Aurora, TX - Population 1376
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member QuarrellaDeVil
N 33° 02.401 W 097° 31.176
14S E 638236 N 3656697
Quick Description: Aurora, TX, population 1376 as of this posting. This sign is located on the east side of FM 718, on the south city limit. We're almost at 115 years without a space alien sighting.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 2/25/2015 6:48:08 PM
Waymark Code: WMNE5A
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member monkeys4ever
Views: 0

Long Description:
The Handbook of Texas Online has this to say about Aurora: (visit link)

Aurora is on State Highway 114 ten miles southeast of Decatur in southeastern Wise County. The site is on a gentle rise and is surrounded by mesquite and live oak trees. Settlement began there in the late 1850s. Impressed by the beauty of the place, William O. Stanfield suggested Aurora for the name of the community. For the first twenty years the population grew rapidly, and the town became a trading center for county farmers. A post office was opened in 1873, and the town was incorporated on August 21, 1882. By the mid-1880s Aurora had two schools, two cotton gins, two hotels, fifteen businesses, and a population variously estimated at between 750 and 3,000. An outbreak of spotted fever began during the latter part of 1888, and by 1889 fear of the epidemic had caused a mass exodus from the town. Two years later, when the Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad abandoned its plan to lay tracks through Aurora, most of the few remaining inhabitants moved to Rhome, two miles to the southeast, the new site of a railroad stop. Ironically, as its decline continued, the town became the focus of the state's attention. On April 18, 1897, S.E. Hayden, an Aurora cotton buyer, wrote a story describing the crash of a mysterious airship just outside of town. Hayden's fictional article was apparently an attempt to bring attention to the community, but it caused a sensation because stories were already current of unidentified flying objects near Fort Worth. Hayden's tale, however, failed to revive Aurora. In 1901 postal service was discontinued. The construction of State Highway 114 through Aurora in 1939 probably saved the community from extinction. In the early 1970s Aurora underwent a rebirth as the town became a bedroom community of Fort Worth. In 1986 it had an estimated 376 residents. In 1990 the population was 623, and in 2000 it was 853.

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The Texas Historical Marker at the Aurora Cemetery mentions the space alien story, and at one time, someone had even placed a grave marker for the little green man:

The oldest known graves here, dating from as early as the 1860's, are those of the Randall and Rowlett families. Finis Dudley Beauchamp (1825-1893), a Confederate veteran from Mississippi, donated the 3-acre site to the newly formed Aurora Lodge No. 479, A.F. & A.M., in 1877. For many years, this community burial ground was known as Masonic Cemetery. Beauchamp, his wife Caroline (1829-1915), and others in their family are buried here. An epidemic which struck the village in 1891 added hundreds of graves to the plot. Called "spotted fever" by the settlers, the disease is now though to have been a form of meningitis.

Located in Aurora Cemetery is the gravestone of the infant Nellie Burris (1891-1893) with its often-quoted epitaph: "As I was so soon done, I don't know why I was begun." This site is also well known because of the legend that a spaceship crashed nearby in 1897 and the pilot, killed in the crash, was buried here.

Struck by epidemic and crop failure and bypassed by the railroad, the original town of Aurora almost disappeared, but the cemetery remains in use with over 800 graves. Veterans of the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts are interred here.
Address: FM 718, south city limit

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