Buggy Auction from the Heart


A lifetime of memories is going up for sale this weekend. A unique auction features items that were common to many a century ago.

I found that the bidding is special in many ways and will be different in one big way for the auctioneer.

You know, when you hear the holiday classic “Jingle Bells” and the line that says, “in a one-horse open sleigh”…..I know where you can get one.

When Benny Williams displayed just some of his carriages, coaches, buggies and primitives at Honey Creek Mall, a woman from Louisville with a big house could not take her eyes off this one-horse swell bottom sleigh.

Teresa Trotter says, “She asked my Dad, like three times, she said I would love to have that red sleigh in my living room at Christmas time with packages on it. And she was willing to pay top price. Dad wasn’t interested.”

Benny loved all of his possessions with a passion that he sold them to no one but with time that opportunity is now yours with a big auction this weekend.

After Benny and Grace Williams passed away last fall the family felt it was time to sell his collection that began over fifty years ago and now includes 17 different carriages and more and a special place in the hearts of his children.

Teresa says, “To me it looked like a museum, everything in it was just, oh, museum quality.”

Including Mr. Williams’ pride and joy, a Riddle Coach and Hearse Company “Brougham” Coach, vintage 1890 to 1920 that served to carry the surviving family members to the cemetery at a funeral.

These items may look like something from another world but to Benny Williams, they meant his early life–toiling behind a team of horses on a hot Hoosier farm.

Teresa says, “When  he went to the service and served in World War II he thought it was a vacation! Because he plowed the fields with a horse and a plow and things like that.”

Little would Benny Williams think that his collection would be auctioned off with the help of online bidding.  But when the family chose Jeff Boston as the auctioneer, he decided to expand his potential base of bidders.

Auctioneer Jeff Boston says, “We thought, with these buggies, how many people in the surrounding area would be interested in them but, we know there are people but are there enough?  By opening up to the internet why basically the whole country has the opportunity to bid on ’em and that’s our job.”

Come sale day, Jeff’s wife, Amy, will be handling online bids, maybe from that lady in Louisville who loved that red sleigh, but that wouldn’t be all.

Hey, how about a compliment to the open sleigh, these sleigh bells. They’re in mint condition and Jeff told me this is one of his favorite items in the auction.”

And it’s taken nearly a year for Jeff to prepare for this sale with a lot of work.

Jeff says, “I had to reach out to people that were familiar with buggies and carriages and they would say, ‘well, I don’t know a lot about ’em but this person does and so, we’d have those people come and educate us and share their information with us and they’ve been very, very, helpful.”

The auction is Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Williams farm on Woodsmall Drive less than two miles east of U.S. 41.

If you would like to check out some of the items on-line.. go to bostoncentury.com.

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