Prairie Village founder Habeger to auction collection
By CHUCK CLEMENT, Staff Reporter
Restoration fans interested in autos and farm equipment such as a Pontiac built during the Roaring '20s or a Hart-Parr 16-30 tractor, or who may need parts for Goliath or Crosley cars, should take a look at the items Joe Habeger has for sale next week.|
Habeger, one of the founders of Prairie Village, has decided at age 93 that he has to part with many of the antique cars and pickups, farm tractors, aircraft parts that he collected for restoration. To that end, he has scheduled an auction to start at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.
The auction at his farm 12 1/2 miles north of Madison on US-81 is scheduled that day before participants start showing up for Prairie Village's annual steam threshing jamboree.
Habeger's son Tim said his father wants to see other collectors and restoration fans take the machinery and equipment home with them so they can put it to use.
"There's probably about 1,000 items that he has on hand and he'd like to have them restored," Tim Habeger said. "He's probably restored more than most other people will in a couple of lifetimes."
One of Habeger's finds returned to the sky several years ago and landed at the Madison Municipal Airport. He, family and friends restored a 1929 Brunner-Winkle Bird biplane that Habeger found discarded among shelterbelt trees on a Rutland-area farm. On a day in the early 1960s, Habeger had originally visited the farm in northeast Lake County to buy a retired school bus that the farmer owned.
He made a $5 deal with the farmer to buy the school bus, but as Habeger was leaving, he found the old biplane parked among the trees. Habeger had actually searched for the old aircraft for years, following up on a rumor. He renegotiated the purchase with the farmer, buying the 1929 Bird for $5 and having the bus thrown into the deal for free.
Recalling that day, Habeger had said, "You never walk back the way you came in, because you see more that way. I swung around to go out through a different route and, son-of-a-gun, there was an airplane there."
Habeger's daughter and son-in-law, Sharon and Steve Krog, completed the restoration work in Wisconsin. A West Coast museum became interested in the Brunner-Winkle biplane and on the flight out west to its new owners, the Bird landed in Madison for a stopover.
The organizers of next week's auction include Tim Habeger, nephew Paul Hoff of rural Madison, and Bill Lee, retired curator of the South Dakota Agriculture Heritage Museum.
Girard Auction and Land Brokers of Wakonda is hosting the sale that is advertised to "feature interesting and rare tractors and implements, vintage aviation items, classic vehicles, and an eclectic assortment of antiques."
The auctioneers have listed some of the sale items as horse-drawn buggies, early 20th-Century vehicles and tractors, a couple of OX-5 military aircraft engines, and parts to another 1920s biplane.
Anyone wanting more information about the auction and to see photos of the items up for sale can go online to www.girardauction.com/habeger-antique-auction.html. To speak to an auction organizer, contact Michael Hope at 605-270-2938 or email@example.com.