Quincy, Illinois, is located on the Mississippi River about
20 miles north of Hannibal, Missouri, and 100 miles west of Springfield, the state capital. Both Quincy and the county in which it lies, Adams, were named for President
John Quincy Adams.
In 1822, a man named John Wood built a cabin at the foot of what would later become Delaware Street, near the
Mississippi River. As more people came, the village grew eastward from that spot. Many German and Irish immigrants came to Quincy, along with pioneers moving from Kentucky and Virginia. These settlers were lured to the area by reports of the lush land called the “Jewel of the West,” which was later called “The Gem City.” Industrialists came from
New York and other Eastern states and built many of the stately homes on Maine Street and the adjacent streets.
Early industry in Quincy included pork packing, tobacco processing, paper making, stove making, carriage making,
the ice industry, and lumberyards.