Going once, going twice: Salisbury auctioneer honored for half-century active licensure

Published 12:05 am Thursday, November 2, 2023

Sold — definitely a familiar term in Kevin D. McDaniel’s vocabulary, and one he has used on many occasions during his 50 years as an auctioneer. It’s also one that could describe how he first felt about becoming an auctioneer at a very young age as he said he was very fascinated with how the auctioneers could have control of the crowds. Sold on the idea, he decided to pursue it for himself.

McDaniel, of Salisbury, along with eight additional auctioneers and one auction firm, were honored for 50 years of active licensure during the October board of directors’ meeting of the North Carolina Auctioneer Licensing Board. In a release, it shared that this licensing board was created in 1973 by the N.C. General Assembly and honored those who were issued licenses that year and who remain current and actively licensed in 2023.

Being recognized in this way is “quite an honor,” McDaniel said, “because I remember when they started the North Carolina Auctioneers Law. Craig Lawing was the one that got it started.”

Lawing, he noted, became the holder of North Carolina License 1, and McDaniel said he was in the top 50 in the state, holding number 48.

While he doesn’t know how many active auctioneers there currently are because some have passed away or aren’t active for various reasons, he did say the numbers have reached into the 100,000s.

Auctioneering caught McDaniel’s interest early at the age of about seven, he shared. Raised on a dairy farm in Woodleaf, he watched auctions and it was “very fascinating how the auctioneer could have control of the people with his chant.” 

McDaniel actually began his career as auctioneer in 1971, and then went on to attend and graduate from Missouri Auction School in Kansas City, Missouri in 1973, receiving his license that year when the law went into effect. While at auction school, McDaniel noted that each person has to generate their own chant, and each student is taught how to sell and “breathe out of the diaphragm so you don’t have to take so many breaths.”

Since becoming a licensed auctioneer, McDaniel said he has conducted hundreds of auctions in approximately 10 states, traveling from Richmond, Virginia, to Amarillo, Texas, selling a wide variety of items. One sale, an aviation sale held in Missouri in the 1980s, was probably his most unusual, he noted. It was a big sale lasting three days with multiple sales going on at the same time.

While he has been an auctioneer for 50 years, it’s not the only career McDaniel has held, each one reaching a double digit milestone. He retired from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office after serving for 30 years. He noted he worked with canines for 10, retiring as a corporal. He was in the trucking industry for 30 years, owning his own company for 15.

Auctions are not as numerous as they once were, he mentioned, as many people today sell their items on the computer. At one time, you could open the paper and find pages of auctions being held, he added.

When asked what he enjoyed the most about his career as an auctioneer, he said it was being around people.

“I enjoy being around people,” he said, which can also be seen in other areas of community involvement, which includes being a lifelong member of The Arbor Church on Woodleaf Road in Salisbury where he has served on all of the committees as well as chairman of some and as a past master of the Scotch Ireland Masonic Lodge 154 in Cleveland.

He concluded by sharing that he tells people “God’s going to take care of me. He will lead you in the direction He wants you to go. He led me in several directions” noting both his working with canines and his love of trucks and being able to own his own company. “I used to tell people it doesn’t cost anything to dream, and I’ve fulfilled my dreams.”


In addition to McDaniel, honorees are:

• Sen. Thomas M. McInnis, Pinehurst, N.C. auctioneer license No. 25

• James R. (Ronny) Causby, Morganton, N.C. auctioneer license No. 37

• Bobby F. Cheek, Clemmons, N.C. auctioneer license No. 53

• Richard M. Stafford, Charlotte, N.C. auctioneer license No. 67

• East Carolina Auction Company, Kinston, N.C. auction firm license No. 68

• William L. York, Harmony, N.C. auctioneer license No. 74 

• Jackie Ball, Marshall, N.C. auctioneer license No. 139

• Timothy E. Carpenter, Claremont, N.C. auctioneer license No. 157

• Bobby S. Melton, Shelby, N.C. auctioneer license No. 166