AURORA - was formed from Batavia, as "Willink," April 11, 1804. Its name was changed April 15, 1818. Clarence was taken off in 1808, Buffalo in 1810, Concord, Hamburgh, and Eden in 1812, Holland and Wales in 1818, and a part of Elma in 1857. It occupies nearly a central position in the co. Its surface is rolling in the N. and hilly in the S. The declivities of the hills are generally gradual slopes, and their summits are 150 to 300 feet above the valleys. The principal streams are Cazenove Creek and its branches. The soil is gravelly loam in the valleys and clayey among the hills. Willink, (p.v.,) incorp. Dec. 29, 1849, is situated on the E. branch of Cazenove Creek, in the N. part of the town. It contains 2 churches and a woolen factory and has a pop. of 365. East Aurora, (p.v.,) about 1 mi. E. of Willink, contains 2 churches, an academy,(1) and several manufacturing establishments. Pop. 360. West Falls, (p.v.,) on the W. bank of Cazenove Creek, in the S. part of the town, contains 1 church, 2 sawmills, a gristmill, and about 30 houses; and Griffins Mills, (p.v.,) on the same stream, near the center of the town, contains 1 church, a sawmill, a gristmill, and 25 houses. The first settlement was made in the fall of 1803, by Jabez Warren, Henry Godfrey, and Nath'l Emerson.(2) The evidences of ancient Indian occupation were plainly visible upon the advent of the whites.(3) The first church (Bap.) was organized with 16 members, in 1810, by Elder Irish. There are 7 churches in town.(4) Ex-Pres. Millard Fillmore and Hon. N.K. Hall, Judge of Supreme Court and Ex-P.M. Gen., were for some years residents of East Aurora.
(1)The Aurora Manual Labor Seminary was chartered Oct. 18, 1833; and in 1838 its name was changed to the Aurora Academy. The manual labor department was long since abandoned.
(2)These were followed by Joel and John Adams, Tabor Earlie, and Humphrey Smith, in 1804, and Wm. Warren, Thos. Tracey, Christopher Stone, and Luther Hibbard, in 1805. The first birth was that of Orra Warren, in Dec. 1805; and the first death, that of a daughter of Humphrey Smith, in 1806. Phineas Stevens built the first sawmill, in 1806, and the first gristmill, in 1807. Gen. Wm. Warren kept the first inn, in 1806, and Adams & Hascall the first store, in 1808. The first school was taught by Mary Eddy, in 1806.
(3)Two hills, in the N. part of the town, were fortified by circular breastworks, in many places 6 to 8 ft. high. Human bones, of almost giant size, have been dug up near the fortifications; and pieces of pottery and iron axes have been found in the vicinity. - Letter of Rev. Asher Wright. In 1809 an ancient copper plate, 12 by 16 inches, covered with letters or hieroglyphics, was plowed up upon the land of Ephraim Woodruff, in Aurora: the finders, not knowing its value as a specimen of antiquity, converted it into a dipper and skimmer. - Turner's Hol. Pur., p. 668.
(4)2 Presb., Bap., Cong., M.E., Univ., and R.C.
J.H. French, Gazetteer of the State of New York (Syracuse, New York: R. Pearsall Smith, 1860), p. 283.