Aurora -- The new Aurora High School varsity girls softball diamond will be called Thompson Field after the Thompson family, which lived in a home in front of the ballfield for more than a century.
Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin OK'd the name after it was suggested in November by resident Mary Jurkiewicz Beckstrom, whose parents Alfred and Louise Beckstrom purchased the home from the Thompson family in 1958.
"Mary thought, as I do, that naming it Thompson Field helps carry forth the historic character of our wonderful city," Womer Benjamin said.
Both parents live at the house at 240 S. Chillicothe Road, which was built for the Thompson family in 1852, said Jurkiewicz Beckstrom, who added the Thompsons were blacksmiths.
She said both of her parents "are very proud of the fact that I brought this to the attention of the mayor, as they believe the Thompson family would be pleased."
Sadie Thompson was the last Thompson family member to live in the house, according to Jurkiewicz Beckstrom, who said Sadie and her husband Edwin had no children. As a widow, Sadie ran the Cottage Tea Room there and took in single female teachers and Kent State University students as boarders.
The new varsity girls softball field likely also will be referred to as Field 5B, according to Parks-Recreation Director Jim Kraus, who said it is next to Field 5 -- the varsity baseball field -- and the fields would not have to be renumbered.
Field 5 is named Ed Sherwin Field after Sherwin, a former president of the Aurora Baseball League who used to store uniforms at his residence and organize equipment for the ABL.
"After many years of giving of his time to the ABL, the league and the city wanted to honor him," said Scott Weber, Aurora director of the Continental Amateur Baseball Association.
"They named the field for him and had a surprise ceremony on the first day of the ABL season that year," Weber said. "He was very touched. After watching a few innings, he got up to leave and got in his car. He drove a short distance down the road, had a heart attack and died."
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