Weather Updates

Look back: baseball rallies, crossing guard petitions

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

storyidforme: 30836681
tmspicid: 8641207
fileheaderid: 3904931

Updated: July 2, 2012 8:08AM

Aurora is celebrating its 175th birthday this year. The Aurora Historical Society is hosting several events; more information is at In commemorating the city’s 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.

The Aurora markets closed with gold at an advanced price. Local banks were selling at 4 percent and buying at 3 percent, The Beacon-News reported. Meanwhile, 50-pound sacks of spring flour were selling at $1.12, and winter flour at $1.20. Sugar was selling at 12½ cents per pound. Local bankers reported they were worried about the large amount of Eastern currency that was flooding the market. A crash among the banks was feared.

... in 1912.

Fans of the city’s minor league baseball team gathered at the drug store owned by Mayor Thomas Sanders to talk about the squad’s future. The mayor was hoping to raise $2,000 so the Aurora Blues could buy some better players. The city had been consistently frustrated by the team, which always seemed to be on the cusp of winning, but ended up on the bottom half of the standings. One more infielder, one more outfielder and one more pitcher were needed for this year’s team, The Beacon-News reported.

The mayor wrote the first check and called on other community leaders to pitch in, so the Blues could finally rise to the top of the Wisconsin-Illinois League standings. Fans who were so eager to criticize the team should also be willing to pitch in to make it better, the mayor said.

“Instead of saying ‘It is the last time I will ever go to see them play’, the fans should get together and help the club officials by attending in larger numbers than ever,” Sanders said.

... in 1962.

Twenty-eight students at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School on the city’s West Side wrote an open letter to the residents of Aurora, pleading that their beloved crossing guard not be transferred to Beaupre Elementary School on the city’s East Side. Students said Mrs. Ethel McGraw, 45, was known for occasionally joining in games of Red Rover and letting the smaller kids warm up in the shed on cold days. “She makes us mind her, but she’s not crabby about it,” said one student.

The traffic department planned to move McGraw as part of a citywide plan to station crossing guards nearer to their homes.

“We have had her one year and have got along with her. She has been strict at times but other times, a lot of fun. Why does she have to go to another corner if we like her here?” the children wrote.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.