Prior to the 1830's, this area was the territory of the Sauk and Fox Indians. It was not until after the Black Hawk War of 1832 that settlement began in earnest, making this one of the last settled areas in Illinois. Hezekiah Brink was the first settler in the Sterling-Rock Falls area, coming from Indiana.
Eleven years after the establishment of Whiteside County, Illinois, Mennonites began coming to this county. In 1852 Benjamin Stauffer and his wife were the first to arrive with a following, coming from Lancaster and Bucks County Pennsylvania.
What a gift! The city of Sterling was the beneficiary although in reality all area citizens were the ones to ultimately reap the many rewards in the years since the July 20, 1938 Dedication ceremony.