Streator is a city in LaSalle and Livingston counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. The city is situated on the Vermilion River approximately 81 miles (130 km) southwest of Chicago in the prairie and farm land of north-central Illinois. It is the center of the geographic region known as Streatorland. According to the 2010 census, the population of Streator was 13,710.
Although settlements had occasionally existed in the area, they were not permanent. In 1824, surveyors for the Illinois and Michigan Canal which would extend from Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood to the Illinois River, a tributary of the Mississippi River, arrived in this area of the Vermillion River, followed by homesteaders by the 1830s. In 1861, miner John O'Neill established a trading post called "Hardscrabble" (ironically an early name for the Bridgeport neighborhood), supposedly because he watched loaded animals struggle up the river's banks. Another name for the new settlement was "Unionville".
Streator received its current name to honor Worthy S. Streator, an Ohio industrialist who financed the region's first coal mining operation. Streator received a town charter in 1868 and incorporated as a city in 1882. In 1882 Col.