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Look back: Sunday school, women’s convention and pro wrestling

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: December 13, 2012 6:01AM

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.

Members of the Kane County Sunday School Convention met in Aurora to discuss how to get children more involved in religious education. After 30 minutes of devotional exercises, the committee discussed issues of the day. At the top of the list was promptness and order, which the committee determined was indispensable for students and teachers. The committee further determined that the best mode of conducting schools was to have teachers who prepared themselves to teach and studied their lessons thoroughly.

In the afternoon, the group spent significant time discussing obstacles to the conversion of the children. The group asked whether they should labor and pray for early conversion, because too many children were not taught submission to the will of the parent.

… in 1912.

Hundreds of Women’s Clubs from across the state held the largest and most beautiful reception in the city’s history at the brand new East Aurora High School auditorium. Mrs. Frederick Dow was elected president of the Illinois Federation of Women’s Clubs.

At the convention, the women voted to make several public policy stands. The first was encouraging legislators to pass a law that would forbid marriage until both people had presented good health certificates. The women also endorsed a state epileptic colony, more obstetric courses at Illinois colleges and more money for women at universities. Finally, they endorsed a state and federal campaign to get perfect birth and death records.

… in 1962.

Waldo Middle School hosted a professional wrestling show featuring some of the sport’s most muscular competitors. Bobo Brazil — all 275 pounds of him — was scheduled to face off against The Mongol, “a hard headed Oriental”. Seaman Art Thomas, with his “armor plated muscles,” would face Johnny Kace. Local favorite Billy Goelz would face Hurricane Hart, and the Australian tag match would feature the Bavaria Boys against Frank Zela and Jack Wilson. Tickets were $2.

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