Ezra Carpenter Eggleston

Does MPHS have photographs: Yes

Address in MP: Never Lived in Mount Prospect

Birth Date: Circa 1837

Death Date: Unknown

Marriage: Married at least twice

Date: Dates Unknown

Spouse: Second Wife: Agnes

Children: Grace, Hezikiah, Lydia, Ezra, Agnes, Evangeline, Ester, Paul, Minerva, Rena, Athena, Orpheus, Eliza

Interesting information on life, career, accomplishments:

Ezra Eggleston was the first developer in Mount Prospect; he was responsible for the name of the town. He purchased the land that is today downtown Mount Prospect in 1874 and on August 24th 1874 filed a plat map with the Name Mount Prospect. The name was to signify first that Mount Prospect sits on a glacier ridge and is therefore one of the highest points in Cook County and secondly that there were great prospects in the town. He built the first train station in Mount Prospect, although he did this without consulting the Chicago Northwestern Railroad, as he believed that if there was a train station the trains would stop. They did stop, however for the first few years Mount Prospect was simply a flag stop. Ezra believed that people would flock to the community since it was higher than much of Cook County, most of which was very low lying and periodically had problems with flooding and unhealthy stagnant water. He also thought that the access to the rail line would be a big draw. Unfortunately his calculations were off and he had very poor timing. At this time almost all of Illinois was within ten mile of a railroad, so this was not as much of a draw as he had hoped. He also put his development on the market three years after the Great Chicago Fire, when many people in the area were still recovering and rebuilding in the city, and a year after the start of the Panic of 1873, a recession know as the Great Depression until 1930. By 1882 Ezra was bankrupt and much of his holdings were sold off for past due tax payments. He made little or no money from the endeavor but he did name Mount Prospect and platted out the main triangle in downtown (although many of the streets were renamed in the Busse/Wille Re-subdivision of 1905). Little is know of Ezra Eggleston personally. He had been a merchant in Chicago and had lost quite a bit of money is the fire when his grain silos burnt. He was clearly an educated man and it has been claimed that he had a medical degree and that he personally delivered all of his thirteen children. After he left Mount Prospect, it is believed that he became a minister but his later whereabouts are unknown.

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