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Look back: lost horses, mail problems and political tragedies

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: September 28, 2012 6:07AM

Aurora is celebrating its 175th birthday this year. More information is available 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.

Two Aurora residents turned to The Beacon in hopes of locating lost or stolen items. John McDonald promised a “liberal reward” for the person who could find his black mare — a full 15 hands high — who had either strayed from home or been stolen. McDonald said the horse had a light mane, stood very straight and had a white spot on its foot.

Meanwhile, Robert Allen was offering a $20 reward to the person who returned his leather pocket book, which was stolen at the Clark Allen store. The pocketbook contained about $65 cash ($1,200 in today’s money) and $260 worth of certified IOUs.

… in 1912.

Aurora manufacturers and businessmen were much perturbed by the new law that forbid the delivery of mail on Sundays. Under the new rules, only letters with special delivery stamps would be delivered on Sunday, although all outgoing mail would be collected and put on trains. Aurora Postmaster Constantine believed his office could handle a Sunday delivery and intended to raise the issue at the National Association of First Class Postmasters convention.

While no delivery Sundays were already causing problems, businesses were further worried about a rule expected to take effect in March that would cancel the daily afternoon mail deliveries.

… in 1962.

Just months after he won the Republican nomination for Congress, Auroran Frank Reid died of a heart attack. Reid was the son of Frank Reid Sr., who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 12 years. The younger Reid, an attorney, was the favorite to win a seat in Congress. His widow, Charlotte Reid, ran for the seat and was the only woman to win a Congressional race that year, and went on to serve four more terms.

Several candidates had surfaced in the days after Reid’s death.

“My political beliefs and policies coincide with those of my late husband, and if selected to do so, I am prepared to strenuously campaign,” Charlotte Reid said. “It was my privilege to attend, over a five-month period, ... almost every meeting which Frank attended. If selected by the chairman and elected by the people, this will be a tremendous help to me in Congress.”

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