Born in Vevay, Indiana, to Joseph Cary Eggleston and Mary Jane Craig. He became a Methodist minister. He wrote a number of tales, some of which, especially the "Hoosier" series, attracted much attention. Among these are The Hoosier Schoolmaster, The Hoosier Schoolboy, The End of the World, The Faith Doctor, Queer Stories for Boys and Girls, and others.
His summer home, Owl's Nest, in Lake George, New York, eventually became his year-round home. Eggleston died there in 1902, at the age of 64. Owl's Nest was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1971.