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This Day in Georgia History

January 14, 1856

Thomas Egleston Born

To view an image of Thomas Egleston, see the Digital Library of Georgia.

Businessman and philanthropist Thomas Egleston was born in Charleston, South Carolina. His family moved to Georgia in 1870, where young Thomas soon was employed by an insurance firm. Quickly becoming adept at the business, he was co-owner of the firm, now called Perdue and Egleston, within a decade. An astute businessman, Egleston underwrote major construction projects in Atlanta invested his profits well, becoming one of the South’s first millionaires. He also lobbied to have uniform legislation regarding insurance throughout the South and, as president of the Southeastern Tariff Association, worked to provide uniform rates, forms, and services. The formative influence in Egleston’s life was his mother, a woman of strong character who brought her children through the disasters of the Civil War and became beloved by all who knew her for her acts of kindness and friendship. After she died in 1912, Egleston bequeathed the money to construct a hospital for sick and needy children to be named in her honor. In October 1928, the Henrietta Egleston Hospital for Children opened. In 1998, Egleston Children’s Health Care System and Scottish Rite Medical Center merged to form Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – one of the largest pediatric systems in the country.