Over the past few days, I've been thumbing through a number of history books about Hannibal, Ralls County, and Quincy. Quincy: A Pictorial History by Carl Landrum is an excellent resource for anyone that likes to read about local history. Here are five interesting facts I've picked up from the book.

  1. The Adams County Courthouse buildings have been a little unlucky. The first two were destroyed by fire. The first burned in 1835 and the second in 1875. The third courthouse building was hit by a tornado in 1945.
  2. This one will amuse Cardinal fans. Cubs fans might want to avert their eyes. Quincy once had a baseball team that was a member of the Iowa State League. In 1907, the local Quincy team played an exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs ... and won! The final score was 5-2. To be fair, we need to mention that the Cubs did not play their starters.
  3. The 1867 Illinois State Fair was held in Quincy, but horse racing was not allowed because the Ministerial Association protested against betting on horses. The fair was a failure, and moved on to another city.
  4. The German language was once just as common as English in Quincy.
  5. Beer was big business in Quincy. In 1888, Quincy had 105 saloons and seven breweries.

The copy I have of Quincy: A Pictorial History was published in 1990. I'm not certain how easy it is to find copies, today. There are a number of books on local history available at both The Book Stop on 24th Street, and Quincy Books inside Quincy Mall, and, of course, the library is also a great resource for anyone interested in finding out more about Quincy's past.