Before 13th century the territory of Auce was a part of a Semigallian Spārnene county. After the partition of Semigallia in 1254 territory was granted to the Archbishopric of Riga. Auce is first mentioned in written sources in 1426 as Owcze. In 1616 Old Auce (Alt-autz) manor is mentioned for the first time when there was held regional assembly (landtag) of the Duchy of Courland. In 1667 the first Lutheran church is erected in Auce. From 1768 until the Latvian agrarian reforms in 1920s Old Auce manor was property of Baltic German von Medem family.
Auce village started rapid development after the construction of the Jelgava-Mažeikiai railway in 1889. During the First world war Auce was occupied by Imperial German army. The Germans established an aviation school and airfield (Artillerie-Fliegerschule Ost I) nearby.