Daniel Elston

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Daniel Elston
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Born(1790-05-20)May 20, 1790
Lincolnshire, England
DiedMay 1855 (aged 64–65)
Cause of deathTyphoid fever
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
Spouse(s)Blanche Maria Cull

Daniel Elston was a British merchant born on May 20, 1790 in Lincolnshire, England. Elston owned a 160-acre tract of land along the Woodstock Trail (Elston Avenue) in the River West neighborhoood. While Elston was first living by the trail that would later bear his name, it was a plank toll road owned by Amos Snell, who charged travelers 2½ cents per mile to travel it. Local farmers staged a Boston Tea Party of sorts by chopping down the toll gates and burning them.[1]

Elston opened a business with Alson and James Woodruff that manufactured candles and soap in a log barn near the Chicago River on Kinzie Street. By 1936, Elston and Woodruff had sold their company to Charles Cleaver.[2] Elston was a brickmaker and constructed a small brewery and distllery. The multi-talented Elston served as a school inspector. Elston served as a local alderman in 1842, but he was relieved of civic and honorary offices when his lands were removed from the city bounds by the legislature in 1844.[3] He even founded a bank.[1]

Elston died of typhoid fever in 1855, shortly after being denied permission to move his house across the Chicago River.[4] His body was later moved to Graceland in 1867 next to his wife of 25 years Blanche Maria Cull.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "The Northwest Passage: Walking the Length of Elston Avenue". Streetsblog Chicago. 2013-06-13. Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  2. admin. "Encyclopedia letter W". Early Chicago - Chicago History. Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  3. "Elston, Daniel. Papers, 1833-1852 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections". Illinois History and Lincoln Collections Manuscript Collections Database. Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  4. robcat26. "Who Was Daniel Elston? | Avondale Time Machine". Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  5. "The Devil and Daniel Elston – Mysterious Chicago Tours". Retrieved 2021-04-23.

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