June 14, Flag Day and the Local Connection: Dr. Bernard J. Cigrand

Bernhard J. Cigrand (AHS Collections)

June 14 is Flag Day.  The founder of Flag Day was Dr. Bernard J. Cigrand, who first observed the day as a young teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in Wisconsin in 1885. 

All of his life, he rallied for the official recognition of Flag Day and lectured and wrote on the history of the American flag. As a result of his efforts and others like him, on June 14, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation calling for the nationwide observance of Flag Day.

After residing and practicing dentistry in Chicago for many years, Cigrand moved to the Fox Valley, building a home in Batavia in 1912.  In 1920, he moved his dental offices from his home to downtown Aurora, where he went into practice with his son, Elroy. 

In 1932, he built a home on Prairie Street in Aurora.  Shortly after he moved in, he died of a heart attack on May 16, 1932.  His son Elroy continued the dental practice in Aurora until his death in 1954.  Both are buried at Riverside Cemetery in Montgomery.

The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley produced the video below on the life of Dr. Cigrand with research assistance provided by John Jaros, Executive Director of the Aurora Historical Society.