The Township serves approximately 150,000 residents residing in its boundaries of (roughly) Orchard Road to the west, Route 56 to the north, Eola Road to the east, and Route 30 to the south. By law, Illinois townships must provide three basic functions: general assistance, property appraisal for local taxation purposes, and maintenance of all roads and bridges outside of federal, state, and other local jurisdiction. Aurora Township provides these services and much more.
Role of the Township
The township consists of both elected officials and staff. The Township Supervisor, Highway Commissioner, and Property Assessor are elected positions, individually responsible for their departments and budgets. These positions are accountable to the Township Board of Trustees. Four elected Trustees and the Supervisor make up the board with the Supervisor serving as chairman. The Township Supervisor, Highway Commissioner, and Property Assessor each manage a staff of employees to help carry out the duties and services of their offices.
In addition to providing the basic functions of township government, Aurora Township offers many programs for youth and seniors and enforces ordinances within its jurisdiction.
The Illinois Constitution of 1848 gave voters in each county the opportunity to adopt township form of government. Kane County was one of the early counties to adopt the township form of government and Aurora Township was duly created in 1850.
On April 2, 1850, Russell C. Mix was elected as the first Aurora Township Supervisor; H.F. Kingsbury, Town Clerk; W.V. Plum, Assessor; I.T. Bevier, Poormaster; S. Richardson, I.M. Howell and John Douglas, Commissioners of Highways; John King and W.R. King, Justices of the Peace; C. Pinney and W.D. King, Constables. W.D. King was also elected Collector.
Unlike many townships in Illinois, Aurora Township was not the first local form of government. At an election held March 6, 1845, fifty-two votes were cast in favor of incorporating the village of East Aurora. The Village of West Aurora later followed suit in 1854. The two villages (pop. 7,000) were combined in 1857 thanks to the Illinois legislature, although the two sides remained rivals. When the two towns first united, they agreed on Stolp Island on the Fox River as a ‘neutral’ site for City Hall. Russell C. Mix, the first Township Supervisor, was elected as alderman in the first election for the new City of Aurora. He later served as Postmaster of Aurora.
During its early history, the Fox River served as a great attraction for manufacturers its abundant water power. Later, the railroad was a driving force in the growth of industry and the township. The current township building at 80 N. Broadway is located just south of the former American Well Works plant and is a short distance from the former Chicago Burlington & Quincy roundhouse and repair shops. The township, which had formerly leased space from the City of Aurora at City Hall, purchased its current office in the early 1970s. The Youth Center at 313 Gale Street was purchased from the Aurora YMCA at about the same time.