Quincy, Florida facts
Downtown Quincy on US90
|Motto: "...In the heart of Florida's future"|
Location in Gadsden County and the state of Florida
|• Total||7.92 sq mi (20.51 km2)|
|• Land||7.91 sq mi (20.48 km2)|
|• Water||0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)|
|Elevation||207 ft (63 m)|
|• Density||1,008/sq mi (389.3/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0289404|
Quincy is part of the Tallahassee, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Established in 1828, Quincy is the county seat of Gadsden County, and was named for John Quincy Adams. It is located 25 miles (40 km) northwest of Tallahassee, the state capital. Quincy was once heavily dependent upon agriculture, farming tomatoes, tobacco, mushrooms, soybeans and other crops for its employment base.
In 1828, Governor William P. Duval introduced Cuban tobacco to the territory of Florida. As a result, the culture of shade-grown cigar wrapper tobacco was a dominant factor in the social and economic development of Gadsden County. Tobacco is a native plant of the western hemisphere. Early European explorers discovered Native Americans growing the plant when they set foot on their soil.
In 1829, John Smith migrated to Gadsden County in covered wagons with his family and four related families. Since there was already a resident named John Smith in the community, he became known as John "Virginia" Smith. When Smith ventured southward he brought with him a type of tobacco seed which was used for chewing and pipe smoking. He planted that seed and found that the plants grew vigorously. Because there was no market for tobacco in small quantities, it was twisted together, cured and shared with his friends. He purchased some Cuban tobacco seed and planted them with his Virginia tobacco. Several years passed and the two tobaccos blended.
When the Virginia tobacco was grown in Florida soil, it was much thinner and lighter in color. Smith began saving the seed from the hybridized stalks. From these seeds, a new plant known as "Florida Wrapper" was developed. So began a tobacco industry at a time when the South was suffering from the low price of cotton.
Growing tobacco continued to be profitable until the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, even when the European markets were no longer available. Of course, during the war and the Reconstruction Era, very little tobacco was grown except for personal use. Those days were tremendously difficult, and recovery was a slow process. The post-war search for a money crop led to the resurgence of the tobacco culture. Through these experiments it was discovered that tobacco which was light in color and silky in texture demanded the highest prices. So, with more experimentation, shading the plants began. At first, wood slats were used, but these proved too heavy. Then they tried slats draped with cheese cloth to keep the plants from the light. Next came ribbed cheese cloth. Ultimately in 1950, the white cheese cloth was replaced with a treated, longer lasting, yellow cloth that provided perfect shade.
Colonel Henry DuVal, president of the Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad, shipped samples of Gadsden County tobacco to New York for leaf dealers and cigar manufacturers to inspect. Soon representatives of several companies came down from New York to purchase land for growing tobacco. There was such an influx of land purchases that a number of packing houses arose. This continued until 1970 when tobacco companies came under fire and demand diminished. Around 1970, growing tobacco declined substantially in Gadsden. The development of a homogenized cigar wrapper, the ever-increasing cost of production, the subsidizing of the tobacco culture in Central America by the U.S. government, and the increasing, negative legal climate against the tobacco industry have added to the demise of Gadsden's future in tobacco. The last crop of shade-grown cigar wrapper tobacco was grown in 1977.
Quincy then turned to its other crops, tomato, mushroom and egg farms. This continued until the close of Quincy's mushroom factory and massive layoff of workers at Quincy's tomato farm in 2008. Quincy now turns to its businesses and is attempting to build itself into a business-based district.
Resistance to Jim Crow
During segregation Quincy residents responded to unrest by rioting. Some of the local businesses were burned and there were some acts of vandalism.
All American City
In 1996, Quincy was recognized as an All American City.
In February 2003, an article in Essence magazine stated that Quincy was the city with the most AIDS cases in Florida. Some residents of the city were upset with the negative publicity. "Quincy has no more AIDS cases than typical rural cities in Florida", the mayor, Keith Dowdell, stated, and the city with the highest amount of AIDS cases in Florida in 2003 was Palm Beach, not Quincy. although the highest percentage of AIDS cases in Quincy at that time was in males.
Quincy is located in central Gadsden County at (30.59, -84.58), in the rolling hills of North Florida.
U.S. Route 90 (Jefferson Street) is the main highway through the city; U-90 southeast 24 miles (39 km) to Tallahassee and northwest 19 miles (31 km) to Chattahoochee. The city limits extend south to beyond Interstate 10, which passes 3 miles (5 km) south of the center of the city. I-10 leads east 22 miles (35 km) to Tallahassee and west 170 miles (270 km) to Pensacola. Other highways in Quincy include SR 12, which leads 12 miles (19 km) to Havana and southwest 28 miles (45 km) to Bristol; SR 267, which leads north 8 miles (13 km) to the Georgia line and south 8 miles to Wetumpka; and SR 268, which leads southeast 11 miles (18 km) to Midway.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.9 square miles (20.5 km2), of which 0.02 square miles (0.04 km2), or 0.18%, is water.
|Climate data for Quincy|
|Average high °F (°C)||64
|Average low °F (°C)||40
|Precipitation inches (mm)||4.80
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,982 people, 2,657 households, and 1,830 families residing in the city. The population density was 916.4 inhabitants per square mile (353.8/km²). There were 2,917 housing units at an average density of 382.9 per square mile (147.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 31.55% White, 64.15% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 3.22% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.89% of the population.
There were 2,657 households out of which 30.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.2% were married couples living together, 28.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.1% were non-families. 27.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.17.
In the city, the population was spread out with 27.8% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 80.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,393, and the median income for a family was $31,890. Males had a median income of $27,871 versus $22,025 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,133. About 16.8% of families and 19.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.0% of those under age 18 and 23.1% of those age 65 or over.
Arts and culture
Museums and other points of interest
There are several locations in Quincy which have been included in the National Register of Historic Places, most of which are within the boundary of the Quincy Historic District.
- E. B. Shelfer House
- E. C. Love House
- John Lee McFarlin House
- Judge P. W. White House
- Old Philadelphia Presbyterian Church
- Quincy Library
- Quincy Woman's Club
- Stockton-Curry House
- Willoughby Gregory House
The Gadsden Arts Center, an AAM accredited art museum housed in the renovated 1912 Bell & Bates hardware store, with rotating regional & national art exhibitions and a permanent collection of Vernacular Art, is also situated in the Quincy Historic District.
Also notable is the Leaf Theater, which is considered a "historic cinema treasure".
Quincy investors were largely responsible for the development of its local Coca-Cola company into a worldwide conglomerate. Quincy was once rumored to be home to many millionaires due to the Coca-Cola boom. Mr. Pat Munroe, a banker, father of 18 children from two wives, and W.C. Bradley were among the stockholders of three of the banks that released 500,000 shares of new Coca-Cola common stock. They urged widows and farmers to invest for $40 each and several did. Eventually that stock split, and made as many as 67 accounted for investors and Gadsden County residents rich. In perspective, a single share of Coca-Cola stock bought in 1919 for $40 would be worth $6.4 million today, if all dividends had been reinvested.
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