Eager, in this case, is not the familiar adjective, but rather a proper noun referring to John Eager Howard.
(Image courtesy of nps.gov)
John Eager Howard (JEH) was quite the Marylander: he was a soldier in the Continental Army, a three-term governor of Maryland, a Continental Congressman, US Congressman, US Senator, and he turned down an invite from friend and lookalike George Washington to be Secretary of War. He died in 1827, and by 1832, city maps show an Eager Street.
This map from 1833 shows one of the streets named for John Eager Howard shortly after his death (Image courtesy of old.library.jhu.edu)
The name “Eager”, a variant of “Edgar”, is of Anglo-Saxon origin predating the 7th century, and it combines “ead” which means prosperity with “gar” which means spear. Odd.
You’ll recognize JEH’s legacy throughout the state, notably in the eponymous Howard County. There’s also this commanding statue near Baltimore’s Washington Monument.
- (Image courtesy of panoramio.com)
JEH has one other distinction: he’s the only person with three streets named after him in Baltimore: John Street, Howard Street, and, our favorite, Eager Street.