City (pop., 2000: 112,936), central Illinois, U.S. The city is situated where the Illinois River widens to form Peoria Lake. The first settlement on the site was a French fort established in 1680 by the French explorer La Salle. Later settlements were by the French, Indians, and other colonists. It was incorporated as a city in 1845. It is a major port, trade, and shipping centre for a large agricultural area. It is highly industrialized, and its products include earth-moving equipment and chemicals.