The real fun began after the Internet bidding of some 450 catalogued items ended at Dinky's Auction barn. The sale was to sell the estate, affectionately and appropriately called a farm museum, of Carl Villwock of Edwardsport. Carl passed away in the summer of 2010.
His farm museum consisted of at least three buildings and anyone who ever visited saw the gleam in his eye as he gave person tours. Every item in the museum had a story, either of what it was or of how Carl obtained it. At least, almost every item had a story.
Some 10 wagonloads of merchandise plus two rows of bigger items outside weren't sold on the Internet. These treasures were for the locals and those who came in person to pick through. As it was, it took the auction company staff of four to six people several days to sort through and photograph the items that were offered over the Internet.
One year ago Doug Abney bought an item at the Benton Central FFA consignment sale that he didn't intend to buy. It was also held this year on March 26.
Thinking he was bidding on a gate, he wound up with an $8 what-cha-ma-call-it instead. After the picture ran in the magazine, more than one reader identified it as a speed jack, although it looked like anything but something related to speed. Apparently, it was used in the days of sinning ear corn in cribs to transfer power to the elevator, or some such use.
Here's a real event from the Villwock sale that brings that story to mind. An auction goer who arrived late and just wanted to see what all the fuss was about at the auction barn that day, found the 10 wagon loads of goodies inside the barn, with auctioneers and crowds descending upon them.
Then he watched one lady bid $7.50, and smile as she got the winning bid. The auction helper handed it down to her. The auction goer observing all this is familiar with horse-drawn-equipment and tools and modern equipment of all kinds. But he had never seen anything that looked quite like this.
"Ma'am, excuse me, if you don't' mind," he said. "Just what is that thing that you just bought anyway? What was it used for?"
She gave him an inquisitive look. "I really don't know, it just looked cool," she said. "Do you know what it is?"
The best guess turned out to be some sort of candle mold device, but it was quickly determined no one knew for sure. Maybe the only person who knew took the secret with him when he went to a better place—then again, maybe he didn't know either! His son, Don, is pretty sure his dad forgot he even had some of the stuff that was tucked away here and there in every corner of every building possible.