Benjamin Ranch memorabilia hits the auction block

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Memorabilia from the Benjamin Ranch in south Kansas City went on the auction block on Sunday. Everything from signs and antiques, to the ranch's old red stagecoach was auctioned off.

Margaret Rennau watched rodeos at Benjamin Ranch as a child and attended parties with her husband as an adult. She carefully looked through a box of pictures and identified some of the people.

"Howard had a black-eyed pea party every New Year's Day, and we'd go to that for years; there's a lot of pictures in that," Rennau shared.

The history of Kansas City's Benjamin Ranch goes back 125 years. It started as a dairy farm and transformed into a ranch, hosting everything from rodeos to weddings. Those with the fondest memories recalled the July 4th rodeos, horseback riding and hay rides.

Paul Winters started working at the ranch when he was 16 years old. He journeyed down memory lane Sunday afternoon as he saw signs, saddles and even an old ironing board that he used. Winters was among dozens of people who wanted to take a piece of history home before the ranch was completely destroyed.

"I actually wrote Howard Benjamin a letter when I was 14 to try to get a job here. They told me they would hire me when I turned 16" Winters said.

The Cerner Corporation has acquired the land, which will be part of its new 4.5 million square foot corporate office development; news that's bitter sweet for those who love the ranch.

"It's sadness for me because it was such a part of our lives," Rennau added.

"It's almost like a wake you know; a wake to a new beginning," Winters shared. "It's going to help Kansas City: an economic boom in south Kansas City that means the final chapter for the Benjamin Ranch.

The ranch is slated to be torn down by the first of January.

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