STERLING, ILLINOIS, a city of WhitesidE county, Illinois, U.S.A., on the north bank of Rock river, 109 m. by rail W. of Chicago. Pop. (1900), 6309, of whom 815 were foreign-born and 23 were negroes; (1910), 7467. Sterling is served by the Chicago & Northwestern and the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railways, and by inter-urban electric railway to Dixon, 12 m. N.N.W. Across the river is Rock Falls (pop. in 1900, 2176), practically a suburb of Sterling, with foundries and machine-shops and manufactories of agricultural implements, barbed wire and bolts and rivets. Three bridges cross the river. The river is tapped here by the feeder of the Illinois & Michigan Canal, so that there is direct water communication with Chicago and St Louis. Two great dams on the river (one built by the Federal government) provide good water power. The public library (1878) had 1 2,000 volumes in 1910. In the city are large ironworks, and numerous other manufactures. Sterling was formed in 1839 by the consolidation of two towns, Harrisburg and Chatham, founded here in 1836 and 1837 respectively; it was chartered as a city in 1857.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)