Located and the seat of Peoria County, the city is in central Illinois. The city lies along the Illinois River and is bordered in the southwest by Chicago. The Illinois River has served as an essential port for Peoria's agricultural trading and shipping center that produces soybeans, corn, and livestock. The city's economy is highly diversified. However, its traditional industries in manufacturing still play a vital role at present and continue to produce metal products, building materials, chemicals, steel, and wires. The heavy-machinery Caterpillar Inc. is Peoria's biggest employer and even has its international headquarters installed in the city. Although it was once the home and one of the biggest producers to many distilleries and breweries, the plants are now nonexistent in the town, and the last ones were closed in the 1980s.
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