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The Articles started December 2007.
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Historical estate sale attracts 2,000 lookers
By Barry Schrader Senior Columnist...................May 15, 2012
DeKalb witnessed its own version of the TV program Antiques
Roadshow earlier this month when the Nehring estate sale
was held at 417 N. First St.
Shirley Hamilton-Nehring, widow of the late Paul Nehring, decided
after living in the stately old Tudor Revival house next door
to the Ellwood House Museum since their marriage in 1989, it
was time to return to her lakeside home in Wisconsin. She recently
donated the mansion to the Ellwood House Association and sold
much of the contents.
Tom Krupp, co-owner of Coy-Krupp Conducted Sales, estimated nearly
2,000 people came through the house during the two-day event
May 5 and 6. I was one of those who found the eclectic variety
of furnishings, artwork, books and historical memorabilia too
fascinating to not be there.
Dick Anderson of DeKalb bought this Stetson hat for a
few dollars, once worn by the late Paul Nehring.
(Barry Schrader photo)
The highest priced item, an Italian marble statuary of a young
woman that had once been in the Dutton house in Sycamore, sold
for $45,000 the first day. Most of the European art masterpieces
sold the first day, and most of the furniture likewise went
For those who came to buy, browse or just see the interior of
this 112-year-old house modeled after an English country
manor house once visited by the Perry Ellwoods it seemed
like being part of Antiques Roadshow. Each room contained
18th and 19th century items, many from overseas, and all of them
One woman told me she had driven by the house all her life and
wanted to see what it looked like inside. Local historian Steve
Bigolin said it was designed by architect Charles Brush, who
had just completed Altgeld Hall on the Northern Illinois University
campus between 1895 and 1899, which was a much bigger project.
Krupp said some of the most interesting items were remnants of
a Lincoln collection owned by Nehrings father. Not of great
value but nonetheless very collectible, they all were sold early
the first day. I was drawn to the library, where hundreds of
volumes lined the walls in built-in bookcases. A local attorney,
who is a well-known book collector, said he came both days and
found a valuable first edition for only $1.25.
My surprise find was a book titled From Ox Carts to Jets
published in 1959, covering the life of Roy Ingersoll and Borg-Warner.
For those who think the title sounds familiar, it was four years
later that the book on DeKalb Countrys history, From
Oxen to Jets, was published, and one wonders whether the
idea for that title came from this earlier one. Probably only
the late Harriet Wilson Davy, who edited the 1963 DeKalb County
history, would be able to confirm that theory.
Shirley Hamilton-Nehring said she was donating the remaining
books and other unsold items to the DeKalb Public Library, which
can offer them in its sale fall sale. She was honored that same
weekend by the Kishwaukee Symphony Associates for the 11 years
she has opened her home for a fundraising tea and support of
music and the arts in DeKalb.
I felt like I was a part of history, rubbing elbows with many
other curious people, as we explored this landmark that will
become part of the Ellwood historical site and be available for
many social and cultural events. Thanks to Mrs. Hamilton-Nehring
for making it possible.
The columnist can be reached via email at :
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PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115