“Ohio’s Greatest Community Sale”
In 1918 a group of local farmers and businessmen held their first auction at the Jacob Moser barn located on the square in Kidron. These monthly sales were not as successful as had been hoped, so in late 1923 they offered to sell the “Company” to a young local auctioneer named S.C. “Cy” Sprunger. Cy told them he didn’t have much money to invest, they asked him if $5 would be too much for the auction box and all the goodwill that went with it. They made a deal, and thus Cy always said that he bought the business for a five dollar bill and built it into a multimillion dollar business serving Ohio farmers with the best in competitive livestock marketing service. Cy held his first sale on February 17, 1924. With the Auction method being a relatively new concept of livestock marketing, a lot of advertising and promotion had to be done to sell area farmers on this new way of doing business. The first six years sales were held monthly, then they went to twice a month, and as demand grew, weekly sales were started in 1932. Cy along with other area businessmen held annual anniversary sales to promote the auction and community.
In the early days most of the pens and selling took place out of doors. As the sales grew small additions were made to the original Moser barn to accommodate the increasing consignments. In 1937, a new feeder pig and hog barn was built south of the Moser Barn. The following year one of the largest construction projects was undertaken when a new enclosed pavilion and ring was built along with a new attached office and scale so that livestock could be sold by weight. Prior to this time all stock was sold by the head. Through the years, as Cy promoted his own auction in Kidron, he was also helping to establish markets of this type in Ohio, and surrounding states. In his prime, he would sell at three other sales each week plus conduct farm and real estate auctions. In 1948, the Kidron Auction celebrated their 25 year anniversary under the management of Cy Sprunger. A large two day gala affair was held with state dignitaries in attendance with fun and games for all.
Cy was always interested in helping his hometown grow and improve. In 1947, machinery sales were started to help raise funds to build a much needed fire department. In 1951, the first fire truck was purchased and the volunteers organized. The machinery sales continue today with the proceeds funding the Kidron Community Council for community projects. Cy was also one of the leaders in the establishment of the Kidron Ball Park in 1948.
In 1956, Cy passed away and the sale continued under the management of Cy’s brother Earl and long time office manager, Russel “Russ” Beals. The sale continued to grow and in 1968 it was time to add more pens for beef cattle and expand the livestock unloading dock area.
In 1973, John Sprunger, eldest son of Cy, took over the management of the auction sales from Russ and Earl as they were approaching retirement. In January of 1981, John added a new weekly Hay and Straw auction on Thursday mornings, prior to livestock sales.
In 1985, more pens were built for market hogs and cattle with the sheep and goat barn being expanded in 1987. The next major expansion came in 1988-89 when the Sprungers purchased the land west of the auction and converted the previously built veal barn into a new modern Feeder Pig auction. The land around the pig barn was developed into parking to accommodate the increased volume of the hay and machinery sales. The Sprungers continue to look forward to serving area farmers for may years to come with the Best in Competitive Livestock Marketing Service.