North Aurora is a village in Kane County approximately 36 miles west of the Chicago Loop. North Aurora runs its own library, fire department, and police department; however, the Fox Valley Park District manages the public spaces and parks. According to the 2020 census, there are 18,261 people.
Originally, Aurora and North Aurora were separated by only four miles; however, they are now adjacent to each other. Early settlements straddled the Fox River from the beginning.
It was two Schneider brothers who arrived in North Aurora looking for a location to build a sawmill, originally referred to as Schneider's Crossing. They arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1824 after leaving Frankfurt on the Rhine around 1823. The brothers found work as carpenters and millwrights. John Peter along with his family embarked on a western journey in 1832, traveling by river and Lake Michigan to Michigan. Then by 1833, John Peter and his family made it as far as the area now called Naperville. Nicholas met up with his brother, and together the brothers constructed a lumber mill close to Yorkville at the headwaters of the Blackberry Creek. John Peter moved onward to the Fox River Valley, ending up with his family on the east side of the river close to what is now the Village Hall. John Peter was among the first settlers to arrive in 1834. He was drawn to the fertile and beautiful countryside with its river, woods, and farmland. The abundance of resources such as water power, lumber, and crops made it an attractive destination for many other people. In 1837, a dam was built to generate electricity for the mill that they had built earlier.
North Aurora area evolved in the 1850s in response to the construction of railroads passing through the town. This sparked an increase in job prospects and connected those living in North Aurora with the surrounding metro area. This commercial activity caused more people to relocate to the area; by the 1900s there were around 300 inhabitants in North Aurora, eventually leading to its incorporation in 1905 as a village.
The early 1900s saw further development, as interurban rail lines established even more social, economic, and educational links down the Fox River valley.
In 1915, Peter Oberweis, a dairy farmer in Aurora, Illinois, started providing his neighbors with additional milk via a horse-drawn wagon. Over eighty years later, Oberweis Dairy moved to a much larger facility, office, and store in North Aurora where they remain headquartered today. This allowed them to triple their milk production capacity and dramatically increase their ice cream manufacturing output by up to ten times - an additional subsequent expansion provided an extra tenfold boost.
The early 20th century brought industrial and railway development to Aurora, prompting some of the railroad workers to settle in North Aurora. This contributed to its moderate growth up until the 1960s which was a time of enormous transition for the Fox River Valley. It evolved from an independent economy with locals both living and working there into a more suburban community where people commuted to job centers outside of the valley. Initially, they had access to these jobs via the commuter train system, but eventually, residents began traveling by car to places beyond cities and expressways. This trend of moving workplace areas further out continues to this day and it has encouraged residential growth in North Aurora.
North Aurora's first mayor was William A. Hartsburg, elected in 1905.
To Downtown Chicago – 39.5 miles
Transportation – There are Metra trains available in Aurora & Naperville via the BNSF Railway line.
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