What's the coldest temperature ever recorded in Quincy?

Steam rises from the Mississippi river clouding the view of a barge on Wednesday, when temperatures dipped to minus 13 degrees in Quincy. The lowest recorded temperature ever in Quincy was minus 29 degrees on Feb. 13, 1905| H-W Photo/Jake Shane
Jake Shane1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Feb. 7, 2019 10:05 am

With our cold snap this week, we thought it would be a good idea to look back at the lowest temperatures in Quincy's history.

Wednesday saw low temperatures of minus 13 degrees, and that didn't even include the wind chill that made it feel as cold as minus 38, according to the National Weather Service.

The coldest recorded temperature ever in Quincy history was minus 29 degrees on Feb. 13, 1905.

The Quincy Daily Herald said the temperature was colder than any of the city's oldest residents can remember.

"E.J. Parker, who has a record of extreme cold weather, says that the coldest weather Quincy has had before this was on December 31st, 1863, and January 1st, 1864, when reliable thermometers registered 27 degrees below zero," said the paper's Feb. 13, 1905, issue, noting that "one of the best and most-reliable thermometers in the city" registered at minus 30 degrees at 5 a.m.

The newspaper also said that some people who lived through the cold snap in the 1860s suffered from "crippled limbs" and that anyone who escapes being frostbitten will be "exceedingly fortunate."

Also reported was the discovery of a Mendon man on the floor of a stable. He was conscious when found, but he was unable to walk and had to be carried home to recover.

The Daily Herald reported that the thermometer at the Mendon railroad station registered minus 36 degrees, and a nearby stock raiser found a litter of young pigs frozen to death.

The following day in Quincy, Franklin School on Fifth Street between York and Kentucky was gutted in a fire.

The National Weather Service reported temperatures that day were minus 13 degrees. The Daily Herald reported that the thermometer read 4 or 5 degrees, and "firemen worked in clothing sheathed in ice and so stiff that when kind-hearted people brought coffee to them the refreshment had to be held to the mouth of the drinker, himself unable to reach his mouth with his own hands."

In the past 50 years, temperature have only dipped below minus 20 in Quincy four times, with minus 22 degrees on Dec. 22, 1989, and minus 21 on Dec. 21, 1989, Jan. 20, 1985, and Jan, 10, 1982.

In case you are wondering what the highest recorded temperature in Quincy is, it was July 15, 1936, when the temperature hit 114 degrees.

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