Bob Penfield was born six miles south of Lemmon, SD, in the sod house his grandfather built. Only a handful of experiences in his life have taken him more than 75 miles away from the homestead, except for the two years he was out defending the United States during World War II.
Bob’s first move was to Standing Rock Indian Reservation in 1932. He then relocated to Lemmon in 1936. Before graduating from high school there in 1948, he would successfully run his first solo auction at seventeen years old.
In the fall of 1948, he enrolled in Northwest Bible College. His study there would be brief, ending after one semester to help his grandfather winter his cattle. However, his pursuit for higher education would not stop there. He attended SDSU 1949-1953, earning his degree from the College of Agriculture in Animal Science. He took a few classes from BHSU along the way to make up for what he missed while helping his aging grandfather out on the ranch.
Ranching and auctioneering would be temporarily disrupted by Bob’s call to serve for our country. He was inducted into the armed forces on his 23rd birthday at Ft. Riley, Kansas on Dec 2, 1953. Shortly after he was awarded the Marksman’s Medal. He was sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Research Lab. After that we went to Camp Buckner in Okinawa, Japan. He would be there for 15 months of his 2-year tour. He left Okinawa an SpFC.
In 1958 Bob and his wife Winona bought Home Base Auction in Bowman, ND, which would be family run for 19 years. While Winona has since been called to heaven, Bob and their five children together survive her memory.
In the mid-1960’s Bob started the Slope County auction and sold their stock for 35 years.
1968-69, elected President of the National Auctioneers Association. He was 37 years old, and the youngest person to ever hold the position. He served three terms, a total of nine years, on the board.
In 1996, he was inducted into the North Dakota Auctioneers Hall of Fame at 65 years old.
Bob continues to auctioneer on occasion. He has lived a full, happy life of service to his family, country, and community, and continues to do so through writing. His books are currently available for purchase online by mail at P.O. Box 111, Bowman, ND 58623.