Barton's Service Center has been
operating in Aurora since 1976,
but our roots began even before that...

 

Company History

Jim "Blackie" Barton began working for the public in the automotive field in the fall of 1973. That was when he opened a small Vickers gas station on the outskirts of Crane, Missouri, on Hwy 13 (a popular route to Branson and Silver Dollar City). Things were going pretty well until the infamous gas shortage of the 70's. His station was out of gas--literally. In his pursuit of finding a supplier of gasoline, he stumbled upon a closed Phillips 66 gas station and garage at the junction of Hwy 60 and Business 60 in Aurora, Missouri (the present day location of Gary Wood Chrysler).

He thought running the Phillips 66 station would be a great opportunity so he moved his family to Aurora. He found he really enjoyed working with the public and working on automobiles. He immediately became involved in the community and with many civic organizations. Soon after starting up the station, he got the idea that the town could use another wrecker service. He decided to offer a towing service along with automotive repair. He built his first wrecker with parts and pieces given to him or salvaged by him. He liked it so much and was so successful with it that it wasn't long before he had a top-of-the-line wrecker.

In 1976 he left the Phillips 66 station and built an independently owned and operated two bay garage out of "recycled" materials (ie: "used"). With that, "Blackie Barton's Garage" was officially born. In 1980, he expanded by adding two additional, larger bays at the south end of the existing shop. That worked so well that in 1985 he added another three bay addition to the north end. The business was still growing and the wrecker service now included a fleet of four wreckers.

In 1997, his wife and office manager, Linda, decided it was time to expand again. However, there was no where left to expand at this location. Fortunately, the Bartons owned the land just to the west of the original location. A new building was constructed on that land and occupied in September 1998. It was also then that "Blackie Barton's Garage" became "Barton's Service Center, Inc".

Blackie was now 66 years old and thought it was time to hand off the business to his son, Darrin. He would now rather fish than go on wrecker calls, so the bulk of the wrecker fleet was sold. He did keep his pride and joy, a 2000 Dodge wrecker, for continuing the wrecker business on a reduced scale.

In January of 2009, Blackie became ill. He discovered in May that he had cancer. Blackie died in August of 2009 due to cancer related complications--leaving the business to Darrin to carry on.

Carry on it does. Barton's Service Center continues the traditions of top-quality automotive repair and outstanding customer service that were started by Jim "Blackie" Barton (and, yes, we still have a wrecker to provide towing services to our shop). Although Blackie may no longer be with us, his vision will continue to serve the people of this community and its visitors for years to come....


"Through the Years" Photo Gallery

Owner washing a windshield? Yup. Blackie circa 1975.

No doubt who is coming in this wrecker.

The Phillips 66 Crew circa 1975.

Original garage and first addition.

Santa?? Or, Mrs. Claus? Either way, we're glad to help!

Wrecker parked at home.

Wrecker Fleet.

Darrin Barton inspects the new shop construction progress.

The new shop "Barton's Service Center, Inc." circa Fall 1998.

Current look of Barton's Service Center.

We will be add more info and pics as time allows.