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Concordia Explorations
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Kearn Auction House

Address: 220 W. 5th
Concordia, KS 66901
Telephone Number: 785.243.3773


About this Exploration:

Chosen as one of the twenty-four 8 Wonders of Kansas Customs finalists, Kearn Auction is one of the best local hangouts.

While Kearn Auction House has only been open since 2007, the custom of saving one’s favorite seat at a Concordia auction house has been in practice for as long as some of us remember.

In 1962, Clifford Sallman opened the Sallman Auction House.  Folks would gather each week to chat, savor Grandma Curry’s famous homemade pie and bid on the treasures of others.   Soon Sallman’s was as popular as the local cafe.  Back in those days each number was printed on a wooden paddle.  It wasn’t long before certain numbers were always missing from the stack as the “regulars” latched on to their favorite “lucky” number.  Prior to each auction, paddles began to show up on certain chairs as a way of “saving” that bidders favorite seat. 

As a young boy Danny Kearn would go to the auctions with his family which began his life long love affair with auctions.  As a young man he loved the auctions so much he began to help set up for each auction at Sallman’s.  Around 1978, Sallman retired and his daughter and son-in-law took over the weekly auctions.  They ran the auction house until their retirement in 1992.

For years Danny hoped someone would re-open the auction house.  Finally, in 2007 he and his family scraped up enough money to purchase the building at 220 W. 5th.  Just two weeks after finalizing the purchase of the building, on  May 19, 2007, Kearn Auction House opened. 

Today the wooden paddles have been replaced with paper cards.  However, the same twenty or so numbers are signed up for permanently.  Wander in to check out the merchandise to be sold and you will notice that pillows mark certain seats in the first two rows on each side of the aisles.  Danny, laughingly nods his head.  Just like when we were kids, the regulars are marking their favorite seats.  Just try to move one of those pillow and they will set you straight.  “That seat is SAVED”!  

Saving your favorite seat at the local auction house has been a Concordia Custom for over 40 years.

contact info
Cloud County Tourism
130 E 6th
Concordia, KS 66901
Phone: 785.243.4303
Fax: 785.243.4305
Kansas Sampler Foundation   Kansas Department of Commerce - Travel Kansas   Get Rural Kansas