My daughter named it (him?) when she was little. He doesn't look like anything special when you see him up close, like in this first photo:
Steve's profile may be a bit thinner than an average cottonwood. That's because he lives close to powerlines, so his branches on the east get trimmed by the utility company from time to time. He is quite tall, but not necessarily taller than any other mature cottonwood. However, it just so happens that Steve was planted on the top of a small hill, which gave him a height advantage, so to speak. The result is that Steve's apparent loftiness is way above that of any other tree in the area.
This is not obvious to one who views Steve from the top of his hill, or from a relatively close perspective. But when viewed from a greater distance by someone with clear vision, Steve's towering height is striking, as shown in this photo:
That shows what my daughter noticed when she was little. She thought a tree of that stature deserved to be recognized somehow, so she gave him a name.
When she pointed this out to me, I figured we should go find him. That ended up being quite a bit more difficult than it sounds. I now know that in the photo above, Steve is 1.7 miles away from the camera. However, after one has gone just a few blocks further ahead, down into a valley, Steve disappears from view behind trees that are closer. So at first I knew only his direction, but not his distance. After driving around in an unsuccessful search, I finally consulted a topo map in order to find the ridge where Steve was probably located, and that narrowed down the range.