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Ginkels say goodbye to auctions

After five decades of service

October 7, 2012
By Fritz Busch - Staff Writer , The Journal

NEW ULM - After five decades of auctioneering, Nancy and John Ginkel will have to find something else to do on Saturdays and just about every other day of the week.

The Ginkels held their final auction Saturday afternoon at the Brown County Youth Coliseum. They served cookies and lemonade to auction-goers and got hugs and well wishes in return.

"Now we'll get our Saturdays back," Nancy Ginkel said after Saturday's auction. "We'll go to weddings and I can start shoveling the house out and doing more quilting and gardening."

Article Photos

Staff photo by Fritz Busch
After more than 40 years of area service, Nancy and John Ginkel hold their final auction Saturday at the Brown County Youth Coliseum. Future auction sales requests should be directed to John Dietz or Larry Krenz.

John Ginkel said he'll keep busy with woodworking and seeing more of the grandchildren.

Nancy said she was introduced to auctioneering while dating John.

"I remember being asked to come to an auction back then because they needed another clerk. The rest is history," she added.

Nancy said some of the more interesting things she and her husband auctioned off included a Civil War soldier's diary, jars of Morel mushrooms that sold for $20 a jar at a household auction, an Essig train station sign, an alter from the former St. Alexander Hospital in New Ulm, the former Beyer's Steak House serving bar and a cooking crock that sold for $3,200.

John said some of the more unusual items he recalled selling included a bear trap for $4,000 and holding a household auction in New Ulm decades ago.

"It was like walking into the past, going into the house," Ginkel said. "There was an old ice box instead of a refrigerator and a Model A in the garage."

John said one of the biggest auctioneering changes he lived through was how to handle household auctions.

"Until the early 1980's, they were held at the house with lots of things lying on the ground. All I had to do was ride a bicycle to the auction," he added. "Since then, they've been held someplace else, often at the Brown County Youth Coliseum. It's a lot more work, organizing everything, hauling things around on hay racks and putting items on tables."

Nancy said her husband often spent his weekdays organizing weekend auctions, usually taking items from a big pile spreading them out at a remote auction site on his own time.

The Ginkels asked their website visitors to direct future auction sales to John Dietz or Larry Krenz. For more information, visit http://ginkelauction/com/Home.html

Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at



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