Past Cities

Aurora, Illinois, United States

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Aurora is a city located in the northeastern part of the state of Illinois in the United States. The city is the second-largest city in the state, after Chicago, with a population of approximately 200,000 people. Aurora has a rich history that spans more than 180 years, and its growth and development have been influenced by its political environment and geography.

The first settlers in the area now known as Aurora arrived in the early 1830s. The settlement was initially known as McCarty Mills, named after the first settler, Joseph McCarty, who built a gristmill on the banks of the Fox River. The settlement soon grew into a village, and in 1857, it was incorporated as a city.

During the mid-19th century, Aurora became a major manufacturing center, with many factories and mills being established in the city. These factories produced a variety of products, including farm implements, railroad equipment, and textiles. The city also became a major transportation hub, with the Fox River and the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad running through the city.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Aurora experienced a period of growth and expansion. The city's population increased significantly, and many new neighborhoods were developed. During this time, many significant public buildings were constructed, including the Paramount Theatre, the Aurora Public Library, and the Aurora City Hall.

The political environment in Aurora has played a significant role in the city's history. Throughout the city's history, there have been many political battles, both at the local and state levels. In the early 20th century, Aurora was known for its corrupt political machine, which was controlled by a group of powerful politicians known as the "Big Four." This political machine dominated Aurora's government for many years, until it was finally broken up in the 1950s.

Geography has also played a significant role in the development of Aurora. The city's location on the Fox River made it an ideal location for manufacturing and transportation. The river provided a source of water for the city's factories and mills, and the railroad provided a means of transporting goods to and from the city.

In the mid-20th century, Aurora experienced a period of decline, as many of its factories and mills closed down. However, in recent years, the city has experienced a resurgence, with many new businesses and industries moving into the city. Today, Aurora is a vibrant and diverse city, with a thriving downtown area, many parks and recreational facilities, and a rich cultural heritage.

Aurora has a rich and fascinating history that has been shaped by its political environment and geography. The city's growth and development have been influenced by its location on the Fox River and its position as a transportation hub. Throughout its history, Aurora has faced many challenges, but it has always emerged as a resilient and vibrant community. Today, Aurora is a thriving and diverse city that continues to grow and evolve.