Five Forgotten Locals from Aurora, Indiana

Aurora’s Eagle Hotel, where riverboats docked regularly.

This charming Ohio River town has featured some amazing and inspirational residents.

The first settlers arrived in Aurora, which sits just 20 miles south of Cincinnati, in the 1790s. They were Revolutionary War veterans looking for a new start for their families—and they were also the first wave in Aurora’s surprising and fascinating citizenry.

Here are five of the town’s most fascinating characters.

An image of Samuel Morrison.
Samuel Morrison. Image sourced from Legendary Locals of Aurora, courtesy of DCHS.

Samuel Morrison was the first white child born in Dearborn County, on March 1, 1798. His family lived in a deserted Indian hut at the mouth of Hogan Creek and the Ohio River, until more permanent housing could be built. When Samuel was three, squirrels plagued Aurora. In 1801, the pesky critters moved along the river with nothing to check their march. It was said that one woman killed over 300 squirrels with her “clothes beater” while washing on the river’s shore.

An image of John Hamilton.
John Hamilton. Image sourced from Legendary Locals of Aurora, courtesy of DCHS.

John Hamilton owned the Eagle Hotel, which served people who rode the Ohio River’s riverboats. The hotel stood facing the river and was located opposite the mouth of Hogan Creek. It had a large porch extending across the front where guests sat and watched the river. Behind the hotel were a three-story brick building and the George Taylor Livery Stable. The Eagle Hotel operated for about 50 years. It, along with the livery, was destroyed by fire.  

An image of Georgiana Sutton.
Georgiana Sutton. Image sourced from Legendary Locals of Aurora, courtesy of Hillforest Foundation.

Georgiana Sutton was the daughter of Dr. George Sutton. In her will, Georgiana bequeathed Aurora a public library. She set aside $10,000 for the purpose, as a memorial in loving remembrance of her father and mother. The building was completed in 1914 and remains the town’s library today.

An image of Harry Kern, Tillie Cofield, and Russel Zeh in Kern's Grocery Store.
From left to right: Harry Kern, Tillie Cofield, and Russel Zeh. Image sourced from Legendary Locals of Aurora, courtesy of DCHS.

Harry Kern ran Kern’s Grocery Store, at 427 Second Street. In its time, it was said to be a better grocery store than Kroger. In this picture, from left to right, are Kern, Tillie Cofield, and Russel Zeh, who also helped run the store.

A side-by-side photo of a young and elderly Luella Roppers,
A young Luella Roppers (left), and right at her 102nd birthday party. Images sourced from Legendary Locals of Aurora, courtesy of Louella Roppers.

For each of her 105 years, Luella Roppers was a model of how to live a full and generous life. Even at 100, she would call the “Catch A Ride” bus every Friday to take her to Dearborn County Hospital, where she had volunteered for decades, accumulating over 4,200 volunteer hours. Roppers also wrote a monthly newsletter for her church, played cards with friends, and matched Retired Senior Volunteer Program volunteers with students from six schools as pen pals. During an interview she gave at 102, Roppers credited the Lord for her long life. “He’s given me health andI haven’t had any bad days,” she said. “I’ve always had what I need.

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