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Streator, Illinois may not be nearly as large as its neighbor to the north, Chicago. However, Streator arguably has a history that is just as rich as the Windy City. For years, Streator served as an economic hub not only for the state of Illinois, but the entire Midwest region of the United States.
Before it was even established as a city, the area of Streator was important to a number of different people. At one point, the area was home to the largest Native American village in the entire United States region, which evidently brought a good deal of trade and commerce to the area.
Many of the earliest American settlers in the region were simple farmers. However, Worthy S. Streator, an industrialist from Ohio, saw the economic potential of the region, and helped to finance a coal mining operation in the area beginning in 1866. The region turned out to be rich in coal, and a town named after him was established in 1868.
Streator was not only home to a successful coal-mining operation. It also served as a railroad hub for the entire Midwest region of the United States. As the coal operation began to slow down, so did the population of Streator. Nevertheless, many famous residents continued to come out of Streator, including Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who discovered the dwarf planet of Pluto in 1930.
The rich history of Streator, Illinois has shaped it into the city it is today, and it continues to play a major role in the community to this very day!
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