Why is Peru Illinois named Peru?
The Origin of the Peru, IL was the founding fathers admired the
industrious nature of the inhabitants of Peru. An early act of the
legislature set aside Section Sixteen in every township for school
purposes. Therefore, when more settlers came to Peru in 1834, the
School Commissioners laid out and sold the southwest quarter of
Section Sixteen, and called it "Peru." This is said to be the Inca
Indian word for "wealth."
Peru, Illinois (population 10,295 2010 census) was settled
because it was the starting point of the Illinois & Michigan
canal. Before the railroad the preferred method for long-distance
travel and shipping was by boat. Travel between St. Louis and
Chicago could be done by taking the Illinois river to Peru and then
taking the lock & dam canal to Chicago. A series of Illinois
cities were named after other waterway cities in New York: Peru,
Utica, Seneca, and Lockport. Others say that Peru, the Inca word
for wealth, was adopted because in the 1500's Spain colonized the
South American country Peru forcing some of the Incas as far North
as Illinois. The city was named after these native Americans.