Memorabilia of Nancy Drew author, late Blade columnist Millie Benson, to be auctioned Sunday


Millie Benson memorabilia from the estate of the Nancy Drew author’s daughter will be auctioned on Sunday.

Montrie Auction and Estate Service will begin the auction with a preview of items for sale at 11:30 a.m. Bidding begins at 1 p.m. at the auction house, 4017 Lagrange St. in Toledo.

Items to go on the block include a desk owned by Mrs. Benson, several typewriters, and various papers signed by the author, who died in 2002.

Mrs. Benson’s daughter Peggy Wirt died Jan. 10, 2013, in Toledo at age 76. She left a collection of books written by her mother, including original Nancy Drew books penned by Mrs. Benson, to the University of Iowa.

Mrs. Benson wrote the first books in the popular girl sleuth series under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene, a secret she kept for years because of a contract she signed with the publisher.

The estate left by her daughter includes various pieces of memorabilia and items once belonging to Mrs. Benson that are among the roughly 350 lots to be auctioned. Mrs. Benson was a reporter for The Blade and the former Toledo Times, and wrote a column for The Blade until her death.

Notably, a wooden typewriter desk belonging to Mrs. Benson will be sold, as well as documents featuring her signature, photographs, and letters.

Lead auctioneer Jade Montrie said it's difficult to estimate the value of the items. 

"People that are in the Nancy Drew fan clubs are showing some interest in the auction," he said. "Some of the items, if they were not as well known type of authors probably wouldn't have as much value as they are going to have just because they are Millie's and the whole Nancy Drew mystique."