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Joseph G. Stolp settled in Aurora on June 12, 1837, when there were 33 residents in the pioneer village. Stolp’s vision helped shape the city’s destiny. The Aurora Electric Light and Power Company used 2,000-candlepower electric lamps for the first streetlights in 1881. Today, the “City of Lights” is home to 200,000 residents and a diverse population with 42 percent of Hispanic heritage. The character of her people made Aurora an enterprising city. Notable residents include Maud Powell, violin virtuoso, and Harry C. Murphy, president of the Burlington Railroad. Profiles of Greek immigrant George Andrews and Aurora-born artist Wendell Minor, as well as Polish leader Bruno Bartoszek, color these pages with biographies of greatness. Astute business leaders include Robert Bonifas, Ken Nagel, Louis Leonardi, and Frank C. Schaefer. Dr. Stephanie Pace Marshall, Dr. Christine Sobek, and Dick Schindel give testament to adroit educational leadership. Legendary Locals of Aurora chronicles how the city’s history has been blessed with noble and innovative leaders.
About the Author
Jo Fredell Higgins is an internationally published and award-winning author, historian, teacher, photographer, and poet. She was named a 2004 YWCA Woman of Distinction and was honored with an Aurora Community Champion award in 2012.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Settlers and Immigrants 9
Chapter 2 Dancers and Singers, Artists All 33
Chapter 3 A Wheelbarrow Full of Hope 51
Chapter 4 Serving with Distinction 69
Chapter 5 Gracious Golden Apples 87
Chapter 6 Ordinary People, Extraordinary Efforts 97
Chapter 7 Excel in the Grace of Giving 103
Chapter 8 Everlasting Evergreen 109
Chapter 9 Winsome Wine, Wonderful in Every Way 117