Rogers Park / West Ridge Historical Society

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Home Community People Patrick Leonard Touhy

Patrick Leonard Touhy

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atrick Leonard Touhy (1839-1911) was born in Freakle, Ireland. He eventually immigrated to New York where he worked in the carpet business. In 1864, he moved to Chicago and opened a grocery store. One year after he opened his grocery (1865) he married Catherine Rogers, daughter of the late Philip McGregor Rogers. Captain Patrick Leonard Touhy, was also a Civil War veteran who’d escaped from Andersonville (the Confederate prisoner of war camp in Georgia.

In 1869, Catherine inherited 800 acres of the 1,600 acres owned by Philip Rogers from her brother, Philip. Her husband Patrick managed it. In 1872, Patrick Touhy, continued the lucrative real estate speculation that ran in his wife’s family by dividing portions of land that are now presently Lunt and Ridge Avenues and selling land mostly to German and Luxembourger immigrant families. Farming was their main industry, with the dominant crops being hay and pickles.

Patrick Leonard Touhy

Touhy sold 225 acres of the land to a group of businessmen in 1872. The early settlers he helped included John Villiers Farwell (1825-1908), Luther Greenleaf, Stephen Purrington Lunt [half-brother of Orrington Lunt—responsible for selecting site of Northwestern University and for whom Orrington Street in Evanston is named—also founder of Chicago Board of Trade], Charles H. Morse and brothers Paul and George Pratt. In 1873, the five men formed the Rogers Park Building and Land Company, putting down a sector of 48 blocks and naming several streets after members of the company.

As a wealthy land developer, Touhy became friendly with Chicago Mayor Carter Henry Harrison, Sr. (1825-1893) and was with Mayor Harrison on the day (October 28, 1893) he was assassinated by a disgruntled man who was angry with Mayor Harrison for not appointing him Corporation Counsel.

Touhy died of heart disease in 1911 in his home at 7051 N. Clark Street.

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 February 2010 16:14  

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About the Society

The Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society collects, preserves and shares the story of the diverse community of Chicago’s far north side. Established in 1975 by local residents who believed their part of Chicago was a place with much to celebrate, the Society today serves the community through its publications, architectural tours, and various educational and outreach efforts.

How to Contact Us

By Mail:1447 W. Morse Ave.
Chicago, IL 60626
By Phone:773-764-4078

We are open weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Other times by appointment.

Board of Directors meetings are held the fourth Monday of every other month at 7:00 p.m. at the Society's offices (January, March, May, July, September and November).