See Pound Sterling.

Sterling #1

Sterling, a city of Whitesides co., Illinois, on the N. bank of Rock river, and on the Chicago and Northwestern and the Rockford, Rock Island, and St. Louis railroads, at the terminus of the Rock River branch of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy line, 110 m. W. of Chicago and 28 m. E. of the Mississippi river; pop. in 1860, 2,428; in 1870, 3,998;'in 1875, 5,312. It is lighted with gas, and is supplied with water by the Holly system of works and by an artesian well 1,650 ft. deep, discharging 700 barrels an hour. It is chiefly devoted to manufacturing. The river at this point is spanned by a dam of solid masonry, 1,100 ft. long and 7 ft. high, which with the 9 ft. natural fall of the rapids above' affords an immense water power. The value of the manufactures of Sterling and Rock Falls (opposite) in 1874 was about $4,250,000, and the number of hands employed upward of 1,000. The articles are principally of wood, including agricultural implements, school furniture, feed mills, pumps, burial cases, carriages and wagons, building materials, butter tubs, washing machines, barrels, hedge trimmers, tables, mittens, machinery, mineral paint, paper, etc. There are five flour mills, a distillery (the largest in the United States), two tanneries, and a pork-packing establishment.

Sterling has a national bank, three public school houses, two reading rooms, a public library, two weekly newspapers, and 12 churches. It was laid out in 1836, and incorporated as a city in 1857.