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Quincy is located at 39°55'56" North, 91°23'19" West (39.932335, -91.388737)1.
Quincy sits on the banks of the Mississippi River, at the westernmost point in Illinois. The site was home to Sauk, Fox and Kickapoo Native American tribes. Quincys founder, John Wood, came west from Moravia, New York in 1818 and settled in the Illinois Military Tract. Wood purchased 160 acres from a veteran for $60 and the next year became the first settler in what was originally called "Bluffs," and by 1825 would be known as Quincy. Wood was later elected Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in 1856 and became Governor in 1860 upon the death of elected Governor Bissell.
Five thousand members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Mormons, were driven from their homes in Missouri and arrived in Quincy during the winter of 1838-1839. Though vastly outnumbered by the new arrivals, the residents of Quincy provided food and shelter for the Mormons until Joseph Smith led his followers 40 miles up river to the settlement of Nauvoo.
Quincys earliest settlers, primarily from New England in origin, were joined by a wave of German immigrants in the 1840s. The new residents brought with them much needed skills for the expanding community.
The matter of slavery was a major religious and social issue in Quincys early years. The Illinois citys location, separated only by the Mississippi River from the slave state of Missouri, made Quincy a hotbed of political controversy. Dr. Eells House, at 415 Jersey, was considered station number one on the Underground Railroad from Quincy to Chicago.
Quincy grew rapidly in the 1850s. In the 1850s steamboat arrivals and departures made Quincys riverfront a beehive of activity. Quincy was a site for the sixth Senatorial debate by U.S. Senator Stephen Douglas and his challenger, Abraham Lincoln. Quincy was the largest city in which Lincoln and Douglas appeared.
The Civil War brought increasing prosperity to Quincy. By 1870, Quincy passed Peoria to become the second largest city in Illinois. A massive railroad bridge across the Mississippi River had been completed, and Quincy was linked by rail to Omaha, Nebraska, Kansas City and points west.
Twice recognized as an All-American City, Quincy has a vast collection of some of the most impressive architecture of any community in Illinois, including several Gothic style churches. The Villa Kathrine, a Moroccan castle situated on the river bluffs, is a unique example of Mediterranean architecture in the Midwest. The city is home to Quincy University, a Catholic Franciscan College founded in 1860, John Wood Community College, as well as a technical college and the Blessing-Riemann College of Nursing. The city is also home to several museums, an extensive park system, several manufacturing companies, high tech & telecommunications companies and a large health care system.
Quincy is the birthplace and childhood home of silent & sound film actress Mary Astor.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 40,366 people, 16,546 households, and 10,109 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,066.0/km² (2,761.2/mi²). There are 18,043 housing units at an average density of 476.5/km² (1,234.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 93.02% White, 4.65% African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.54% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.36% from other races, and 1.22% from two or more races. 0.94% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 16,546 households out of which 28.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.3% are married couples living together, 11.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 38.9% are non-families. 33.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 15.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.30 and the average family size is 2.94.
In the city the population is spread out with 23.4% 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 are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 38 years. For every 100 females there are 88.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 85.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $30,956, and the median income for a family is $40,718. Males have a median income of $30,734 versus $20,748 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,479. 12.2% of the population and 9.2% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 15.2% of those under the age of 18 and 8.3% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.