History of Curtis Plumbing Co., Inc.
Curtis Plumbing started operations in Tucson, Arizona on June 21, 1973. The first service call was to reset a toilet that was pulled in a drug raid by the police. Bill Curtis, the owner, was the first plumbing service technician, and performed sewer and drain cleaning and service repairs by himself for several years. Bill’s initial plumbing experience was in the new construction plumbing trade. Bill had no formal training in the service repair field; however, he gained knowledge from other service plumbers in the community and was basically self-taught.
Cheryl Lynn Curtis served as secretary, dispatcher, and bookkeeper for the first eight years of operation. The Curtis’ operated out of their homes at 4225 E. 28th St. and 1401 N. Goebel. During those early years, the Curtis’ had two sons “Fes” Kenneth on February 5, 1974 and “Harley” Keith on July 7, 1975. On September 25, 1979, the Curtis’ moved to 3779 E. Kleindale Rd. A portion of the building was used as their residence and the balance was used for offices and plumbing supply warehouses. In March of 1988 the Curtis’ moved into their “dream home,” which they designed and built, and the property on Kleindale was used primarily for business thereafter.
In the summer of 1975, Curtis Plumbing hired their first plumbing apprentice, Dale Smith. As the years progressed, many other apprentices and plumbing technicians have followed. In late 1978, Lily Titone was hired to assist Cheryl in the office. In November 1981, Curtis Plumbing hired their first experienced bookkeeper, Diane Burton. Fes Curtis was active in the business from the age of 8, assisting his dad and digging trenches.
During the early years, Curtis Plumbing gained a reputation for having honest, hardworking service techs and reasonable rates. The owners invested 12-16 hour days to build a business focussed on quality workmanship and material. The owners also strive to treat all employees fairly and reward their work with sufficient pay and benefits. Bill Curtis became a licensed Plumbing Contractor in September 1977. In April 1981, the business was incorporated with Bill and Cheryl as sole stockholders. In 1979, the company bought their first piece of excavation equipment, a Kubota mini backhoe. In 1980, the first pump truck was built, and Curtis Plumbing began pumping septic tanks, grease traps and sand traps. In 1985, the first full size backhoe was purchased, and Curtis Plumbing again expanded to installing more septic tanks and leach fields as well as connecting homes to the city sewer system.
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