Monday, December 8, 2014

On the Road to Bathgate Act 4e: Isaac J. Foster, Introducing the Auctioneer

My grandfather, Isaac J. Foster, made an important business decision in 1908. He decided to take up as an auctioneer. 

Finding the life too difficult or insufficiently remunerative, in the day, farmers and ranchers would frequently pick up stakes and move on. They would sell their 160 acre farms -- sometimes listing with or selling to Ike's real estate business. When farmers sold their land they usually were desirous as well of disposing of their farm equipment and implements, furnishings and livestock. The sales method most often used for chattels was an auction sale. 

Isaac who bought, sold, leased and brokered farm land, saw auctioneering as a profitable auxiliary business opportunity. He could line up clients as a twofer. In time auctions became the primary business. In the beginning, Isaac announced the new line of business in a display ad in the local newspaper.

Bathgate Pink Paper, March 18, 1908
I have decided to take up the business of Auctioneer and will be pleased to have the patronage of those who intend to hold auction sales of any kind of goods, wares or merchandise. I will make a specialty of Farm Auctions. I am not new in this business and can give you value received every time and sell the goods if anyone can.
This does not mean that I am out of the Real Estate business, for I am in that to stay.

Several years later, Isaac found a more graphic way to communicate his farm sales specialty.

Bathgate Pink Paper, June 19, 1912
Since we last blogged on Isaac, we have come to understand auctioneering was his dominant vocation for more than twenty years, into the 1910s and 1920s. Auctions were big business and big social events. In Ike's later years, his individual sale ads typically stated that hot lunch and beverages would be served. Town folk and farm folk alike from miles around would gather to eat, greet, meet, bid and gossip.

We will be continuing our I. J. Foster series with extensive posts on his auctioneering, real estate and farming and ranching operations. But for the present we are finishing up an extended post on his brother in law, R. D. Hoskins, which we hope to publish in the next week or two. Like I. J., R. D. found a wife and cut his commercial teeth up in Bathgate. While Issac Jarvis Foster stayed put to become a notable denizen of Pembina county, Robert Dimon Hoskins moved on to become a prominent citizen of the capital of Bismarck and the entire state.

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