This park, like the streets that bound it, honors John Cloes, an early pioneer of the New York area, and James Colgate (1818-1904), the famous financier and philanthropist.
Though not much is known of John Cloes, his descendent Odell Close changed the spelling of the family name for political purposes, subsequently serving as a delegate to Albany from 1867-73. James Boorman Colgate was born into a privileged New York City family, and lived in the city for much of his youth. He began working at the age of 16 for his relatives at Boorman, Johnson and Company, and in 1852 Colgate took the initiative to form a stock-brokerage partnership with John B. Trevor. Trevor and Colgate regulated much of the gold and paper exchange during the Civil War. After naming his business Colgate and Company in 1873, Colgate assumed presidency of the New York Gold Exchange, a position he would hold until late in his life.