Streator is located on the Vermilion River approximately 81 miles southwest of Chicago in the prairie and farm land of north-central Illinois. Streator’s early growth was due to the coal mine, as well as a major glass manufacturer and its status as a midwestern railroad hub. Today Streator’s economy is led by heavy-equipment manufacturer Vactor, food distributor U.S. Foodservice and glass bottle manufacturer Owens-Illinois. It remains proud of its ethnic heritage as the home to North America’s first Slovak Catholic Church, and first Slovak Lutheran Church. Streator is also the birthplace of Burt “Butch” Baskin who, founded an ice-cream business and merged it with Irv Robbins’ similar business to form Baskin-Robbins.