Late historian's bits and pieces of Quincy going up for sale

Auctioneers Casey Ewalt-McGartland and her father Toot Ewalt, of Ewalt Auction and Real Estate, sort through items from the estate of Carl Landrum, a Quincy historian. Hundreds of items from Landrum's estate will be auctioned. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)
Posted: Aug. 16, 2013 9:38 pm Updated: Aug. 31, 2013 1:15 am

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Toot Ewalt has fond memories of Carl Landrum, Quincy's late historian.

Years ago at an auction, Ewalt bought a model of the G.W. Hill, a steamboat used by Dick Brothers Brewery for its parties. He showed the model to Landrum, who filled him in on its history.

"The next day, he came back and gave me a ticket to the boat," he said.

Now, Ewalt, owner of Ewalt Auction and Real Estate, is going to help auction off a lot of his departed friend's materials and memorabilia, including many of his writings and research on Quincy topics through the years.

Landrum died in 2003 at age 87. From 1965 until his death, he wrote a weekly column on the history of Quincy for The Herald-Whig. Landrum also wrote 10 books dealing with Quincy and Adams County history.

"He covered everything that there was to cover, and he enjoyed doing it," Ewalt said.

The auction kicks off at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Quincy City Center Hotel, 201 S. Third. Doors open at 11 a.m.

The Quincy historical materials should provide a draw, but so will the memory of Landrum, who educated thousands each week in his column.

"They knew him, and they just want something from him that he had, and remember him," Ewalt said of the expected crowd. "We have 200 chairs set up, and I know we're going to put more up for the people that will be here."

There are old yearbooks from Quincy High School and Quincy Notre Dame High School.

"I've never seen one of these before," Ewalt said, holding the Notre Dame yearbook from 1948.

One pamphlet that is up for sale is a business directory dating back to the 19th century.

"What's funny about this is, not one company in here has a telephone number, because they hadn't invented it yet," Ewalt said. "I've studied Quincy for a long time, but they have a hundred (businesses) I've never even heard of before."

An atlas of Adams County from 1872 includes drawings of the homes and farms in the county. Another directory shows that Quincy was once home to 12 breweries.

"Quincy is a town that has quite a history of everything," Ewalt said.

There are also two cannonballs that could be from the Civil War. Though there is no documentation for them, they are heavy to lift.

Ewalt's daughter, Casey Ewalt-McGartland, also is an auctioneer. She said the pictures of the old buildings, long gone now, stand out to her.

"It's no longer there, and you can't even imagine it being there," Ewalt-McGartland said. "It's the history of our city."