Saturday, October 07, 2006



A New Field for Auctioneers
By Robert A. Doyle, CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA

50th President of the National Auctioneers Association
Principal Auctioneer/Appraiser Absolute Auction & Realty, Inc.


Robert A. Doyle

CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA

In 1902, farmer hired auctioneer to negotiate with girl for marriage, but then auctioneer had to sue to collect his pay. Reprinted from the Times-Republican of Marshalltown , Iowa.

Kensett, Iowa (Jan. 1, 1902) – The most novel action ever brought to the notice of the courts and the public took place here when one Louis Gullickson, an auctioneer, who is endowed with an unusual gift of versatility and business tact, sued a prosperous young farmer living seven miles west of Kensett to recover the balance due him under a verbal agreement for services to have been rendered in securing for said defendant a handsome and highly respected young lady who resided in the same neighborhood for a wife.

It is authoritatively stated that said defendant was so thoroughly imbued and hypnotized to the idea by Louis Gullickson that such an agreement was entered into.

The services were rendered in good faith as agreed, as the knot was tied in due legal fashion and in a very short time after negotiations had been opened up, to the entire satisfaction of all transacting parties. Forty dollars was then paid said auctioneer for services said to have been rendered in affiliating the two hearts, but as is often the case with verbal agreements the balance was never paid to the irreparable loss and dismay of the Auctioneer, who had evidently worked faithfully in the discharge of his duties in uniting said defendant to his present wife, who although living in the same neighborhood, was noted to be a trifle shy and adverse in affiliating with the gentler sex. For this non-fulfillment of this promise to pay plaintiff brought action before Justice Herb T. Finch. The Auctioneer ended up with another $29, making his total fee $69. (Note: $69 in 1902 would be equivalent to $1,376.57 in today's dollars.)

Auctioneer's Poem

The following poem was extracted from the June 1 st 1904 NATIONAL AUCTIONEER magazine. It was submitted by auctioneer George Largent of Quenemo , Kansas on February 29, 1904 .

The past season's been a corker,
For there's auction everywhere.
And I can say quite truly
That I sure got my share.

I have gone in all directions,
Like the rays from out the sun.
I went for what was in it
And I worked hard for the “mon.”

I've talked to crowds that shivered
As they stood out in the cold.
And I did my best to cheer them up,
To bid on what I sold.

I've had sales for the rich and wealthy and sales for the poor and low.
I've had sales that went a flying
And sales that were mean and slow.

Yet I try to meet them all alike
No matter where I go,
I do my best to please them
And to make their purses grow.

And I always treat my bidders
Just as nicely as I can.
For the only way to do it
Is to prove you are a man.

I never load on whiskey,
And I never steal a bid.
For my name would then be “Dennis”
If the people found I did.

Yours as ever, George Largent.

A turn of the century cardboard photo of a “Lively-Hustler”. Early photos of auctioneers are rare.

Note the symbol on the wall of the three balls representing the trade sign of a pawnbroker. Also, the auctioneer's flag is rolled up on a pole out front. Obviously, it was not an auction day.


A Sample of Auction Sales that took Place in January of 1902 by State :

Colorado : C.T. Ward , Denver had an auction extraordinary of elegant house furnishings on Jan 2 nd . J.R Ward Auction House of Denver has three house sales a week. The Besser Auction Co., Denver had a big fire sale of high grade furniture on Jan 7 th , high grade goods on Jan. 12, furniture on Jan 13. Col. C.T. Rodendaugh, Denver had a ranch auction on Jan. 6 th .

Connecticut : Alfred Powell, New Haven sold real estate, H.G. Bestor, Hartford sold property of a palace Amusement Park on Jan 15 which fetched $107,000.

Idaho : A. Anderson, Boise sold household goods on Jan 18 th .

Illinois : J.K. Hawkins, Pekin , ILL had a farm auction on Jan 16 th . C.L. Greer of LaHarpe sold livestock on Jan 21 st .

Indiana : L.W. Loveless, LaFayette , sold contents of a residence Jan 16 th , G.W. McGurdy, Indianapolis , sold furniture and pianos on Jan 9 th .

Iowa : D.T. Cravens & Co. Maquoketa opened a big merchandise auction at Clinton on Jan. 4 th . C.L. Hopfe, Hartley, closed a land deal of 320 acres on Jan. 5 th . William Holiday of Greenfield had 21 auction sales in January. Col. A.R. Guy was the auctioneer for the Knoxville Horse Auction Co. that held a large horse auction on Jan.24 th .

Kansas : Col. H.E. Hager, Council Grove had a $10,000 auction of a general stock commencing on Jan. 4 th . J.P. McCormick of Mt. Hope , sold a farm of 240 acres on Jan. 8 th for $9,250.

Kentucky : R.L. Dickerson, Henderson , sold 52 lots in the town of Sebree in January.

Louisiana : United Auction and Bargain Co. of New Orleans sod $10,000 worth of merchandise on Jan 13 th . Harry Hodgson, New Orleans , sold 100 bales cotton.

Maryland : Jos. B. Nyburg of Baltimore sold fine furniture and pianos.

Massachusetts : Otis H. Forbush, Acton , sold 20 cows and personal property on Jan 10, 40 head of cattle on Jan 23.

Michigan : Fred Krause, Ann Arbor , sold a Toll House and Tools. Jesse Thompson of Bear Lake sold a farm and livestock.

Missouri : Kansas City Auction Co., Kansas City sold carpets, tapestries, etc. George P. Dixon, St. Joseph sold fancy furniture and Ike Mathis, Maysville sold livestock on January 13 th .

Montana : A.J. Vance, Great Falls , sold mules on Jan 4 th .

Nebraska :.P. Thompson, Lyons , sold out a harness and hardware store Jan. 17 th .,Will Watts of Elm Creek had a livestock and farm auction on Jan. 4 th .

New Jersey : Carey & Sons, Elizabeth, had five auctions in January. C.A. Tissot of Jersey City had 3 auctions, as didJ.E. Van Winkle of Jersey City . D.D. Baird of Newark had 8 auctions.

New Mexico : H.S. Knight, Albuquerque, sold drug store fixtures and household items.

New York : Benjamen S. Wise of NYC had 3 auctions in Janaury, Harry Fisher of NYC had 6. Ira Crandall of Cortland had a farm auction on Jan 8 th .

Ohio : Link T. Snodgrass, Sidney , had 11 auctions in January. D.J. Hoover, Inland, had about 50 auctions in January. Dan I. Murray, Cincinnati , had an auction of approximately $10,000 worth of diamonds, watches, etc.

Oklahoma : Col. S.K. Noland, Oklahoma City , had many real estate auctions.

South Carolina : Chas. C. Tighe, Charleston , sold household furniture Jan 15 th . Henry Schachte, Charleston , sold a splendid home on Jan 14. Jas. F. Redding, Charleston , sold 29 lots Jan 21 st .

South Dakota : T.S. Waters sod farm land and livestock on Jan. 8 th , O.M. Merritt, Parker, sold livestock on Jan 6 th .

Tennessee : M. Plough, Memphis , sold out a photo studio on Jan. 13 th . A.D. Powers, Memphis , had a large dry goods and shoes at wholesale Jan 20 th .

Texas : W.N. Fritter, Galveston , sold library buildings. Turner and Harvey, San Antonio sold new furniture. Capt. J.A. Hosack, Cleburne , held his 118 th town lot sale at El Paso Jan. 14 th . These lots were sold at $3.50 an acre. W.R. Hilton, McKinney , had daily auctions on the town Public Square .

Utah : K.A. Andrews, Salt Lake City , sold furniture Jan 7 th .

Virginia : Samuel Lunt, Alexandria sold real estate.

Washington : E.G. Bickerton, Seattle, sold Christmas goods on Dec. 16th , followed by 6 “Monster Furniture Auctions” in Jan. Joe Martin, Seattle, sold furniture Jan 9 th . Martin and Fox, Seattle, assisted by Wm. Fitz sold a damaged steamship cargo on Jan. 7th .

Wisconsin : C,J. Hyde, Fennimore, sold livestock on Jan. 3rd . Nicholas Bailey, Dodgeville, had a farm auction on Jan 7th .


2006-08-11

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