Quincy, Illinois facts for kids

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Quincy
City
QuincyILmontage.png
From left to right: The Bayview Bridge, Francis Hall on the Quincy University campus, Quincy Museum, Lincoln-Douglas debates mural in Washington Park, intersection of 8th and State in the South Side German Historic District, John Wood Mansion, neighborhood in the Northwest Historic District [top], the Oakley-Lindsay Center [bottom], the Gardner Museum of Architecture and Design.
QuincyIllinoisLogo.png
Seal
Official name: City of Quincy
Nickname: Gem City
Country United States
State Illinois
County Adams
Elevation 568 ft (173.1 m)
Coordinates 39°55′56″N 91°23′19″W / 39.93222°N 91.38861°W / 39.93222; -91.38861
Area 15.94 sq mi (41.28 km²)
 - land 15.91 sq mi (41 km²)
 - water 0.04 sq mi (0 km²), 0.25%
Population 40,798 (2012)
 - metro 77,406
Density 2,761.2 /sq mi (1,066.1 /km²)
Government Mayor-council
Mayor Kyle A. Moore
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 62301, 62305, 62306
Area code 217
Location in Adams County and the state of Illinois.
Location in Adams County and the state of Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Website: www.quincyil.gov

Quincy (/ˈkwɪnsi/ KWIN-see), known as Illinois's "Gem City," is a city on the Mississippi River and the county seat of Adams County, Illinois, United States. The 2010 census counted a population of 40,633 in the city itself, up from 40,366 in 2000. As of July 1, 2015, the Quincy Micro Area had an estimated population of 77,220.

During the 19th Century, Quincy was a thriving transportation center as riverboats and rail service linked the city to many destinations west and along the river. It was once Illinois' second-largest city, surpassing Peoria in 1870. The city holds several historic districts, including the Downtown Quincy Historic District and the South Side German Historic District showcasing the architecture of Quincy's many German immigrants from the late-19th Century.

History

Early history

Quincy's location along the Mississippi River has attracted settlers for centuries. The first known inhabitants to the region were of the Illiniwek tribe. Years later, following numerous incursions, the Sauk, Fox and Kickapoo also called the site home.

The French became the first European presence to colonize the region, after Louis Jolliet, Jacques Marquette and the La Salle Expeditions explored the Upper Mississippi River Valley. Fur goods became a valuable commodity of the region, and European explorers and merchants alike were attracted to the prospects of the growing fur trade of the North American frontier. The Mississippi River, acting as a superhighway for transporting goods downstream, became the area's most vital transportation asset.

Following the events of the Seven Years' War, which ended in 1763, Great Britain took control of New France, including that of the Illinois Territory. The Illinois Territory changed hands again a few decades later during the American Revolutionary War.

19th century

View of Quincy showing court house, by John Sanftleben
19th Century View of Quincy Courthouse By John Sanftleben

After the British failed to regain their former colonies in the War of 1812, the American government granted military tracts to veterans as a means to help populate the West. Peter Flinn, having acquired the land from veteran Mark McGowan for his military service in 1819, ended up selling 160 acres (0.65 km2) of land acquisitions to Moravia, New York native John Wood for $60. John Wood later founded Quincy, which at the time was coined Bluffs, Illinois.

In 1825, Bluffs renamed their community Quincy and became the seat of government for Adams County, both named after newly elected President John Quincy Adams. Quincy incorporated as a city in 1840.

In 1838, following the signing of Missouri Executive Order 44, many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fled persecution in Missouri and found shelter in Quincy. Despite being vastly outnumbered by Mormon refugees, residents provided food and lodging for the displaced people. Joseph Smith then led members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 40 miles (64 km) upstream to Nauvoo, Illinois, in hopes of finding a permanent home. Also in 1838, Quincy sheltered the Pottawatomie tribe as they were forcibly relocated from Indiana to Kansas.

The 1850s and 1860s brought increased prosperity to Quincy. Steamboats and railroads began linking Quincy to places west, making the city a frequent destination for migrants. The founding of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad in 1855, and the construction of the Quincy Rail Bridge, were major drivers for creating a transportation hub in the region to further commerce. It is during this time that the city's population grew enormously, from just under 7,000 residents in 1850 to 24,000 by 1870, helping Quincy surpass Peoria in becoming the second-largest city in the state (at that time).

In 1860, Quincy founder and Lieutenant Governor John Wood inherited the governorship after William H. Bissell died while in office. At the time, he was overseeing business interests and the construction of his mansion. The Illinois legislature allowed him to stay in Quincy during his tenure, effectively making Quincy a "second" capitol for the state. His absence from the official Governor's office in Springfield provided Abraham Lincoln a space for planning his Presidential run.

The matter of slavery was a major religious and social issue in Quincy's early years. The Illinois city's location, separated only by the Mississippi River from the slave state of Missouri, which was a hotbed of political controversy on the issue, made Quincy itself a hotbed of political controversy on slavery. Dr. Richard Eells, who was a staunch abolitionist, built his home in Quincy in 1835 and sheltered runaway slaves on their way to Chicago. His home became a major stop on the Underground Railroad. The divide over slavery climaxed in 1858, when Quincy hosted the sixth Senatorial debate by U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas and his challenger, Abraham Lincoln. With an estimated crowd of 12,000 in attendance, Quincy was the largest community at which Lincoln and Douglas debated.

Lincoln and Douglas again confronted each other in the 1860 Presidential election and the resulting campaign again divided Quincy and the surrounding region. Lincoln enthusiasts and Quincy's chapter of the Republican Party's para-military organization Wide Awakes, while en route to a political rally in Plainville, marched upon nearby Payson, which was a community predominantly filled with Douglas supporters. Although a confrontation was avoided while en route to Plainville, Douglas supporters shot upon the Wide Awakes on their journey back to Quincy, resulting in a skirmish known as the Stone Prairie Riots.

The Civil War brought increasing prosperity to Quincy. Although the battles took place far from the city, Quincy was the organization site for several Illinois volunteer infantry regiments, including the 16th, 50th, 78th, 84th, 137th, 138th, and 151st. Following the Reconstruction Era, Quincy was selected as the location for Illinois' first Veteran's Home in 1886.

Immigration to Quincy

Early immigrants to Quincy came predominately from New England, seeking better land. They brought with them progressive values, such as public education and abolitionism. Starting in the 1840s, migrants from Germany settled in Quincy to escape revolutions among the German provinces and conflicts between the European powers. German migrants mainly lived in close proximity to one another and settled predominantly in the southern parts of the city, influencing much of Quincy's historic architecture and creating the South Side German Historic District. Collectively, the south side of Quincy became known as Calftown, due to the fact that nearly every household possessed a cow. Among the notable German-Americans from Quincy's Southside was Louise Maertz (1837-1918), a nurse during the American Civil War.

In 1860, a group of Franciscan friars founded the St. Francis Solanus College, which later developed into Quincy University.

20th and 21st centuries

Quincyflood
Quincy during the flood of 1993. Quincy was protected by the bluffs; however, West Quincy, Missouri, across the river, was completely submerged.

Throughout the 19th century, Quincy had grown from a backwater hamlet along the Mississippi River to become one of the state's most important cities and ports. Activity from rail and steamboat continued to flourish and Quincy benefited from the increased traffic. It was during the early decades of the 20th century that many of the city's historic buildings in the Downtown Quincy Historic District were constructed, including the city's first skyscraper, the Western Catholic Union Building, in 1925.

The automobile and its surging popularity pushed Quincy to consider alternatives to Mississippi River crossings. Prior to the automobile, the most popular means of crossing the near-mile wide river was by boat or ferry. The need for a bridge was apparent. In 1928, construction began on the Memorial Bridge which was a two-lane truss toll bridge; it opened in May 1930. By 1945, the city had repaid its outstanding bonds and eliminated the toll.

On April 12, 1945, a tornado ripped through the business district of Quincy and severely damaged the Courthouse. The wind was so severe that it blew the roof off the structure, damaging it beyond repair. Because the incident occurred a few hours after news reached Quincy of President Roosevelt's death, several residents joked that "FDR and God were just fighting over the power up there."

In 1987, the cable-stayed Bayview Bridge was constructed to help alleviate traffic on the aging Memorial Bridge. Today, both bridges complement each other by carrying westbound (Bayview) and eastbound (Memorial) traffic. Although lighting was originally intended for the Bayview Bridge during its construction phase, the actual installation of lights didn't occur until 2015.

During the Mississippi River flood of 1993, riverside businesses and industries suffered extensive damage when the river crested at a record 32.2 feet (9.81 m), 15 feet (4.6 m) above flood stage. For a time, the Bayview Bridge, one of Quincy's two bridges, was the only bridge open across the Mississippi River between Alton, Illinois and Burlington, Iowa. The Memorial Bridge was closed from the end of June, due to water over its western approach. On July 16, 1993, the Bayview Bridge closed for 40 days when the river submerged the land on the west side of the Mississippi River at West Quincy, Missouri.

A flood in June 2008 submerged much of Quincy's riverfront and low-lying regions not protected by the bluffs. Record Mississippi River levels occurred on June 22, 2008. The Red Cross accepted donations for Quincy and other communities in Adams County, as natural disaster funds were recently depleted.

On Monday, July 13, 2015, a storm with powerful straight-line winds pounded the city, prompting Mayor Kyle Moore to declare a state of emergency. Many trees and buildings were severely damaged in the storm, including historic structures and Madison Park. The storm also cut power to most of Quincy's 40,000+ residents, and the city provided public dumpsters to discard refrigerated goods that may have spoiled during the wait to restore power. Volunteers from nearby communities and states traveled to help clean up the city after the disaster, including some from Sioux City, Iowa. Having shared a history with the community, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent a team of volunteers to also aid in the city's recovery.

Quincy has been twice recognized as an All-America City and is a participant in the Tree City USA program. In the fall of 2010, Forbes Magazine listed Quincy as the eighth "Best Small City To Raise A Family."

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 2,319
1850 6,902 197.6%
1860 13,718 98.8%
1870 24,052 75.3%
1880 27,268 13.4%
1890 31,494 15.5%
1900 36,252 15.1%
1910 36,587 0.9%
1920 35,978 −1.7%
1930 39,241 9.1%
1940 40,469 3.1%
1950 41,450 2.4%
1960 43,793 5.7%
1970 45,288 3.4%
1980 42,554 −6.0%
1990 39,681 −6.8%
2000 40,366 1.7%
2010 40,633 0.7%
Est. 2015 40,780 0.4%
Decennial US Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 40,633 people, 17,151 households, and 9,964 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,761.2 people per square mile (1,066.0/km²). There were 18,043 housing units at an average density of 1,234.2 per square mile (476.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.8% White, 5.4% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.4% of the population.

There were 16,546 households out of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.3% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.9% were non-families. 33.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the city, the population was spread out with 22.3% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 19.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 88.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,956, and the median income for a family was $40,718. Males had a median income of $30,734 versus $20,748 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,479. About 9.2% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.2% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.

Geography

Quincy is located at 39°55′56″N 91°23′19″W / 39.93222°N 91.38861°W / 39.93222; -91.38861 (39.932335, -91.388737). It is adjacent to the Mississippi River and Quincy Bay, a large inlet of water fed by Cedar and Homan Creeks. According to the 2010 census, Quincy has a total area of 15.946 square miles (41.30 km2), of which 15.91 square miles (41.21 km2) (or 99.77%) is land and 0.036 square miles (0.09 km2) (or 0.23%) is water.

The city is situated on bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. Adjacent to Quincy, on the Missouri side of the river, is West Quincy, Missouri and a vast floodplain used primarily for farming. East of Quincy lies the Quincy Hills geographic region, a region of hills that are similar to the Lincoln Hills in Missouri, where a mixture of rolling hills, woods, and farming shape the landscape. Flat prairie lie north of Quincy and, as the Mississippi turns sharply to the southwest; bluffs, floodplain, and farmland lie to the south and southwest of the city.

The Quincy micropolitan area includes Adams County, Illinois and Lewis County, Missouri and together hold a population of 77,314. Due to its close proximity to Hannibal, Missouri, the two communities have been bulked into Quincy-Hannibal, IL-MO Combined Statistical Area which holds approximately 116,000 residents. As of the 2010 Census, it is currently ranked as the 156th most populated CSA in the United States.

Geographically, Quincy is the largest city and central hub of the Tri-State region, encompassing western Illinois, northeastern Missouri, and southeastern Iowa.

Quincy holds several suburbs on its borders or in close proximity. North Quincy is the city's most populated suburb and lies to the north, beyond a rail line and creek. Hickory Grove, Illinois is an edge town and lies adjacent to Quincy to its east, bordered by Interstate 172. The town of Marblehead lies to the south, and West Quincy to the West.

Sister cities

Quincy, Illinois has two sister cities.

Culture

Quincy and the surrounding region lie in a blended zone of midwestern culture, where influences from the Heartland and Rust Belt converge. It is also a community that deeply admires the arts, as it is home to the Muddy River Opera Company, a firm that produces many plays and musicals throughout the year at the Quincy Community Theater. The city's culture for the arts has expanded into cinema and every year, a group of young professionals sponsors the Big Dam Film Festival.

Like most Mississippi river cities, blues music has made a lasting impression upon the city and every year the free admission Blues in the District concert series brings the music to Washington Park, where artists are invited to sing and play for spectators.

The Dogwood Parade and festival is an annual event held in early-May celebrating the blossoming Dogwoods located throughout the city. Washington Park hosts amusement rides and a parade marches down Maine Street. Washington Park and downtown also becomes the focal point of activity for farmer's markets, the Midsummer Arts Faire, the Tin Dusters, and the Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball tournament.

Quincy's riverfront is also a center for popular activities throughout the year, including the Fourth of July display on the Quincy Bay, outdoor showings of movies, and concerts.

Quincy Mall and the Prairie Trail complex (in Hickory Grove) are the area's main shopping centers.

Architecture

Quincy 1601 Maine
The Newcomb Mansion

Quincy is home to a diverse and vibrant collection of architectural buildings that have become to be a tourist attraction in and of itself. South of downtown is the South Side German Historic District, which holds much of the German-influenced structures that early immigrants have built. A central site in the district is the Dick Bros. Brewery Building, which was constructed in 1857 and rivaled many larger breweries. The effects of Prohibition forced the brewery into bankruptcy, but the building remains and is being renovated for loft and commercial space. Other examples of rich German-influence in Quincy can also be seen in the many brick homes within the district.

Francis Hall of Quincy University is another example of German influence in the city's structures.

Other than the South Side, Maine Street and the East End are popular strips where Quincy's rich architectural history is displayed. Once housing some of Quincy's elite, many of the homes in these regions are influenced mainly by Victorian schools. Known residents of this part of town included Richard Newcomb and city founder John Wood. Today, the Newcomb residence functions as the Quincy Museum and was once featured on the cover of National Geographic as "one of the most architecturally significant corners in the United States." There are many organizations in the town that continue to oversee renovations to structures, such as the Historical Society of Quincy & Adams County, and some residents allow for tours of their 19th Century homes.

There is also a significant Mediterranean influence to Quincy with the Villa Kathrine and Temple B'nai Sholom. In 1900, Quincy resident W. George Metz commissioned George Behrensmeyer to design a Moroccan-style home overlooking the river. It included a harem, courtyard, and reflecting pool. Today, the Villa Kathrine functions as the visitor's center. The Temple B'nai Sholom is another structure that was heavily influenced by the Moorish revival in the United States.


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