Prince Crossing station, originally called East Ingalton on the Aurora Elgin & Chicago (AE&C) Railroad was built in 1903 and still stands on the west side of Prince Crossing Road north of Wheaton Academy. It was a power substation and depot for this streetcar line. The crossing refers to the AE&C crossing beneath the tracks of the Chicago Great Western, northwest of the station.
OK. So why Prince Crossing? Dr. Isaac Prince (1834-1911) was the first Superintendent of the Home for Destitute Crippled Children in Chicago in the 1890s. At that time, the word crippled was used to describe children with bone, muscle or joint deformities which were congenital, or due to disease or accident.
In the early 1900s, the Home for Destitute Crippled Children was looking for an additional location to care for these children. Many had bone problems due to tuberculosis and treatment consisted of fresh air, physical therapy, and good food coupled with corrective surgery.
West Chicago provided a restorative rural setting when in 1911, on land purchased by Richard W. Sears, the Country Home for Convalescent Crippled Children was built with money raised by Chicago philanthropists, Mr. and Mrs. William Chalmers. The road to the east of the new facility was named in honor of Dr. Prince, hence Prince Crossing.
The Country Home, farmland and woods were sold to the University of Chicago Clinic in 1938. They in turn sold the Home and 26 acres in 1945 to Wheaton College Academy, now Wheaton Academy, which currently uses some of the Country Home’s original structures.
The 165 acre Country Home Farm supplied dairy products and vegetables for its residents. This land was sold to Campbell Soup in 1945, primarily for mushroom production and operated as Prince Crossing Farm.