History

Auctioneering has been a way of life for our Behm family, for three generations.  It all began in the early 1900s, when CJ “Charlie” Behm (1900-1967) became the first auctioneer, getting his start selling boxed lunches to the highest bidder at box socials.  By 1934, he had advanced to selling at farm and general merchandise sales in the local area.

History Compressed_0019Charles J. “Bud” Behm, Jr., the oldest of three sons, followed his daddy’s footsteps from childhood, traveling the county buying livestock and wool.

In fact, thanks to a schedule mishap, when Bud was just 16 years of age, he sold his first entire auction.  Bud’s task was supposed to be that of selling stacks of hay and tools from the blacksmith shop until his father returned from a real estate sale.  As it turned out, the elder Behm was detained and Bud sold the entire auction — personal property, equipment and livestock!  Enjoying the rapid pace and the thrilling excitement of the auction business, Bud was hooked for life.

In 1950, Bud married Anna C. “Kitty” Frye, a registered nurse, and the two moved to the family farm that Bud’s grandfather and great uncle settled in the mid 1800s.  For more than a half a century, Bud and Kitty have sold auctions in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and even Canada.

Auctions were so much of a way of life for Bud and Kitty that both of their two sons, Charles J. “Joe” Behm, III, and James A. “Jim” Behm, followed in the family’s auctioneering footsteps.

Joe was a mere 12 years old when he graduated from the Knotts School of Auctioneering at Wheeling College, and began selling tack at the livestock and horse sales.  In 1970, he was recognized as the youngest licensed auctioneer in the United States, and appeared as a contestant on Gary Moore’s To Tell the Truth.Behms Men

After graduating from Waynesburg College and the Missouri Auction School, Jim joined his family in the business in 1990, eventually serving as the youngest president of the West Virginia Auctioneers Association.

With two very capable sons, Bud and Kitty retired in 1990, leaving Joe and Jim at the helm of what had become Behm’s Auction Service.  The boys worked side-by-side building upon the legacy of their father and grandfather until May 2012, when Joe died following a courageous battle with cancer.

Today, under the leadership of Jim Behm, Behms Auction & Real Estate Services has grown to be one of the most successful auction companies in the Tri-State region.

Still family-owned and family-operated, the “thrilling excitement” of the auction business is very much alive and well.  In fact, even today, Bud and Kitty are often on hand at auctions, ready to lend a helping hand where needed.

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Timeline

  • June 11, 1900Charles J. Behm, Sr., is born

    Born to German immigrants, Charles J. Behm, Sr., or Charlie, as he was called by most of his friends, was born in Tyler County, West Virginia.
  • 1917 Charles Behm begins his auctioneer career.

    Charles Behm was 17 years old, selling box lunches to the highest bidder at box socials when he first realized his skill at auctioneering.
  • June 22, 1926 Charles J. “Bud” Behm, Jr., is born.

    Charles J. “Bud” Behm, Jr., the first of three sons and one daughter, was born to Charles and Mildred Behm, on the family farm in Wind Ridge, PA.
  • 1934 Charles Behm becomes a professional auctioneer.

    By 1934, with a young family, Charles Behm had become a self-taught professional auctioneer, selling at farm and general merchandise sales in the local area.
  • 1942 At age 16, Bud Behm sells his first auction.

    Just 16 years old, Bud’s task was supposed to be that of selling stacks of hay and tools from the blacksmith shop until his father returned from a real estate sale. As it turned out, the elder Behm was detained and Bud sold the entire auction -- personal property, equipment and livestock!
  • May 1950 Bud married Anna C. “Kitty” Frye.

    Bud and Kitty moved to the family farm, beginning a life together that would entail selling at auctions in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and even Canada.
  • December 4, 1958 Charles J. “Joe” Behm, III is born.

    Joe Behm was born, and almost from the cradle, he was ready to follow in his father’s auctioneering footsteps. He began helping his dad when he was only 9 years old.
  • March 22, 1972 James A. “Jim” Behm is born.

    Like his brother, father and grandfather, Jim Behm would one day realize his passion for auctioneering.
  • April 3, 1967 Charles Behm, Sr., dies.

    A self-taught auctioneer, Charles Behm handled and brokered 75 percent of the wool in Greene County, PA, during his lifetime. The owner of a general store in Bristoria, Charles was also a cattleman and an oil and gas man.
  • 1970At 12 years old, Joe Behm becomes the youngest licensed auctioneer in the U.S.

    Joe was only 12 when he graduated from the Knotts School of Auctioneering at Wheeling College, and began selling tack at livestock and horse sales. Also in this year, he appeared as a contestant on Gary Moore’s To Tell the Truth.
  • 1985 At age 13, Jim Behm begins to sell at auctions.

    Jim began helping his father by parking cars at auctions and working the ring. Then, at age 13, he began to sell.
  • 1990 Jim Behm joins his father and brother in the family business.

    With the addition of Jim, the business transitioned to Charles J. Behm and Sons.
  • 1991 Bud Behm retires, leaving Joe and Jim at the helm.

    Fully confident in his sons abilities, Bud and Kitty Behm “officially” retire. The Behm brothers were now working side-by-side building upon the legacy of their father and grandfather, becoming Behm’s Auction Services.
  • 1993 Real Estate Services added.

    With the expansion into offering real estate sales, Behm’s Auction Services becomes Behm’s Auction & Real Estate Services.
  • May 2012 Jim Behm continues the family legacy, following Joe’s passing.

    Following a courageous battle with cancer, Joe Behm went home to be with the Lord in May of 2012. With full knowledge of the auction industry and a legacy of which any man would be proud, Jim Behm continued his pursuit of making the Behm family name one of the most respected names in the auction industry.