Aurora, IL is a suburb of Chicago located about 42 miles southwest of the Chicago “loop”. As of the 2010 census Aurora housed 174,899 residents making it the second-most populous city in the state.
Aurora is one of few cities to stretch into several different counties – Kane, DuPage, Kendall, and Will with most of the county in Kane. In 1908, Aurora officially adopted the nickname “City of Lights”, because it was one of the first cities in the United States to implement an all-electric street lighting system in 1881. Aurora’s historic downtown is located on the Fox River, and centered on Stolp Island. The city is divided into three regions, The West Side, located on the west side of the Fox River, The East Side, located between the eastern bank of the Fox River and the Kane/DuPage County line, and the Far East Side/Fox Valley, which is from the County Line to the city’s eastern border with Naperville.
A post office was established in 1837, officially creating Aurora (Aurora was originally two villages: East Aurora, incorporated in 1845 and West Aurora on the west side of the river in 1854. In 1857, the two towns joined officially incorporated as the city of Aurora. The two sides could not agree on which side of the river should house the public buildings, so most public buildings were built on or around Stolp Island in the middle of the Fox River.
Today, Aurora is home to over 20 neighborhoods, the Paramount Theatre, five tv stations, three radio stations, and several museums. The city is on the edge of the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor with current and past manufacturers including The Aurora Silverplate Manufacturing Company, the Chicago Corset Company, the Aurora Brewing Company, Caterpillar Inc. The most prominent employer and industry was the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad (later Burlington Northern) which was headquartered in Aurora.