General Philip Sheridan only lived in Chicago for ten years. Even with that short of a stay, many consider that he saved Chicago not only once, but three times.
Illinois had plenty of home-grown Civil War heroes, including Gen. John Logan who had served with distinction and gone on to be a U.S. Congressman and Senator from the state. When the Army wanted to name a new fort north of Chicago, he seemed to be a perfect choice.
Even the Chicago Tribune wrote on Feb. 19, 1888, that it was surprised that the fort was named for Sheridan.
Perhaps the naming had something to do with the land that was donated to build the fort. It had come from the Commercial Club, a group of Chicago businessmen who not only admired Sheridan for his military exploits, but also considered the city indebted to him for his efforts during the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and the politically stormy decades that followed.
When the Commercial Club sponsored a farewell banquet for Sheridan in 1883, one speaker remarked, "Chicago can never forget Gem. Sheridan."