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About Us


Sterling Rentals is located at 601 W. 3rd Street in Sterling Illinois and consists of upper and lower level corporate apartments. These apartments are the result of completely new renovations made at this historic James E. McPherran Family home built in 1878.


The James E. McPherran Family

(occupied home 1878-1910)

James E. McPherran was born in Pennsylvania in 1834. In 1858, he came west to Dixon, Illinois, where his brother Andrew was living. After graduating from law school in Chicago in 1862, James McPherran came to Sterling and began practicing law. At the age of 30, he married Sarah A. Witherow. The McPherrans’ first home was in this neighborhood at the northeast corner of W. Third St. and Ave. F. By 1874, they were the parents of four children, Mabel, Edgar, Ralph, and Charles. The McPharran family moved into their beautiful new home in February 1879.

Mr. Mcpherran was a successful and respected citizen of Sterling. He was active in community affairs serving as an alderman and as president of the Sterling Public Library board from 1878 until his death in 1903. He was held in high esteem by fellow attorneys. In his obituary he was respectfully referred to as “The Grand Old Man of the Whiteside County Bar”. Sarah McPherran continued to live in this home until 1910 when she sold the home to Marcus and Clara Thackaberry. Mrs. McPherran then left Sterling to live in Milwaukee with her son, Ralph. She died in 1931.

A beautiful stained glass memorial window presented by the McPherran family can be seen today in the Presbyterian Church of Sterling.

The Marcus Thackaberry Family

(occupied home 1910-1990)

Marcus Thackaberry retired from farming near Tampico on 1910 and moved into this home with his wife, Clara, and two of their three children. In 1910 their household consisted of Marcus, his wife Clara, a daughter, Lucille age 14, and a daughter, Margaret age 12. A son, M.S. Thackaberry was apparently living elsewhere on his own.

Clara Thackaberry died in 1937. Marcus continued to live in this home with his daughter Margaret until his death in 1956 at the age of 96. Daughter Lucille had married and was living in Ohio.

The home was inherited by Margaret Thackaberry and her sister Lucille Theibert. In 1958 Lucille and her husband moved to Sterling, and shared the home with Margaret until 1983. Lucille died in 1983, and Margaret, a retired Sterling educator, died in 1984. Lucille’s husband, Roscoe Theibert (Tebby), continued to live in this home until his death in 1990.

The residence was purchased by the Dillon Foundation in 1990 and restoration began in 2001 under the direction of Richard Dombroski.

The restoration was completed by the new owner Tom Loos of Sterling in 2020 with the addition of the carriage house.