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Rallying the troops, garbage trucks and Sox visitors

New poster designed by Neal Ormond IV for 175th anniversary (2012) Aurora. | AurorHistorical Society

New poster designed by Neal Ormond IV for the 175th anniversary (2012) of Aurora. | Aurora Historical Society

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Updated: August 31, 2012 6:04AM

This year, Aurora celebrates its 175th anniversary. The Aurora Historical Society is planning events throughout the year, including a Flavors of Aurora event honoring the city’s Greek heritage. A free reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the David R. Pierce Art and History Center downtown. Authentic food, drink and music will be available with a mini-exhibit on the contributions of Greek-Americans in Aurora. More information at

To commemorate the anniversary, The Beacon-News is revisiting stories from 50, 100 and 150 years ago. Here’s what Aurorans were talking about this week ...

…in 1862.

One week after a lively rally where prominent local men met to answer President Lincoln’s call for troops, four recruiting offices were set up in the city: one in the sheriff’s office, one in the Big Wagon Factory, one at the East Railroad Depot and one at Bowen Waterman’s store.

At the same time, the city council voted to pay $20 to the first 200 private and non-commissioned officers who signed up for the two new Aurora companies. The finance committee was assigned the task of raising and distributing the funds to pay the new recruits. As a patriotic gesture, druggist D.W. Hurd paid $100 to the first 10 men that signed up.

… in 1912.

Aurora’s new garbage crematory opened on North Avenue near the river. In addition to the crematory, three new specially made steel wagons were purchased. Teams would drive the wagons through town, collecting garbage that would be dumped into big furnaces and burned. William Klundt was hired as superintendent of the garbage crematory at a salary of $60 per month.

The city was expecting the new wagons would allow garbage collectors to cover more territory. Every street in the city would be visited twice a week in the summer and once a week in the fall. The steel wagons were tightly sealed, which was expected to eliminate the fragrant odors that hung over neighborhoods at collection times.

… in 1962.

Chicago White Sox manager Al Lopez was in Aurora to hand out awards at the start of the American Legion championship series at Solfisburg Park. The tournament started with an exhibition between the Aurora police and the Aurora firefighter baseball teams. (The cops won.)

In the championship game, the Optimist Club walloped the Tiger Club 14-7. Pat Sherry led the Optimists with two triples while pitcher Dale Thompson held the Tigers to four hits.

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