He was milking a cow on his family’s Wisconsin farm and stopped what he was doing to listen to the small portable radio. Before long, Betthauser knew all the lyrics to the 1950s tune and would entertain his high school classmates by belting them out.
“I knew right then I wanted to be an Auctioneer,” Betthauser says. “That was the life for me.”
More than five decades later, Betthauser and his wife, Marilyn, run a weekly consignment auction in Milwaukee with an average night drawing 200 to 500 people.
The Betthausers were recently recognized for their contributions to the industry with their induction into the Wisconsin Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame.
Fellow Auctioneers say the pair is known across the state for their willingness to help novices by allowing guest Auctioneers to preside over the weekly consignment auctions.
“You don’t come across too many other people in the industry willing to do that,” says Tim Miller, who attended the Bettenhausers’ auctions when he was starting his career. “They’re encouraging and welcoming and always have some helpful words.”