worked on the ambulance until it was sold in 1995.
Tubbs purchased land on the Crossett Highway in 1990 and began Tubbs Auto Salvage and Wrecker, with Steve stationed there.
Fred Robinson began working for Tubbs on May 4, 1974 and continues to drive a wrecker for him.
"When I started, I did a little bit of everything from washing cars to pumping gas to changing the oil in vehicles to driving a wrecker," Robinson said. "I've quit a few times and Zane has fired me a few times, but I never really left for any long period of time."
Tubbs has also worked with Clarence Hogan, owner of Hogan's Wrecker service for many years.
"Hogan has always been right there any time I have ever needed him and I am extremely grateful for that relationship."
Tubbs is thankful for the faith the community has placed in him and his staff over the years.
"I appreciate all of those who have called us to help them all these years. From towing their vehicles to putting gas in them and inspecting them, we have always strove to do the best for our customers," Tubbs continued. "I have been very blessed to be a part of Morehouse Parish through the ups and downs and this community has been very good to me and my family.
"I have worked many tragedies as well as wrecks that were quite humorous and have seen laws change in both the ambulance and towing field. I have been able to watch my son, Steve, grow up and join me in this business and I feel like Fred is a part of the family, we've been together so long. I have also made many good friends over the years and truly am appreciative for all the support we have received."