The kidnappers needed two thousand dollars to pull off a dishonest scheme they had planned in the Western Illinois. They figured an easy way to get the money was to kidnap the child of a prominent citizen of Summit. They would demand a two thousand dollar ransom, and get the money easily. They chose the only child of a mortgage and foreclosure financier named Ebenezer Dorset. The man was older, the child was his only child, and the child was ten years old, so he would be easy to handle. Because he was an only child, the kidnappers felt that Ebenezer would
“…… melt down for a ransom of two thousand dollars to the cent” (pg 1)
However, Ebenezer was not that easy. He knew his child was a living terror. He negotiated a settlement with the kidnappers in which he would take the child back if the kidnappers paid him two hundred and fifty dollars. They capitulated eagerly.