Auction Update: Don’t Miss this Post

Towards the end of September I went to an auction.  That’s back when it had been raining a lot.  I went to one auction while Hubby went to a different auction.  I wrote about the auction HERE.

I remember I had the truck loaded with stuff to sell at the antique booth.  Lots of stuff.

I’m no professional buyer…in fact, I rarely know what to buy.  I do a lot of trial and error buying.  One of the first things I bought on the auction was a pile of cigar boxes.  There were lots in the stack and they sold as one lot.  There were likely over 20 boxes and I think I paid about $15 for the stack.  I planned to clean them up and sell them for around $5 each…more for the better ones.  I figured that was a fair price for me the seller and whoever bought them.

This picture shows a small sampling of them from the auction.

It was a great auction.  I got LOTS of stuff.  From what was there, I assumed the gentleman whose stuff was selling was likely a bachelor…or had lived alone for some time and nothing got thrown away…(but in a good kind of way)

It was a long auction and I bought on and off for a long time.  Hubby ended up coming to rescue me.

Later in the auction they sold two Hawkeye Cooperative Telephone Company stocks.  I know nothing about stocks and admittedly, was a little bored during the sale of them.  They went for big dollars…like $38,000 per stock.

The sale went on…Hubby and I loaded up and went home.  There was so much stuff we had to find a holding spot for it.  My plans were to gradually go through the stuff as we needed items for the antique booth.  I did grab a box of cigar boxes right away.  We needed room and they were taking up the most amount of space and I could process them quickly.

We ended up taking them to the antique booth and they have been selling nicely.  I took another load of them and thought that I had brought all of them there.

Then a couple weeks ago Hubby and I pulled into the garage with the truck and there on top of a pile of stuff I saw another flat of cigar boxes.  I was sure I had already gone through them.

A couple day later on Monday, November 12th, in the evening I was marking things.  Hubby was home.  Again I wanted something quick to process so I asked Hubby to get that flat of cigar boxes and I would price them.  I was happily wiping them down and cleaning them.  Several of the boxes had writing on them…things like “1945 taxes” and such.  I tried my best to erase the writing.  None of the boxes had anything in them except a few dead bugs.

In the last cigar box in the last flat of cigar boxes, I opened it up…and found this….


PAPER!  Hmm… interesting.  I started going through the papers smiling.

An application for Homestead Tax Credit…dated from 1913…

Payment of property taxes from 1936…
…and then there was this…

My hands started shaking….This is a stock certificate.

Oh my word.

Remember I mentioned that two stock certificates sold on the auction for over $30,000.  Oh my word.  Is this real??  Oh my word.  What do I do with it?  AHHHHHHH!  Is this worth $38,000??

I was in complete and TOTAL shock.  I’ve heard of things happening like this but really??  Could this be real?


Hubby read it through about 13 times.  He was in shock too.  It does have to be signed over by someone for it to be completely ours (or at least that’s the way we read it…)

I tried and tried to remember everything that happened when the stock sold at the auction.  Hubby thought it went for $38,000.  I thought more but have no idea what.  I did remember them saying that whoever bought the stock didn’t get possession of the paper and actual stock until the check cleared and then they would have to go to a local lawyer who was named and they would handle the rest.

That’s all I knew.  Not much I know.  OH MY WORD!!

NOW WHAT?  What do we do…where do we go…could this be real??  OH MY WORD!!!  SHOCKED.  Truly shocked!!  (did I say I am shocked.  I am.)

Then a whole bunch of “self talk” started happening saying, “nope, not real”…”not worth anything”….”you imagined it all”….

We called and talked to the two people we thought might know something and they knew nothing.

So…we are making an appointment with our lawyer.  We think that’s the best bet of someone finding out something….

So what do you think…could it be real?  Did I hit the jackpot by buying the cigar boxes.  I messaged Connie to tell her.  We both laughed and laughed-we talked about what we thought it might be worth or if we might have to split if with family….  We speculated on what it might we worth in the end…My comment, “It will be worth a good blog story”.

I am amending that comment.  I think it will be worth TWO good blog stories.  This one…and the one I write when I update you on what we find out.  Now you can be wondering and anticipating just like we are.

Who would have thought…the last box on the last flat of cigar boxes.

Stay tuned to for the next edition of “Jo finds a stock certificate in the auction box”.

29 thoughts on “Auction Update: Don’t Miss this Post

  1. Cherie in St Louis

    While I know you spend a lot of time and elbow grease on your auction finds, it seems like you have a lot of fun too…..what a cherry on top to have found what might be a real treasure!!!

  2. Christine

    This is an awesome feel good story. What ever the outcome is. You deserve all the good that comes from it. Happy future hunting.

  3. Sharlene B

    Hurry up and see that lawyer of yours ’cause I can’t wait to hear what the future of that piece of paper may hold for you!!

  4. Gayle

    Many rural telephone companies were privately owned until the last twenty years or so. As technology changed the elderly owners started to sell off to the big boys. You may be able to get information from your state public utilities commission which would regulate that sort of thing. My husband used to work in that field of business insurance.

  5. Cheryl in Dallas

    That’s a great story!

    Are you going to be on the local news? Are you going to start a non-profit foundation with your proceeds and stop world hunger? Are you going to remember us little people when you are famous? I’m going to tell everyone I knew you when you were just a little ole blog writer.

    Waiting with baited breath for the “rest of the story” ( love Paul Harvey!)

  6. Kris P

    Oh my goodness! I hope it’s worth a ton of money and it helps you fund your retirement! You and your husband work hard, you love on the children in your daycare, and do so much good through your quilting. I love it when great things happen to good people… especially in such unexpected ways.

  7. Robby H.

    In my previous work, I saw a few old stock certificates from time to time. Sometimes it takes a bit of research to figure out the exact status. Yours appears to be for an existing, albeit private business. Once you find out for sure the status, you may want to contact your state treasurer’s office to see if there are any unclaimed dividends for this stock, too. That’s from a quick poke around. Sometimes hard work and being a go-getter pays off in unexpected ways. Wishing you luck in the outcome!

  8. Stephani in N. TX

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer person. Wishing you a happy ending on this story. Will stick with your blog even if it isn’t all you hope for. Great story and you told it well.

  9. Ruth

    WOW!! Be sure to save the cigar box and everything else that was in the box with it. And any receipts that prove that you were there at the auction that day and made this purchase (among others). Keep all of it in a protective covering, so no sleet rain snow slush, mice, etc. can get in. Might not want to let the whole town know just yet….
    Aren’t the colors on the interior lid of that box just so Vibrant?

  10. Cindy F

    What a great story! I hope it turns out to be valuable! I’m with the others who have said you deserve it! Can’t wait for the results!

  11. SusanfromKentucky

    I love stories like this….you know the ones where people are remodeling and find things in the wall of the house they bought and such. I hope it is something valuable! They should have went through all the boxes before selling them.
    When we were going through my in-laws’ things, we found a plain little paint can. When we opened it, there were a few coins and my father-in-law’s all-gold high school ring. He had hidden it behind some other cans on a shelf. We decided to have a drawing to pick items. My husband put numbers 1-4 in that can to pick from. He was the executor and let everyone pick a number first. He got number 1. We picked the ring!

  12. Cindy

    Oh WOW!!! What a great story. I can’t wait to hear ‘the rest of the story’. I hope that it turns out great. My
    first thought was what a wonderful addition to your retirement fund or paying off your home or bills. But, that’s me. I hope that it is a windfall for you. That would be wonderful news. I can’t wait to hear what you find out. Good luck. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Linda in NE

    I’m sure it’s real and if those buying them at the auction get them signed over to them I don’t see why you can’t. You bought those cigar boxes fair & square. Whatever was in them is yours. Use whatever you can get out of it to pay off your house or as close to it as you can get. That will make a big difference to your life in retirement AND now. Splitting with family? The old guy probably didn’t have any left and your kids are young, healthy and capable of earning their own way in life. They will most likely tell you the same thing. I will be waiting for the update.

  14. Penny Holliday

    Great story! I’m on pins & needles waiting for the next installment! Fingers crossed for you that it’s good news re: stocks!

  15. Lace Faerie aka Karen Lawson

    If i found this, i would have high-tailed it to my local Edward Jones Investments office! My Financial Advisor would have the home office experts delve into its value. Is the certificate worth more than the stock shares? Or has the value of the shares grown over the years due to stock splits, mergers or acquisitions?? Or worthless as the company went out of business?

    I worked for Edward Jones for 10 years before I retired, I helped a lot of people sort through estate holdings and mystery stock certificates. It was a free service. Beware anyone, broker or attorney, that charges you a fee to explore it’s value.

  16. Barbara Firesheets

    What a fun story! I’ll definitely be “tuned in” to see what happens with the stock certificate. Sure hope it turns out to be a wonderful blessing for you and your hubby.

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