Spring Valley is a city situated on the Illinois River in Bureau County, Illinois, United States. The population was 5,398 at the 2000 census, and 5,558 in 2010. It is part of the Ottawa Micropolitan Statistical Area. Spring Valley was founded in 1884 in the heart of the coal fields of Northern Illinois for the express purpose of mining of coal. The building of Spring Valley was the enterprise of Henry J. Miller, one of the first settlers of this area, and his son-in-law, Charles J. Devlin. Charles Devlin had lived in Peru, Illinois as the manager of the Union Coal Company in LaSalle. They conceived the idea of establishing a coal metropolis, in the Valley and on the slopes of the bluffs bordering Spring Creek, in the southeastern corner of Bureau County.
They acquired the mineral rights of 5,000 acres (20 km2) and purchased 500 acres (2.0 km2) on which to build the town. They secured the financial aid and cooperation of coal and railroad capitalists, E.N. Saunders of St. Paul, Minnesota, a director of the Chicago and North Western railroad, Mr. Taylor of What Cheer, Iowa, and William L. Scott of Erie, Pennsylvania. Scott was a United States Senator from Pennsylvania during the administration of President Grover Cleveland. Most of these men are remembered in the name of the streets of the town.Two companies were formed, the Spring Valley Coal Company in partnership with Alexander Campbell, and the Spring Valley Town Site Co.
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