Famous mobster lived and worked in Quincy

This is a picture of Monckton Mansion located on Locust Street in Quincy, Illinois.

By Michele Barletta

“Scarface” Al Capone was no stranger to the quiet, simple life people enjoy in Quincy, Illinois. Many residents of the “Gem City” don’t know about the connection their hometown has to one of America’s biggest gangsters. 

It seems as though every time the name “Al Capone” is brought up around this town, a few people stop in their tracks and a mysterious aura fills the room. The relationship of this town to Al Capone is rather unique. What business did America’s most infamous gangster have in a small city along the Mississippi River? 

Kelly Little, a lifelong resident of Quincy, says she heard first heard about Al Capone’s connection to the town when she was 25.

“I would ask my friends if they knew that Al Capone used to come and stay here and they would look at me as if I was crazy,” Little said. 

It’s believed that Al Capone used Quincy as a place where he could lay low for a while and take a break from his life of crime in Chicago, especially when the cops were hot on his tail. 

It’s believed that Al Capone spent a lot of his time in Quincy at the Monckton Mansion, located at 1419 Locust Street. No one seems to be living there at the moment, but the house did belong to local people of Quincy as of April 2015. 

There are a number of rumors about underground tunnels being built in Quincy so that Al Capone could continue his “work” whilst here. However, Little’s son and current QU student, Mckinney Little, doesn’t believe that was the case.

“I’ve heard my parents and all their friends try and convince me that Al Capone built underground tunnels in and out of Quincy so that he could continue his gangster business, but I don’t believe it,” Mckinney said. 

Mckinney believes that Al Capone only visited Quincy because it was a getaway from his life of crime, just a few hours away in Chicago. 

“He only came here to catch a break, I don’t know why he chose Quincy when he had the money to go anywhere he wanted, but I guess he enjoyed the small-town life,” McKinney said.

Quincy University student, Cole Hayes thinks it’s cool to have an association with someone of Al Capone’s fame. 

“A lot of my friends don’t even know about Al Capone’s life here. I think it’s pretty cool that a town as small as this can be associated with arguably the biggest gangster our country has ever had,” Hayes said. 

What Al Capone truly did in Quincy remains a mystery and it’s a story that will be passed down by locals for generations to come.

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  • My dad told stories about Capone’s bullet proof car, with body guards holding tommy guns standing on the runners, driving down Broadway on their way to the cat houses.

    • Wow! That’s an interesting story!

    • My family lived there for 10 years from the early ’70’s into the ’80’s. My parents bought th he house from Mildred Monkton. We had heard that Capone there, but never saw any evidence. It’s a beautiful old mansion!

  • My father n law grew up across the street from the Monkton House and I remember him telling me him and his siblings would sit and watch the cars roll in and out of the driveway and he did mention Al Capone.

  • I’ve heard these rumors before but what evidence do you have to support your claim that Al Capone was a friend of the Moncktons? Are there any pictures, news articles, etc. and how did these people in your article know the Moncktons anyway?

    • There was a photo I saw of Al Capone with someone else (maybe Leo Monckton?) in front of the front door that I and a few relatives had seen, but none of us know where it is.

  • The current owners / residents were vacationing around the time this article was published. They have owned the house since 2012 and lived there since 2015.

  • I have always told Quincy was Little Chicago. It is was told to me by family my Grandfather was a bootlegger and Quincy was referred to as Little Chicago. I have a pic with people in it. I always have said looks like gangsters in it. Never have been able to find out who people are, except for a relative, or where it was taken. Email me and I can send pic to anyone who thinks they can help.

  • Yep my Grandads brother bootleged off the island and own a bar on front street called the bloody bucket. Yep my mother born and raised in Quincy ( father as well) referred to it more then once as little Chicago.

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