James R. Cash (right), pictured with his son, died at the age of 74, his family announced last week.

Local longtime auctioneer James R. Cash has died, his family announced last week.

Known as “the selling machine,” Cash, who conducted auctions in the area for more than 40 years, was 74 years old.

His son, Jay Cash, said his father was larger than life, and affected so many people in the west Kentucky region. He said farmers have left his father’s name in their wills, telling their families he should be the one to sell their equipment after their passing.

He said while so many people knew his father, he was at heart a private person.

A private funeral was held for him last Tuesday in the Mayfield area. Brown Funeral Home handled the arrangements.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement Friday, saying James R. Cash was a “dear friend” to the senator and his wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. McConnell said Cash and his wife welcomed them into their home during the Fancy Farm picnic.

“On a day of jeers and bare-knuckle politics, I always appreciated James R.’s unassuming kindness and their warm hospitality,” McConnell said.

McConnell’s statement read:

“James R. Cash earned people’s trust the old-fashioned way. He and Cindy built their business through unparalleled professionalism as they helped write the next chapter of West Kentucky’s agricultural heritage. Decades later, they could be found at the center of the region’s most consequential transactions. Along the way, he instilled in his children the drive and the values to reach the top of their fields serving their customers and our Commonwealth.

“James R. was a dear friend to Elaine and me. Over the years, he and Cindy welcomed us into their home during the famous Fancy Farm picnic. On a day of jeers and bare-knuckle politics, I always appreciated James R.’s unassuming kindness and their warm hospitality.

“We were shocked by this sudden loss that will be felt across West Kentucky. Our deepest condolences are with Cindy, their family, and James R.’s many friends.”

Jay Cash said the family has appreciated all the kind words and condolences they have received since his father’s death, adding the family will give back to the community in his memory.

Those who wish to can share their support by giving to the Independence Bank Foundation, the Marshall County Humane Society or the Mayfield Graves County Animal Shelter.

Jay Cash said the “James R. Cash Auction Style tradition” will continue moving forward. He will take over as principal broker and auctioneer, and his mother, Cindy Cash, owns the company. James R. Cash Auctions and Real Estate is based in Fancy Farm and Nashville, Tennessee, and has a footprint in 14 states.