“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Aurora in Sevier County, Utah — The American Mountains (Southwest)

Settlement of Aurora

Settlement of Aurora Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, June 14, 2014
1. Settlement of Aurora Marker
Inscription.  While riding through the Aurora valley, George T. Holdaway, J. Alma Holdaway and Elliott Newell of Provo, Utah, noticed fertile soil and an abundance of water and decided to begin a settlement here. They traveled home and encouraged others to join them. On March 25, 1875, they returned with Franklin Hill, Ezra H. Curtis, his sons, and wife, Julia. Julia, the only woman in the area for six months, lived in a wagon box until a log cabin was built for her. Soon others came to build homes and farm the land. They named their community "Willow Bend."
In 1879 the settlers bought a small canal that had been dug by Dr. Coons and Sons. It was enlarged, providing more water for their crops. Later, two more canals were dug. This gave the valley a good water supply and fulfilled a prophecy that the valley would be farmed from mountain to mountain. Drinking water from the river and canals caused many to develop typhoid fever, so all water was boiled until wells could be dug.
In 1879 a one-room log schoolhouse was built and used for both church and community activities. Maggie Keller was the first school teacher. Ernest Shepherd opened the first
Settlement of Aurora Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, June 14, 2014
2. Settlement of Aurora Marker
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store in one room of his house. He played his violin for dances. Sidney Curtis and Andrew Anderson often played their accordions. A co-op was built in 1884. Another store, owned by John Larsen, was bought by C.C. Christensen and moved into town; it later became the post office.
When the community applied to the government for a post office the name "Willow Bend" was changed, Numan Van Louvan, the first postmaster, suggested the name Aurora, after the Northern Lights.
Erected 2005 by Willow Bend Camp, Daughters of Utah Pioneers. (Marker Number 536.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Daughters of Utah Pioneers series list. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1892.
Location. 38° 55.169′ N, 111° 56.022′ W. Marker is in Aurora, Utah, in Sevier County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street and West 100 South, on the right when traveling north on South Main Street. Marker is in city park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Aurora UT 84620, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Outbreak of Black Hawk War (approx. 4.4 miles away); The Crosby Memorial Presbyterian Church and School of Salina (approx. 4.7 miles away); Salina Fort & Tithing Office
Settlement of Aurora Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, June 14, 2014
3. Settlement of Aurora Marker
(approx. 4.8 miles away); Old Rock Church (approx. 4.8 miles away); Battle of Cedar Ridge (approx. 5.3 miles away); Camp Salina (approx. 5.3 miles away); Redmond Town Hall (approx. 7 miles away); Glenwood United Order (approx. 10˝ miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 26, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 406 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 26, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.

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May. 14, 2021