Quincy Township in Adams County
Quincy, IL, known as the “Gem City”, is a major town on the Mississippi River and seat of Adams County, IL, United States. As of the 2000, population of the city was 40,366 people. Quincy is a river town and was built on top of the hills above the Mississippi River. Quincy services as the economic and social hub of West-Central Illinois and is the primary population center of Adams County.
During the Nineteenth century, the town was a stop on the Underground Railroad. It also protected hundreds of Mormons during their exile from Missouri. Today, Quincy is a successful mid-sized commercial town that is honored for its German culture as well as its creative expression.
Quincy’s founder, John Wood, came from western Moravia area of New York, in 1818. John Wood purchased 160 acres of land from an War of 1812 veteran for $60. The next year he became the first settler in what was initially called “Bluffs”, and by 1825 was known as Quincy. John Wood was chosen Lt. Governor of Illinois in 1856. He became Governor in 1860 upon the passing away of chosen Governor Bill Gretchen Bissell.
In 1825, Quincy became the Adams County seat, both known as honoring the newly-elected U.S. Chief executive, John Quincy Adams. The town square was initially known as John Square (to honor the name of John Quincy Adams) on Apr 30, 1825, but was eventually renamed Washington Park.
Quincy’s very first Nineteenth century citizens were mainly from New England, easterners who moved west in a continuing search for good land, freedom, opportunity or a fresh start in a new land. They introduced a lifestyle of modern principles, such as support for public education. In the 1840s, there was a large influx of German immigration. The new citizens brought with them skills and experience needed for the growing community.
As Quincy’s population increased during the mass migration from Germany, its culture was changed by the new immigration, who introduced traditions of their home country. The South Side in German Historic District has much of the city’s unique architecture. From Fourteenth to Twenty fourth roads, Maine Street is significant for the number of renewed homes way back to the Nineteenth century.
The Villa Katherine Castle is a small Moroccan-styled castle built on a bluff looking out over the Mississippi River. It is a rare find of as an example of Mediterranean architecture in the mid-west. It sits on a prime piece of real estate that has a fabulous view overlooking the Mississippi River and the two bridges connecting Quincy to Missouri. If it wasn’t for its historic and architectural value real estate developers would have snatched it up years ago and turned it into a high value property because of its location and views. For visitors or new residents, it is a must-see attraction in the city of Quincy.
Quincy, “The Gem City” has been twice recognized as an All-American City. It has a range of architecture, such as several churches. The town is a home to Quincy University, founded as a Catholic Franciscan college and seminary established in 1860, John Wood Community College, and Gem City College.
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Learn more about the village of La Prairie here.