In 1874, Ezra Eggleston bought much of the land that is now downtown Mount Prospect and began to plan a village. He named the town after its position on the highest elevation in Cook County and in anticipation of the prospects awaiting future residents. However, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and the Panic of 1873 combined to make sales of new land difficult. Ezra sold his interest in the town, but soon after, people began to build stores and houses. By the 1900s, the area was flourishing. In 1917, Mount Prospect was incorporated. The 20th century has continued to bring great changes and development to the area as it evolved from a modest village to a major suburban community.