Touhy, Patrick Leonard
Patrick Leonard Touhy (1839-1911) was born in Feakle, 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. Calling himself "Captain" Patrick Leonard Touhy, he claimed he was also a American Civil War veteran who’d escaped from Andersonville (the Confederate prisoner of war camp in Georgia). In fact, these were tall tales he told to impress those that didn't know better.
In 1869, Catherine inherited 800 acres of the 1,600 acres owned by Philip Rogers from her brother, Philip Rogers, Jr. 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 Avenue and Ridge Boulevard and selling land mostly to German and Luxembourger immigrant families. Farming was their main industry, with the dominant crops being hay and pickles.
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 Avenue in Evanston is named—also founder of Chicago Board of Trade, Charles H. Morse and twin 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.
In 1882-1883, Patrick was a trustee on the Rogers Park Village Board. His occupation was listed as "Real Estate."
As a wealthy land developer, Touhy became friendly with Chicago Mayor Carter Harrison (1825-1893) and was with Mayor Harrison on the day (October 28, 1893) he was assassinated by Patrick Prendergast a disgruntled man who was angry with Mayor Harrison for not appointing him Corporation Counsel.
History of Cook County, Illinois; The Earliest Period to the Present Time; Complete in One Volume, 1884, Page 464.
Biographical Sketches of Rogers Park
Patrick Leonard Touhy was born in Feakle, County of Clare, Ireland, March 15, 1842 In 1860 he came with his brother to New York City and engaged in the carpet business with Hiram Anderson, with whom he remained up to 1864, when he came to Chicago and first opened a grocery at the corner of Market Street and Illinois Street. He then famed a copartnership with Alexander Henderson and P.M. Rogers as the firm of Touhy, Henderson & Co., which continued up to 1867, when he came to Rogers Park. Mr. Touhy is the founder of Rogers Park having surveyed and laid out the plat of the village.
In 1863 he built his present residence, which was completed in 1870. In 1870 he sold an interest in Rogers Park to Stephen Purrington Lunt, Luthor L. Geenleaf, Charles H. Morse, and Andrew B. Jackson, who formed the Rogers Park Building and Land Association, with Stephen Purrington Lunt as trustee. The only members of that organization who retain any interest in the partnership are Patrick Leonard Touhy and Charles H. Morse.
Mr. Touhy is also interested in the North Side dry goods store of J.W. Touhy & Co.. which was opened September 15, 1883. He has been Trustee of the village since its organization and school director for three terms.
Philip McGregor Rogers settled in Chicago in 1836, and in 1844 came to Rogers Park and purchased at government sale the land now laid out as Rogers Park. He died in 1856 leaving two children:
Patrick Leonard Touhy and wife have seven children:
RPWRHS photo D005-7796 shows Patrick Leonard Touhy's mansion, "The Oaks", which he built for his wife, Catherine Touhy, who was the daughter of Philip McGregor Rogers, the first settler in Rogers Park. At one time, a Potawatomi Native American village occupied this land. The house was located at 5008 N. Clark Street (later 7339 N. Clark Street). Photo circa 1860.