Rudy Gingerich Moving Sale at Hazleton, Iowa (19 Photos)


One of our readers, Carl Oliver, recently attended an event on this month’s Amish auction list.

Many Amish-attended auctions are benefit sales–raising funds for medical needs, schools, and other community-wide causes.

Others include estate sales, auctions run as a private business, or, as in today’s example, moving sales.


You see, moving when you’re an Amish farmer is not as simple as cramming the contents of the house into a Ryder truck and hitting the road.

A family may need to convert into cash equipment, livestock and other goods not easily transported to a new place.


The Rudy Gingerich family moving sale took place September 10th in the Hazleton, Iowa Amish settlement, a conservative community in northeastern Iowa.

This sale was special, as you’ll learn from Carl’s comments below.

The event drew bidders from as far away as Delaware, Michigan, and Canada. According to this AP article, Rudy Gingerich has built a reputation for restoring farm equipment.

The auctioneer quoted says he never sold 28 threshers in one day, and doubts he ever will again.

One event attendee, who traveled nearly 600 miles from Nebraska, said he didn’t intend to buy anything. “Nostalgia” is why he came.

Not sure where Rudy is moving, but it sounds like his event was a success. The text which follows is Carl’s, as are the photos.

I had the pleasure of attending the Rudy Gingerich auction yesterday near Hazleton, Iowa.


I took some photos to capture the day. I particularly like the one that shows all the straw hats huddled around the auction truck.




Obviously, the highlight of the auction was the line of 25 threshing machines (all but one having been meticulously restored by Rudy himself).


He even backed up his work with a 2,000 bushel warranty. I talked to many people at the sale and found nobody, Amish or English, who had ever seen such a lineup of threshing machines and oat binders.


Most of the machinery sold to Amish buyers for a higher price than the English collectors were willing to pay.


There was a delicious lunch put on by the women of the community, and home made ice cream made before our eyes with a gas powered ice cream maker.


One of the coolest things about this auction was that there were Amish and English from many different states in attendance.  I was told that there were Amish all the way from Pennsylvania and New York State.  It was very interesting to see the different types of clothes and hats from the different locations.


Many of the threshing machines were purchased by groups of Amish men forming there own “threshing ring” as used to be common among the English many years ago.


In the photo of the engines, notice the man’s vest that was left hanging on a corn sheller and the boys at the end of the line demonstrating the engine for an English man.


I always enjoy seeing piles of buggies and horses all tied to a fence.










The last photo shows the painstaking attention to detail that Rudy put into his restorations. Many people would have pressure washed that machine and painted it, but he saved the original art work.


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    1. Al in Ky

      Thanks very much for sharing all of these pictures and comments. I would have loved to have been there. It brought back memories, because it was at the Hazleton settlement that I first became interested in the Amish many years ago. (My English uncle farmed in that community next to an Amish farm). I wonder how much it cost the Amish from other states to transport those threshers they bought back to their home areas.

      1. Exactly!

        Wondering how they transported those threshing machines to their various new homes is exactly what I was doing as I was reading this post. Likely they had to hire a flatbed trucker to haul them.

        This looks like quite the auction. I’ve never been to anything like it.

      2. I wonder the same. I guess it shows how much people value good machinery. I imagine there were more than a few Amish attendees who were there for similar reasons as the gentleman who came for nostalgia.

        Neat to hear you first encountered the Amish at Hazleton Al. I always associate that community with the SMV triangle stuck up in that odd place on the side of the buggy.

    2. Robin Stone

      Amish Auction in Iowa

      I was also at that auction and it was fascinating! The highlight of my visit was watching the bids go higher and higher for a beautiful John Deere wagon (circa early 1900s). The final bid was $5200.

    3. Adair

      Wonderful write-up and photos! Thanks!

    4. Juanita Cook

      Great photo’s. Very interesting article.

    5. Naomi Wilson

      So neat. Thanks!

      I am also interested to know what is involved in shipping a threshing machine from Iowa to New York.

    6. Brad of the Brethern

      Great Pictures

      I really enjoyed the pictures, they brought back some wonderful memories of going to these with my Grandfather, who was my hero. Just he and I, no women folk, and we’d come home with some old farm equipment or an old draught horse that no one else wanted and he knew was destined for the slaughter house. Thanks again for the pictures and the memories.

    7. Sale

      Very nice pictures of this sale. But I tried to print them out to show to another person who does not own a computer and they did not print out good. How can I get good pictures o all this.

      1. It it’s alright with Carl, I could send you the larger original versions.

        1. Carl Oliver


          That would be fine Erik.

        2. Pictures

          Yes Please do sent me the pictures you could email then to me or somehow get on the computer.
          Thank You
          Ivan Gromling

          1. Thanks for the email, sent them to you earlier today.

    8. ShipshewanaIndiana

      Thanks Carl

      Great pictures! Thank you for sharing with us Carl.

    9. Carl Oliver


      Thanks everyone for the kind words. I had a blast at the auction. There were quite a number of crew-cab dually pickups with flatbed trailers at the auction from all sorts of places. I am guessing some of the Amish bidders had their driver bring a trailer along assuming they would need to haul something home. I know Rudy personally, and I know that he bought quite a few of those threshers from out of state (as far as Canada), so he would know exactly what it costs to ship them. I don’t know when I will see him next, but I will certainly quiz him about that when I do.

      1. That’d be great Carl. Am I right in thinking that he’s moving far away?

        1. Carl Oliver


          You are correct. The original intent of the sale was to liquidate assets in preparation for a move. Not sure about the timeline of the move or even the certainty of it now though.

    10. George

      Robin, did you take a picture of the John Deere wagon?
      If so, could you post it?

    11. Alice Mary

      Thanks for sharing, Carl!

      What a treat, Carl! Thank you for sharing the photos and your commentary. Wow! What an event. I like the nostalgia aspect of it all (farm equipment is so amazing—the design and engineering over the years—and the artwork 🙂 ) I’d have been happy to be there just to “people-watch.”

      1. Carl Oliver


        Thanks Alice! This truly was an event. Indeed the people watching was fun. I particularly enjoyed talking to Amish friends about the pros and cons of each model of oat binder.

    12. Linda

      Threshing Machines, Hay Loaders at Daviess County auction

      Tomorrow, June 10, 2015, in Odon, Indiana, is a unique public auction selling
      • 13 HAY LOADERS •
      • 7 SHELLERS •
      • 6 HIT & MISS ENGINES •

      The buyers could be users or collectors, whoever is willing to pay the most money!

      View a photo gallery at