10 Fun Facts About Quincy/Hannibal That Will Make You Say ‘I Didn’t Know That!’
It's always fun to learn new facts that make you say "I didn't know that!" Here are some interesting pieces of trivia about Quincy and Hannibal that might surprise you.
The actor John Mahoney, who is well-known for playing Frasier and Niles' dad on 'Frasier,' is a graduate of Quincy University (then known as Quincy College). He got his masters from WIU in Macomb. Mahoney has also done a lot of voice work. He appeared in 'Antz,' 'The Iron Giant' and 'Atlantis: The Lost Empire.'
Cliff Edwards was famous as a singer and entertainer in the 20s and 30s. His recording of 'Singin' in the Rain' became a number-one song in 1929. In 1940, Edwards voiced the character Jiminy Cricket in Disney's 'Pinocchio.' Edwards was born in Hannibal, but left school and moved to St. Louis when he was 14 years old and began his singing career.
It is said that Quincy Junior High School is haunted, but that's not the only haunted place in Quincy. There are claims that the Villa Katherine is haunted by the ghost of Bingo, a Great Dane that belonged to the man that originally owned the castle.
Steamboat traffic, and especially railroad traffic with the Hannibal - St. Joseph Railroad, led to an economic boom in America's Hometown in the 1800's (before it was America's Hometown). By 1860, Hannibal had become the second-largest city in Missouri.
Steamboat and railroads were also beneficial to Quincy. The city was one that did well during the Civil War and the years right after. In 1870, Quincy surpassed Peoria as the second-largest city in Illinois.
During the Civil War, Hannibal - like the rest of Missouri - was divided between Confederate sympathizers, and those who supported the Union. The Union occupied Hannibal in an effort to keep the Hannibal - St. Joseph railroad open.
Anheuser-Busch may be responsible for today's King of Beers, but in the early 20th Century, Quincy's Dick Brothers Brewery produced more beer than the famous St. Louis brewery.
There were libraries in Missouri before the Hannibal Free Public Library - in fact, there were libraries in Hannibal before the Hannibal Free Public Library - but the community of Hannibal passed a tax levy in 1889 to establish a library that would be free to the public. Prior to that time, libraries were open to members who paid dues. The Hannibal Free Public Library was the first free public library to be established in Missouri.
The Quincy Society of Fine Arts was established in 1947, and was the first community arts council in the country. The Quincy Society of Fine Arts works to expand the economy, strengthen education, and insure cost-effective arts services for citizens. They are also the publishers of the monthly Arts/Quincy magazine.
There are four veterans homes in Illinois, but the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy is the largest and oldest in the state. There is a post office, bank, assembly hall, guest house, mini post exchange, chapel, cemetery, lake, animal park, museum, and several military-related historical sites on the grounds of the Veterans Home.