PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM
pg 511, 512
MELVILLE M. GAUNCE. Among the numerous well-edited papers of Xenia is the Democrat-News, of which Mr. GAUNCE is the editor and proprietor. It is a four-page, nine-column folio, with a circulation of fifteen hundred, and having the reputation, which it has justly earned, of being firm in the advocacy of what it believes to be right, both politically and morally, it is widely read and enjoyed. The weekly organ of the Democratic party, it is their only representative in the vicinity. On the opposite page is shown a portrait of Mr. GAUNCE, who, being a practical business manager as well as possessing superior ability, intellectually, is worthy of prominent mention among the wielders of the pen in Greene County.
A native of Kentucky, Mr. GAUNCE was born near Headquarters, Nicholas County, in January, 1833. His father, Martin GAUNCE, was a substantial farmer and was held in high esteem for his many sterling traits of character, being pre-eminently known for his honesty and honorable dealing.
Our subject remained at the homestead until eighteen years of age, when he became a student at Asbury, now DePauw University, Greencastle, Ind., at which institution he remained for two years. He then entered upon a course of study at Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, being graduated from it in 1858. The following year he attended the Law School at Albany, N. Y., from which he received his diploma as a graduate in June, 1859.
Mr. GAUNCE first located, in the practice of his profession as an attorney, at Cincinnati, Ohio, and from there went to Texas, where he sojourned for a short time engaged as a teacher. Later he settled in Hannibal, Mo., in the practice of the law, but the War of the Rebellion breaking out soon afterward, he returned to the old homestead in Kentucky, and there remained until 1862, when he was appointed County Clerk of Nicholas County, a position that he filled about nine months.
It was during Mr. GAUNCE’S occupancy of this office that Gen. Kirby SMITH made his famous raid into Kentucky, and our subject then volunteered and served as a soldier in the Home Guards. The service was a brief one, and after the advance of Kirby SMITH’S army, the rebels were so much encouraged and emboldened in that section, that it became extremely unsafe for a Union man to live in that vicinity, and especially for one who, like Mr. GAUNCE, had been appointed to and filled a political office in the place of its former rebel incumbent, who had absconded or entered the rebel army.
It was on this account that Mr. GAUNCE left the Blue Grass State and removed to Greenville, Ohio, where he practiced law for two years. In 1866 he located in Xenia, where for the next twelve years he followed the various duties of his profession. In the meantime he served as City Solicitor for two years.
Mr. GAUNCE dates his entrance into the newspaper field from 1876, when he purchased the good-will and plant of the Democrat-News of Xenia. As editor and publisher he conducted the paper until 1881, when he sold out, but in October, 1883, repurchased the plant. During and for some years after the late war Mr. GAUNCE acted with the Republican party, but since 1872 has voted with the Democracy. He was appointed Postmaster of Xenia, January 1, 1886, by President Grover CLEVELAND, and attended to the duties of the office with efficiency and to the satisfaction of the public until October, 1889, when he was removed for political reasons.
Mr. GAUNCE was married in June, 1880, to Miss Sarah L., daughter of Abraham and Mary A. (STUART) ROSEBERRY, of Dayton, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. ROSEBERRY were natives respectively of Virginia and Ohio, and are now deceased. Mr. GAUNCE and his wife occupy a pleasant home in the Second Ward of Xenia, and are well known and highly respected not only in their immediate community but in different parts of the county and State. Religiously, Mr. GAUNCE inclines to the faith of the Methodist Episcopal Church, while Mrs. GAUNCE is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio
Chapman Bros., Chicago, Copyright 1890.