Peru embraces the west half of Township 33, Range 1, and lies on both sides of the Illinois river, while the east half of the township constitutes its sister town of La Salle. The city of Peru is on the north side of the river at the foot and on the bluff. Its commercial advantages are scarcely inferior to those of its rival-La Salle. The Chicago & Rock Island Railroad passes through it from east to west, and the river trade passes its levee and warehouses as it goes to and from the basin at La Salle. The long and bitter contest to secure the termination of the Canal was decided in favor of La Salle, not because it offered superior advantages, but because it was located on canal land belonging to the State. The two cities are practically one, and will eventually be included in one municipal government. The location is commanding and important, not only in reference to the County, but to the State and Nation. The rich and heavy deposit of coal, and facilities for transportation, will make it one of the largest manufacturing cities in the West. Its progress thus far in that direction is an earnest of the high position that awaits it in the future.
[Source: History of LaSalle County, Illinois by Elmer Baldwin, Chicago, Rand, McNally & Co., Printers, 1877, SKETCH OF THE PIONEER SETTLERS OF EACH TOWN IN THE COUNTY, Peru, Page 360-361 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]