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Feb
25
2024
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Pictured here are lineman apprentice Alex Kraus — who has worked for the Village since April — and local resident Marie Hertzler, who has a special relationship to Wheeling Gaunt. (Photo by Reilly Dixon)

The giving Gaunt

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“It’s not what we have, but what we share.”

Thus said 19th century Yellow Springs resident Wheeling Gaunt, a formerly enslaved man and enterprising philanthropist.

Earlier this week, Village crews did a little sharing of their own and carried out the tradition of delivering flour and sugar to Yellow Springs widows and widowers. Now in its 129th year, the annual flour delivery was a stipulation Gaunt made in his will before his death in 1894. 

This year, members of the Public Works team passed out baking goods to 96 local widows and widowers.

“These are the people we ought to take extra care of,” meter reader Rose Pelzl told the News this week. “And it’s a really good thing for our crew to go to these homes and to meet these folks; by knowing them and where they live, that allows us as Village workers to better serve our community throughout the year.”

Pictured here are lineman apprentice Alex Kraus — who has worked for the Village since April — and local resident Marie Hertzler, who has a special relationship to Wheeling Gaunt.

Hertzler’s husband, the late Brian Maughan,  before his death in August 2020, began the initial work of crafting a life-size statue of Gaunt. Their son, Anthony Maughan, completed the bronze statue in 2021; it now stands in Hilda Rahn Park at the intersection of Xenia Avenue and Dayton Street.

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