History of the City of Aurora, Indiana
From: History of Dearborn County, Indiana
Her People, Industries and Institutions
Archibald Shaw, Editor
Published By: B. F. Bowen & Co., Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana 1915


Aurora is one of the most beautifully situated cities on the Ohio river. A sweeping curve of the river presents one of the most picturesque views to be seen anywhere. The two Hogan creeks, North Hogan and South Hogan, join within the corporation boundaries and empty into the river in the middle of the city. The river at this point makes an abrupt bend to the south, affording a view miles in length of the broad valley of the Ohio. The rounded hills that stretch to the south, abrupt and commanding, unroll to the view the valley to the east, as far as the Miami river, like a carpet. The two Hogan valleys, smiling and fertile, winding through the hills, are a picture of pastoral loveliness not excelled in any country. In the growth of the city the hills have been climbed and many beautiful homes located where a feast to the nature lover can be obtained that is grand and beautiful.

The original plat of the city contained two hundred and six lots, six public squares. It extended from Water street to Ridgeway, and from Importing to Library street. The city was platted by the "Aurora Assocation for Internal Improvements." Jesse L. Holman was the trustee for the association and the plat was filed on the 14th of January, 1819, Mr. Holman acknowledging it before James Dill, recorder of Dearborn county, on the 30th of January, 1819. Judge Holman gave the proposed town the name of "Aurora."

The land on which the city stands was entered from the government at the land office in Cincinnati on the 18th of September, 1804, by Charles Vattier, at the time a citizen of Cincinnati. The association purchased the land from Mr. Vattier. The original agreement, as made by the gentlemen composing the association and Mr. Vattier, is worthy of being preserved and is as follows:

"Articles of agreement and association entered into this day, January 14, 1819, between Charles Vattier, of Cincinnati, in the state of Ohio, of the first part, and Jesse L. Holman, Richard Norris, Martin Cozine, Samuel Moore, Erasmus Powell, David Fisher, Jehiel Buffington and James Powell, of Indiana, Elijah Horsley, William Scandrett, Philip Craig and Ebenezer Griffing, of Kentucky, John W. Langdon, Daniel Dudley, Benjamin Mudge, Charles Barren, Watson Lewis and Jesse L. Langdon, of Ohio, parties of the second part, are as follows: viz: Charles Tattier, party of the first part, for and in consideration of the covenants and agreements herein and after expressed, to be performed on the part of the said parties of the second part, has this day and hereby does grant, bargain and sell to them, the said parties of the second part, nineteen twentieths of two portions of land in Dearborn county, in the state of Indiana, situated at the mouth of Hogan creek, viz: fractional sections 32 and 33, containing 516 and 35,100 acres, more or less."

Vattier reserved that part of section 32 which lies on the upper side of the creek. The association was to pay nineteen thousand dollars for this property, payable in ten annual installments. The association held its first meeting on the loth of January, 1819, with the members all present and Jesse L. Holman was chosen its president and Benjamin. Mudge its clerk. A constitution was formed to govern it, which provided that regular meetings should be held semi-annually on the second Monday in January and the second Monday in July. Jesse L. Holman was appointed the trustee of the land. The constitution was acknowledged before Charles B. Cannon, a justice of the peace in Dearborn county, on the 25th of January, 1819.

At this first meeting it was agreed that "the company proceed by themselves or their directors to lay out a town, to build an ox saw mill and gristmill, a bridge across Hogan creek, a warehouse, or such other improvements as they may deem proper."

On the 1st of February, 1819, it was ordered that sealed proposals be received by the directors for the building of a bridge across Hogan creek at the end of Bidgeway street. Among the conditions that were inserted in the notice was that the proprietors of the town reserve the privilege of crossing the bridge free of toll, with their families included. The bridge, however, did not materialize at that time and it remained for George W. Lane to erect the first bridge several years later.

The affairs of the association were deemed of sufficient importance to make it necessary to put its agent, Richard Norris, under heavy bond for those days, and at a meeting held April 13, 1819, he was required to give bond in the sum of forty thousand dollars, and the treasurer, Philip Craig, was required to give bond to the amount of thirty thousand dollars.


The first sale of lots took place on the 28th of April, 1819, on the following terms: "One per cent in hand; one fifth, including the one per cent, in eight weeks; one fourth of the balance every year until paid. If not paid punctually, interest to be added from the time of the contract." The town started off with a promising outlook. At the first sale the two hundred and six lots were sold, including lots that were donated to persons that had agreed to commence improvements at once.

The lots sold as low as sixty dollars, and as high as four hundred and the day's sales amounted to the princely sum, for those days, of $28,553. July 11, 1820, Elias Conwell purchased the Shares of Erasmus Powell and became a member of the association. Other transfers of stock were made from time to time. The company undertook to investigate the merit of the claim that salt could be found in the vicinity of where the Crescent brewery building now stands, and commenced to drill wells to determine the matter; and Horace Bassett, afterwards a distinguished attorney of the state, and Elias Conwell were appointed by the company to superintend the work. The experiment was a failure.

In January, 1820, four lots were donated to Samuel Harris and "friends" to establish a cotton or woolen mill provided that the same be completed within four years. In January, 1820, at the same meeting, Samuel Harris was donated an entire square on condition that he would make improvements on the grounds within eighteen months equal to four substantial buildings. On the loth of January, 1821, the ferries across the Ohio river and over Hogan creek were leased to Edward Fairchild for a term of two years.

Judge Holman resigned as trustee on October 24, 1822. Mr. Holman seemed to have gradually absorbed all the positions on the board of directors, for at the period of his resignation he was trustee, treasurer and director. His resignation was necessary on account of being appointed one of the three judges of the supreme court of Indiana by Gov. Jonathan Jennings, with whom he had been very closely connected in a political way ever since the anti slavery struggles that were the leading issue when Mr. Holman first moved to Dearborn county in 1810. The thanks of the association were tendered him "For his ability, wisdom, impartiality and integrity in manageing the concerns of the company." The position of trustee was then given to Richard Norris and afterward to Horace Bassett and lastly to Isaiah Wing.

The following is a copy of the minutes of a meeting held on the 27th of April, 182o. It is brief and short. "Resolved, That when any member wishes to speak, he shall rise and respectfully address Mr. President. Resolved. That when two or more rise to speak at the same time, the president shall decide which shall proceed. Adjourned to attend the sale of lots."

In Cincinnati, the deed from Charles Vattier and his wife, Camilla. conveying the property to the Aurora association was acknowledged before Isaac G. Burnett, at that time the mayor of Cincinnati. The Dearborn county history published in 1885 says of the early sale of lots by the association that: "The lots were sold mostly on credit, and at very high prices, and for three or four years a great deal of public attention was given to the enterprise and quite a flourishing little village was built up; but at that time there was but little immigration westward, great scarcity of money, and few of the lots were paid for, and many of them forfeited to the association. Charles Vattier became the owner of a large number of the lots and most of the reserved lands, and afterwards transferred the same to William Israel, attorney in trust, and he to Buchanan, Buell and Lane, which became the property by transfer of George W. Lane about the year 1835."

In the spring of 1820 an addition to the village was recorded and in 1837 some twenty outlots were added. Additions have been made to the city from time to time to the present, among the earlier of which was one made by George W. Lane in 1844, one in 1845 by George W. Chrisman, and one in 1846 by Henry Walker.


The association was mindful of the necessity of setting apart grounds for public purposes that would show the proper spirit of advancing the welfare of the citizens, and they provided and set off on Literary, now Fifth street, lot 208 for library purposes; two lots for a Baptist church; lot 210 for school purposes; a public square at the head of Judiciary street; lot 216 was donated to the Masonic order; lot 221 to the Methodist Episcopal church; lot 227 for use of the Presbyterian church and lot 228 for school purposes.

The first board of select councilmen elected was Edward Fairchild, Timothy Brown, Elias Coñwell, Abraham St. John and Ebenezer Mudge. Horace Bassett was chosen the town clerk. On account of the inability of, purchasers to meet payments for their lots, improvements in the town moved along very slowly. Further time was granted in many cases, especially to those who were making improvements on their lots. It is claimed that one of the first houses erected in the thriving young town was built by Henry Van Middlesworth. It was finished in 1822 and occupied as a hotel and store. It was known as the "Aurora Hotel," and Van Middleworth was the landlord. The house is yet intact on the corner of Front and Second streets. About this time the frame house at the corner of Main and Importing streets and the frame part of the Eagle Hotel were built. The former was erected by Elias Conwell and the latter by Charles Vattier. On the corner of Main and Second streets the first brick house is said to have been erected. It was built by Aaron Foulk, who had a store there.


Daniel Bartholomew was elected justice of the peace in 1822, and from the records left by him it appears that he served about eleven years. The first case was entitled "Ebenezer Lange vs. Noah and James Lambert." It was a plea of debt to recover ten dollars and was dismissed for want of prosecution. His last entry on the docket bears the date of July 6, 1832.

This magistrate came to Aurora in 1819 or 1820, from Vermont. During a freshet in the river he landed his family at the mouth of Hogan creek in a small boat, in which they had floated from Pittsburgh. His family consisted of a wife and two daughters. One of the daughters afterward became the wife of George W. Cochran, a man who was well known by the older citizens of the town and was prominently connected with the history of Aurora. When the water receded Bartholomew continued to live in his boat which was "beached" high and dry on the bank. About a year later he built a small house on the bank of the river near where the Eagle House stood in later years. Here he lived with his family and kept a small store. After he was elected justice of the peace he used it for an office. At that time Aurora was a very small settlement.' The house built by Bartholomew and another at the corner of Second and Front streets were the only ones on the river bank.

Charles Vattier, the original landowner, was the proprietor of the ferry to convey persons across the river. The ferry was a small flatboat and a large canoe. Elijah Horsley was employed by Vattier to manage it. Hogan creek was crossed by the same means, no bridge having been built until fifteen years later, when Mr. George W. Lane, as an individual enterprise, constructed a toll bridge across the mouth of the creek. The bridge was of great importance to the young town. Mr. Lane afterward sold it to Dearborn county and when it became unsafe the present bridge was built.

Going back to Squire Bartholomew's docket, a brief review of its contents may be of interest, as showing how and to whom justice was administered in Aurora in early days. The following record appears on page four and is among the first cases entered. "State of Indiana vs. John Hiff. In a charge of abuse and insult to the wife of Ebenezer Lange; Warrant issued on February 18, 1822; the defendant came and the jury was summonsed, empaneled and sworn. After a, proper and full investigation of all things appertaining to the charge the jury retired, and soon agreed upon a verdict of eight dollars fine for the State of Indiana. Daniel Bartholomew, justice of the peace."

On the loth of March, 1822, for breach of peace and swearing, Thomas Longley was fined ninety five cents. On the same date, for abuse and threatening his wife, who prayed surety of the peace, Thomas Dailey was found guilty and committed to jail. On May 31, 1822, Axey Wilson was tried by a jury for an assault upon a child. He was judged guilty and fined one cent. to be applied to the state of Indiana. Samuel Roof appeared on the 22nd of July, 1822, and acknowledged himself indebteded to Henry Benson in the sum of fifty cents, together with interest thereon until paid. On the 21st of August an execution was issued by order of the plaintiff, and in default of payment the body of defendant was committed to jail. Samuel Doolittle was the constable. "State of Indiana vs. Amasa Ball." This was an action of assault and battery on the body of George W. Thornton; warrant issued on September 2, 1822; returned the same day with the body present. The jury was unable to agree. To quote from the docket, "The foreman retired and the balance was discharged, and the defendant made his escape into Kentucky to those people whose countenance favored his character."

George W. Thornton then comes forward as the defendant in an assault and battery case, but no witnesses being present against him, he was discharged. "State of Indiana vs. Samuel Roof. The defendant was legally summonsed and empaneled as a juror, November 2, 1822, when he retired from the room after the case was submitted to the jury and was absent for some time, after which, without permission, he went home and returned not again. It is therefore considered that the State of Indiana recover judgment of the defendant in the sum of two dollars, this 2d of November, 1822.

"Justice of Peace."


On the 1st of October, 1822, James Green brought suit against Torrence Curry to recover thirty seven and one half cents. On the same day the claim was paid, and Green's receipt appears upon the docket. "Isaac Cannon vs. Jehiel Buffington. An action for neglect of duty as constable; no cause. Case dismissed at plaintiff's cost."

Elias Conwell and Horace Bassett were prominent and influential men in those days. Both were leading spirits in the organization and building up the town. But they had their little personal misunderstanding, as it appears by the record of February 24, 1823. On that day Conwell committed an assault and battery on the person of Bassett and was arraigned for trial by jury, he was found guilty and fined two dollars and costs. Elijah Whitten in an action "for profane swearing for seven different oaths, taken before me on the 6th of March, 1824, at Aurora, for which the said Whitten is fined one dollar for each oath."

On the 7th of June, 1824, Michael Trester brought suit against Isaac Miller, on account of the freight on one barrel of salt from Cincinnati to Aurora. Execution was issued and placed in the hands of Robert Criswell, constable. Edmund Cheeseman, for an assault upon Caleb Woodworth, constable, was adjudged guilty and for want of bail was committed. In a suit for forcible entry and detainer between Luke Erill, plaintiff, and Elias Conceal, defendant, March 19, 1825, wherein it was alleged that Conwell took unlawful possession of a building belonging to Erill, and in which considerable public interest was probably manifested, the court adjourned to the meeting house. "The following named persons comprised the jury: David Boardman, John B. Chisnian, Noyes Canfield, Peter Carhaugh, John Vinson, Walter Kerr, William Hancock, Jonathan Parks, David Walser, Conrad Huffman, Asa Shattuck and Stephen J. Paine. Verdict for the plaintiff." Thomas Sparks, for swearing in open court, August 23, 1825, was fined one dollar. The defendant left the state and died, says the record, but did not satisfy the judgment.

For assault and battery, April 29, 1826, John Brown was fined three dollars. His fine was not paid and Robert Criswell, constable, was directed by the court to convey the defendant to the county jail for imprisonment. John Lasine, for an assault upon his wife, Sunday, October 7, 1827, was arrested on complaint of J. Wing and brought before the court in a state of intoxication. When sober he was fined one dollar. Charles Vattier, the landowner an. l enterprising business man, found time to occasionally partake of the pleasures and pastimes of social life, as witness this: On the 8th of December, 183o, he was arraigned for assault and battery on the body of Peleg Bartlett and fined three dollars and costs.


From the files of the Western Commercial, published in Aurora, in 1848, it is learned that the following persons were among the active business men of the time: Samuel Osgood, county sheriff; S. P. Tumy, stoves and tinware; Johnson Watts and Samuel Cole, administrators of the estate of Ephraim Hopping; Aurora and Laughery Turnpike Company, Johnson Watts, president, George W. Lane, secretary, John D. Haynes, treasurer; Eagle Hotel, M. Cochran, proprietor; P. B. Vail, book store; J. Chambers & Company, dry goods; Reed & Company, drugs; B. Sylvester, dry goods; J. S. Jelley, attorney; James D. Lindsay, administrator estate of Stephen Woods.

From the records of 1851: W. S. Holman and John B. Vail, attorneys; H. L. Dean, dry goods.

Business men of 1852-53: N. & S. A. Leonard, dry goods; L. N. Bush, grocery; Milton Taylor, soap and candle factory; Miller & Stockman, boots and shoes; T. S. Wallace, leather store; John Blangy, daily bus to Moores Hill; Dr. W. H. Terrill, physician; Simon Siemental & Company, bakery.

City officials of 1854: S. P. Tumy, mayor; William W. Conway, clerk; Henry A. Moran, treasurer; Thomas Wright, marshal; William Webber, Asa Shattuck, James Cummings, Francis Wymond, councilmen.

The Independent Banner, Nelson D. Folbre, editor, on April 12, 1852, had the following among its advertisers: Mansion House, J. O. Emrie, proprietor; Philip Held, clothing; Hurlburt & McHenry, saw mill; W. C. Webber, grocer; O. P. Cobb & Company, produce.


The following article is taken from the Independent Banner, in 1852, the paper then being edited by N. D. Folbre: "We are no strangers in Aurora. Our earliest recollections in life had their existence here. Our days, from our infancy, have been mostly spent in this place; and we profess to know something of its early history.

"All that territory now covered with neat houses, and known as the Fifth ward of the town, we knew when it was overspread with Indian corn, yielding annually a bountiful harvest. Beneath Chamber's store once ran a deep ravine, from the Dills west of the town, and emptied into the Ohio. So deep was that ravine, that a tolerably sized wooden bridge was thrown across it, for the benefit of the citizens and travelers. In summer we have played in its waters; in winter we have skated on its frozen surface. Our playmates, who sported with us then, are now nearly all gone; some are in California, a few yet reside here, but most of them are dead.

"Remember the old grist mill which stood on the bank of South Hogan creek, about fifty yards to the right of the walnut tree at the head of Third street; saw the oxen when they tramped the wheel that turned the mill, and the miller when he took his toll. Recollect when Hogan creek at its mouth was sixty feet deep (when the Ohio was low) and the old Frenchman, Vattier, when he kept the ferry across it, and took his 'eleven penny bit.' In those days this

`Town was all covered over
With bramble and clover,'

and some dog fennel and a few Jamestown (Jimpson) weeds. Oh! those were brave old days.

"At a still earlier date, about the year 1828, when four years of age, we attended school, held in a log cabin which stood on what was then a grassy common, between Fourth and Fifth streets, west of Squire Harris' dwelling. This was also used as a place of worship for Methodists, a sect at that time few in number. Twenty five or thirty frame and log houses composed the village. A few years later the brick house on the corner of Second and Main, occupied by O. P. Cobb as a dwelling, was built by Aaron Folk. In the east part of it he resided and used the other part for a drygoods store. This house was considered a vast improvement to the town, and was universally styled as the 'big brick.' Above the door of the store room was posted a sign of dark green ground with yellow letters which read 'A. Foulk's New Store,' much to the delight of the good people of the neighborhood. In 1835, where our office now stands, there stood a frame house, occupied by Daniel Bartholomew, Esq. (deceased), as a drug and drygoods store. The squire was one of the oldest inhabitants, and filled the various posts as merchant, magistrate and doctor there being no regular physician in the village. His storehouse was destroyed by fire. The day it was burned we Were in school, taught by one Gauf Wilson, who will be remembered by all who were so unlucky as to have been his pupils, for his peculiar propensity for applying the birchen rod. A fire those days in town was a remarkeble event, and the school was dismissed and the teacher and scholars hastened, en masse, to the scene of disaster, where all the villagers, old and young. male and female. had assembled to render their aid to the sufferer.

"At that time there were few steamers plying upon our beautiful Ohio. Some of them were hard looking crafts, compared with the splendid boats of the present day. When a passenger wished to take passage, if in the night, the boat was brought to shore by the discharge of a rifle or other small gun. Freights and passage were dear, and many of the people of the village preferred traveling on the old Tearnot,' a keelboat, greatly celebrated as a fast traveler, making one trip every two weeks to Cincinnati, freighted, generally with barrels, hoop poles and staves; and returning, brought goods of all kinds for our small shopkeepers and the neighboring villages. This unparalled speed was eclipsed, however, by a smaller keel boat under command of a gentleman who was determined to outdo time itself, and a brag trip to Cincinnati (including taking on and discharging freight) was consequently made in eight days. Thereafter, when this swift craft came in sight of our port and blew its famous boat horn, the villagers assembled to the river bank to greet her and hear the latest news.

"The year 1836, almost seventeen years since, was a great era in the history of Aurora, a newspaper was established in the town. It was called the Indiana Signal, and was owned by George W. Lane and several others. It was edited by S. C. Hastings, now a supreme judge in California. The Signal was devoted to the election of Martin Van Buren to the presidency. John K. Wilcox, who yet resides here, had the control of the mechanical department; in that office, under his direction, we set our first type. William Webber was also an apprentice in the office and many a boyish fracas had we there together. The office was in the upper story of the house now occupied by Judge Kumel as a tavern, on Main street near the creek. But the Signal was short lived. It rendered all its strength to Van Buren's election, for which purpose it was established, and shortly after that event its Democratic fires ceased to burn. A paper printed with the same type and press, called the Dearborn Democrat, was established shortly after the decease of the Signal by one J. C. Whitilsey, but died in a very short time for lack of support. In the latter part of 1838 or early in 1839, a newspaper entitled the Dearborn County Democrat, was started in town, in the room we now occupy, by Alexander E. Glenn. The paper was Democratic and advocated in 1840 the reelection of Van Buren. The election of General Harrison was too much for Mr. Glenn, and his paper shortly after that event went by the board.

"At this period the census of the United States was taken and Aurora was found to contain only 499 inhabitants. And not until 1844 did the place give evidence of ever being anything more than a small village. But the country for many miles around the town, being exceedingly rich and productive, whose trade, if proper inducements were held out, could be secured and the locality of the place being one of the best on the Ohio, possessing the finest harbor and landing on the river for the largest class of boats in the lowest stage of water, were advantages no longer to be overlooked. Strangers commenced coming in, building and locating. Business and dwelling houses were in demand; property increased in value. The old citizens holding property put up substantial houses. Real estate was in constant demand. Men of capital were attracted to the town; and soon Aurora contained a number of valuable houses. From year to year the place continued to prosper. Now, in the year 1852, Aurora numbers over 3,000 inhabitants, supports two newspapers, and contains some of the most elegant and costly houses in the state, several of them erected at an expense of $9,000, $14,000 and $15,000 each.

"Several hundred flatboats, freighted with produce, every season leave our port for southern markets. A superior steamer plies as a regular daily packet between this place and Cincinnati. A considerable business is also picked up here by the mail and Madison boats. No steamer fails to land at our wharves as she passes In our midst and around us are signs of active business. Our landings are crowded with freight, our streets filled with wagons from the country, our mechanics busy in the shops, our merchants engaged at their counters, all denoting a flourishing little city and prosperous community. What a change in a few years! At this point the great Ohio & Mississippi railroad first strikes the Ohio river; the machine shops for which are to be located near the west part of the city. These shops will occupy twenty acres, including the dwellings of workmen, and will bring to our place, it is estimated, 400 families."


Nothing better shows the changes brought about by time in its inexorable flight than the following directory of some of the men of affairs in the city in 1858 and 1859. W. Allen, carpenter; E. B. Allen, blacksmith; A. Andrews, grocer; H. Boettner, barber; W. Beerger, gunsmith; F. M. Bess, hotel; A. Bloom, merchant tailor; R. C. Bond, physician; F. A. Burns. boot and shoemaker; B. M. Bush, Adams express; Campbell & York, saddlers; J. H. Carbaugh, attorneys; Chambers, Stevens & Company, dry goods; George Cheek, hay dealer; Mrs. A. P. Clark, postmistress; John Cobb, coal; O. P. Cobb & Company, pork packers and grocers; C. H. & A. J. Cooper, jewelers; A. G. Crane & Company, coopers; William Cunningham, liquors: J. Devons, woolen factory; G. Dines, barber; N. Dyke, tinsmith; Ebersole & Haines, druggists; Ebersole, physician; W. J. Edwards & Company, carriage makers; C. Fehling, grocer; Peter Fisher, boot and shoe maker; T. & J. W. Gaff, millers, distillers, dry goods, grocers; B. Garmhausen, grocer; J. Giegoldt, butcher; J. L. & M. Giegoldt, livery; M. Goldsmith, boots and shoes; Ed H. Green, attorney; J. Hamilton, hotel; W. T. Harris, justice of peace; L. Hauck, barber; P. H. Held, merchant tailor; S. Hettenbergh, exchange; S. P. Hill & Company, druggists; Holman & Haynes, attorneys; Holz, physician; R. Hubbartt, grocer; A. B. Hubbartt, carpenter; F. Huckery, justice of peace; L G. Hurlbert, lumber and mill; J. Ittner, boot and shoe; P. Kastner, bakery; J. A. Kelsey & Company; wharf boat; M. Kemp, grocer; A. Kreitlein, grocer; H. Lamkin, tailor; A. Johnson, baker; J. G. Lampus, tobacconist; A. B. Loundsberry, wagon maker; T. Lattimore, carpenter; Abram Lozier, dry goods: R. E. McCreary, dry goods; B. N. McHenry, blacksmith; J. Malony, grocer; H. Marron, furniture; Mayer, Cohn & Co., clothiers; J. N. Milburn, jeweler; L. Miles, attorney; S. Parker, fruit and vegetables; L. Phalin, grocer; S. R. Pierce, dry goods; J. Pyle, ambrotypist; J. F. Radspinner, grocer; J. Rider, boots and shoes; F. Rothert, grocer; Mrs. C. Sadler, milliner; L. Schultze, hotel; W. Sherrod, barber; Mrs. Mary Sherwood, milliner; B. Shipper, coal dealer; M. Siemental, bakery; Sieniental, brewery; M. & C. Siemental, millers; Frederick Slater, grocer; E. Small, hay dealer; W. P. Squibb Company, dealers in liquors and groceries; J. Stafford, grocer; Mrs. M. Stark, milliner; Stedman & Company, foundry; J. Stevens, blacksmith; W. F. Stevens, insurance; I. Stratton, dry goods; G. W. Taylor, livery; R. Q. Terrill, attorney; N. H. Tuck, ambrotypist; S. P. Tumy, mayor, dealer in stoves and tinware; B. W. Twyman, attorney; P. L. Veiht, physician; J. W. Weaver, commission merchant; A. Wehe, saddler; J. H. Wilke, Grocer; F. D. Worth, hotel; Wymond & Gibson, coopers; Young & Miller, boots and shoes.


The city government of Aurora commenced in 1848, with John D. Haynes as its mayor. In T851 he was succeeded by Solomon P. Tumy, who held the office until 1859, excepting the year 1856, when the position was held by Washington Stark. John Gaff held the position as city mayor from 1859 to 1861, when Frederick Slater was elected and held the place until 1863; when he recruited a company for the Eleventh Kentucky Cavalry and served until the end of the war, coming out of the service as the lieutenant colonel of his regiment. He is now living in his extreme old age in the town of Moores Hill.

Following the mayoralty of Colonel Slater came Dr. George Sutton, who gave of his valuable time four years to the service of his adopted city. Doctor Sutton was succeeded by R. Criswell in 1867, and he by Frederick Huckery in 1869. J. A. Emrie served from 1871 to 1873, and Dr. Frederick Rectanus from 1873 to 1877, being succeeded by Edward H. Green, who also served four years, and gave up the government of the city in 1881 to Louis E. Bienkamp. At present Thomas C. Carmichael is serving his second term as mayor.

The city officials in 1915 are: Thomas C. Carmicheal, mayor; Carl Geigoldt, clerk; Arthur H. Ebel, treasurer; Daniel B. Teaney, Walter Frank, Henry Rullmann, James Rushivorth, Fred Beinkampen, Frank Morten, councilmen; John Dean, city attorney; James Green, chief of police; Charles H. Dewers, chief of fire department; Dr. J. F. Treon, city health officer; Joseph Huston, Thomas Squibb, Philip Horr, school board.


On the west bank of the Ohio river, about two miles below the city of Aurora, lies that beautiful home of the dead River View Cemetery. Situated on high rolling bottom land, with its southern border touched by the waters of Laughery creek, a stream made historical by the death of Colonel Laughery. While on the north and west it is overtopped by massive hills giving shelter and protection from the wintry blasts. Here it was that Colonel Laughers, that pioneer soldier, and his handful of brave men, were ambushed and massacred by the Indians. Here also was the burying ground of a prehistoric race, and here today may be found abundant evidence of their handiwork.

After wise and judicial consideration, this historical and picturesque spot was selected by the original incorporators as a suitable place for the burial of the dead. And of the twenty one original incorporators but one is living today; and of those that have passed to the beyond, nearly all have found a resting place in this home that they have selected. It was the desire and the distinct and irrevocable principle of these incorporators, and so specified in their articles of association, that "the entire funds arising from the sale of burial lots and the proceeds of any investments of said fund, shall be and they are specially dedicated to the purchase and improvements of the grounds of the cemetery, and keeping them durably and permanently inclosed and in perpetual repair for all future time, and that no part of such funds shall as dividends or profits in any manner inure to the corporators."

In 1869 thirty acres of this ground were purchased and laid off in lots, intersected by avenues and driveways, well graded and graveled. Trees and shrubbery give added beauty to the place, and a system of waterworks With hydrant and hose, is at the disposal of the lot owners. The soil is sandy and needs no drainage and the superintendent, whose home is on the grounds, is supplied with all modern conveniences for his work. For the permanent care of the individual lots the board of managers favors the depositing of money with the cemetery association for this purpose and to each person making such deposit a receipt is given acknowledging the obligation and specifving the ground to be cared for.

Actuated by a spirit of patriotism, the board of managers have set apart a circular plot of ground for the burial of soldiers. From its center rises a flagstaff and the whole is guarded by a large cannon, a relic of the Civil War. A natural mound of great beauty and splendidly located, from whose top a fountain plays, is reserved for a historical monument. A handsome brick chapel, resembling somewhat the early Spanish Missions, has been erected. It is conveniently arranged for the holding of services and is open to the public.

The entrance to the cemetery, through a long, shady avenue of lindens, is charming. Many rare plants, shrubs and magnificent trees adorn the grounds, while in the summer beautiful flowered and artistic landscape gardening are in evidence on all sides. A number of handsome monuments and mausoleums have been erected and under the management of the board of managers and competent superintendent it is today the most beautiful cemetery in southeastern Indiana.

The original incorporators of the cemetery were George Sutton, Francis Wymond, J. Chambers, J. N. Milburn, Philip Wymond, Thomas Gaff, J. J. Backman, Henry VV. Smith, William F. Stevense, George Shockley, John K. Wilcox, E. F. Sibley, Simon Siemental, Jesse Younker, Nathaniel Dyke. Charles D. Bienkamp, Richard Gregg, William F. Bailey, Abe Epsteinm, Charles Bauer and Elijah Christopher. They were all residents of the city of Aurora, and their corporation was made under the name of "River View Cemetery Association." They formulated a set of rules by which the cemetery is governed and which rules have all to do with the great success of the undertaking.

The officers and managers change frequently on account of death. and kindred reasons. Its first officers were George Sutton, president; Thomas Gaff, treasurer; Will F. Stevens, secretary. Executive committee, George Sutton, Francis Wymond and Will F. Stevens. Board of managers, George Sutton, Thomas Gaff, John N. Milburn, Will F. Stevens, H. W. Smith, Simon Siemental, Francis Dymond, J. J. Backman, C. D. Beinkamp, George Shockley and William F. Bailey.

The officers in 19o8 were H. P. Spaeth, president; H. H. Sutton, vice president; Philip Hoar, secretary; E. H. Davis, treasurer. Board of managers, E. H. Davis, Fred Schniutte, H. P. Spaeth, H. H. Sutton, Hubert J. Louis Stoll and Seth Stedman. Superintendent, George Siemental.


Attorneys-McMullen & McMullen, L. E. Davies, W. M. Dean, prose-
cuting attorney, Thomas C. Carmichael.
Agents-Thomas Ewin, Baltimore & Ohio; William Klausing, Big Four.
Auto garage and dealers-Nieman & Linkmeyer, H. S. Neal, Citizens'
garage, Andrew Burk, manager.
Bakeries-Walter Frank, Samuel Watts.
Barbers-Phillip Cosby, Henry Teaney, Louis Hauck, William Ruble.
Albert Knippenberg, Paul Schroer.
Band-Harry Smith, director.
Business college-Lee Richmond.
Blacksmiths-Harry Doctor, William Knoliman.
Banks-First National, Aurora State Bank.
Chiropractor-John Good.
Confectionery-George Demas.
Carpenters and contractors-J. C. Wright & Son, Jesse Trester, Truitt & Probst.
Clothing-Edward Schulz, Model Clothing Store, Ira Farmer, manager;
Siefferman & Haug, Dennis Burke, J. R. Macker.
Coal Dealers-Pittsburgh Coal Company, Opp Coal Company, M. Duke.
Druggists-J. A. Riddell. C. W. Olcott, John Ullrich.
Dry goods-Frank H. Rieman, Chambers & Stevens, John F. Vinup,
Frank M. Cox, J. W. Martin, Mrs. Celia Bush.
Dentists-H. J. Longcaxnp, J. E. Cole, C. L. VanOsdol.
Factories-Royer Wheel Company, Steadman Foundry and Machine Works, Cochran Chair Company, Aurora Coffin Company, Aurora Tool Works, Aurora Furniture Company, Wymond Cooperage Company, Indianapolis Chair and Furniture Company, Acme Milling Company, Star Milling Company, Aurora Brick Works, Aurora Creamery, H. W. Smith Chair Company.
Furniture-J. C. Schuler & Son, Dearborn House Furnishing Company, Theodore Heck & Company.
Groceries-Bailey Grocery Company, D. B. Feaney, Chambers & Stevens, Conaway Grocery Company, R. S. Zeh, Thieman Brothers, Fred PeIgen, John E. Steele, William Harrison, Mrs. C. F. Taylor, J. H: Snyder, Charles Steigerwald, James Everett, Jacob B. Bebinger, E. H. Niebaum & Son, Harry Wood.
Harness--Sawdon & Schooley.
Hardware-Johnston & Smith, Sawdon & Schooley, H. B. Spaeth & Company, J. H. Kuhlemeier & Son.
Hotels-Cottage Hotel, M. V. Heath, proprietor; Campbell House, Thomas Campbell, proprietor.
Ice cream-Henry Knippenberg.
Jewelers-William Leibe, Phillip Horr, R. W. Clark, W. T. Bascom. Laundry-Aurora Steam Laundry, W. S. Walker, manager. Livery-Emery Nocks, G. H. Stier, Joseph Goulding, Edward Holthouse. Lumber dealer and building superintendent-R. C. Mattox. Meat-Stoll Meat Company, W. F. Scharf & Son.
Mayor-Thomas C. Carmichael.
Milliners-Samuel Somerfield, G. & L. Cochran, Flora Hubbartt. Newspapers-Dearborn Independent, Aurora Bulletin. Optometrists-Leslie Hoerr.
Physicians-H. H. Sutton, E. J. Libbert, J. M. Jackson, James Treon, J. L McElroy, C. G. Marshall; E. R. Wallace, Ella S. Holmes.
Pool room-Ed. Everett.
Postmaster-M. E. Maloney.
Photographer-Mrs. Mary Drake.
Restaurants-E. C. Borgerding, Mary Mason, Heath Brothers, S. C. Watts.
Saloons-John Conoway, George Weaman, Gus Martin.
Shoe Stores-John Neff, Frank Schipper.
Second hand stores-Charles Winkley, Fred Ruscher.
Theaters-Grand, Petcher & Kyle; Lyric. Petcher & Kyle; Empire,
Ross Macker.
Undertakers-John H. Stier, Ed. Hoithause.
Varieties-Harry Vigran, Chas. Schenerman.
Veterinarian-T. J. Martin.

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