What was the cold storage business?

This is a card from the Pure Ice Co. that was based in Quincy. The company operated as many as three plants in Quincy. | H-W File Photo
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 7, 2019 12:01 am

I hope you can help me with a childhood memory. Some 60 years ago, there was a building along what is now Gardner Expressway in which there were "freezer lockers." My parents rented space to store garden produce, meat, etc. We made occasional trips there to bring home what would fit in the small freezer of our refrigerator. As I recall, the building was on the west side of the road, north of Gardner Denver.

It looks like you were thinking of the Pure Ice Co., at 1500 Gardner Expressway.

In a Sept. 15, 1946, article in The Herald-Whig celebrating the 50th anniversary of the business, it noted that besides ice production, it also had a cold storage plant.

Pure Ice was founded by Frank Weems in 1906 with its first ice plant on Maine east of Sixth Street. It had a capacity of 12 tons a day. It eventually had three plants, including ones at 718 Jersey and 300 N. Front. It also had a plant at 924 Jersey at one point.

The business was sold in 1961 to Glenn Ice Industries of ?Beardstown. The plant was closed soon after. It was demolished in December 1966 to be made into a parking lot.

A while back, we looked at the origin of the Milliners Alley on the city of Quincy's southwest side. Besides possibly being associated with someone who designs, makes or sells women's hats, a solid reason why it was named that wasn't discovered. However, a reader recently passed along an old newspaper article that points out five other alley names that we might not recall.

The Aug. 20, 1898, article from The Quincy Daily Herald reviews the $10,800 estimated project to pave five downtown Quincy alleys:

Jessamine Alley, the north-south alley between Hampshire and Vermont streets and Fifth and Sixth streets.

Donation Alley, the east-west alley between Hampshire and Vermont streets and Fifth and Seventh streets.

Jail Alley, the north-south alley between Maine and Hampshire streets and Fifth and Sixth streets.

Peach Alley, the east-west alley between Maine and Hampshire streets and Sixth and Seventh streets.

Mulberry Alley, the east-west alley between Maine and Jersey streets and Third and Eighth streets.

Jail Alley is the only one that we still come across today. Anyone else remember the others?

How can my question be answered? Just ask. We'll quiz community leaders, business officials, historians, educators -- whoever can tell us what you want to know. Submit questions to or mail them to Answers, The Herald-Whig, P.O. Box 909, Quincy, IL 62306. Provide a name and phone number so we can respond or clarify information. Questions dealing with personal or legal disputes will not be accepted.

Things to Do