The Union County Journal began publication in Marysville, Union County, Ohio, on June 15, 1875, as a successor to the Marysville Journal, established by C. M. Kenton a year earlier. By 1887, the Union County Journal was conducted by A. J. Hare, who sold the paper to Bruce Barton Gaumer on August 4th, 1904. On December 5, 1916, Gaumer increased the publication frequency to twice a week. Bruce’s son, Frank Thomas Gaumer, joined the Union County Journal as editor. Bruce’s daughter, Mary Elizabeth, married the business manager, W. E. Behrens. In December of 1950, Bruce bought the nearby Marysville Tribune and on March 1, 1951, merged his two papers into the Evening Journal-Tribune. When Bruce Gaumer died in 1956, he left the paper to his two children. In 1960, Frank Thomas sold his half to his sister and Behrens to teach journalism at the Ohio State University. The newspaper still publishes today under Gaumer-Behrens ownership and the name Marysville Journal-Tribune.
The Union County Journal published on Mondays and Thursdays. It circulated in both the town of Marysville and the county as a whole. It was a Democratic paper composed of eight columns and a variable number of pages. It mostly published news of local interest with robust sports updates and announcements for club meetings. Legal notices, church news, and social announcements such as marriage anniversaries and personal visits were also published. During World War II, the left-most column on the front page brought news of “our boys in the armed forces.” Nearly half of the paper was comprised of want ads, which largely featured farm equipment and livestock. Many advertisements for businesses within Marysville had graphic components to set them apart from want ads. It frequently advertised home goods, furniture, fashionable clothing, food, and financial services. The Gaumers and Behrens, who managed the paper, were not shy about adding personal news. The headline for January 24, 1949, for example, read “The Boss on Vacation, Describes Bus Trip from Columbus to Brownsville, Texas,” and described Bruce Gaumer’s winter vacation that year.
Researched and written by Jen Cabiya