While much new land is being developed across the area, most of it cannot claim the kind of history that belongs to King’s Bridge Estates.
In the early 1850’s, Thomas King, a carpenter and farmer from
Ayerhsire, Scotland was chasing the American Dream. That dream led him to Plainfield, Illinois, where he settled with wife Amy and bought a large expanse of property in 1857 from his father-in-law, Daniel
Birkett. When he started farming the land it was mostly prairie. King and his family are responsible for many of the trees and growth that are still found today.
Thomas King was also instrumental in the development of the land and economy in Plainfield. King and his son, William, welcomed merchants to their farm to use their barn at no charge to store their horses, livestock and wagons while they bought their product to the station to be shipped.
Throughout the years, many different kinds of grains such as oats, corn and wheat were grown on the farm to feed the livestock and take to the marketplace to sell. The family was also involved in the construction of gravel roads across their property because of the growing traffic.
The modern day history is continued by Thomas King’s grandson Ernest, who was born on Halloween in 1906 and is still a picture of health. When he was a child, Ernest kept busy with various household chores and duties on the farm such as milking cows and maintaining the livestock.
He used to get up at 4:30 in the morning to milk cows for the day, so the milkman could pick up the jars at dawn. “When I was growing up there was always something to do,” Ernest says.
In his teenage years, he used to take a streetcar four miles to Plainfield High School. He said when he was growing up “I had a ball, but no baseball glove.”
The gravel Route 30 was built with mules in the 1920’s. During this time, the surrounding community and farms prospered. The Depression occurred soon after, and the farming community managed to live off the land and the resources found in the area.
Eventually, Ernest met his future wife, married and raised four sons. He continued to use the land every day. When asked about his home, Ernest King said, “I’m happy here.”
In the past, Madonna Development purchased land from Mr. King for their King’s Crossing Subdivision. In 2005, Madonna Development approached Mr. King once again, about acquiring more land for their next development. When deciding on a name for the area, the company unwittingly chose the name King’s Bridge Estates, not knowing that Mrs. King’s maiden name happened to be ‘Bridge.’
Madonna Development is proud to be able to honor such a local influence and continue his legacy by naming this development after the King family.