Quincy, Illinois and Herford, North Rhine-Westphalia recently celebrated their 30th anniversary as sister cities. Journalist Friedel Schütte from Loehne (a city in the district of Herford) and American historian Prof. Walter Kamphoefner discovered in the 1940s and 50s that many people emigrated from the Ravensberg region on the border of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony to the Midwest in the mid-1800s. Since then, genealogical research has been a great part of the cities’ shared friendship.
Several active and regular exchanges in the fields of sports, education and culture take place on a regular basis or will be performed in the near future:
- An exchange every four years between the Quincy Hawks soccer team and several soccer clubs throughout the district of Herford. Last visit: 2016.
- Yearly: student exchange between Widukind Gymnasium Enger and Notre Dame High School.
- Host family accommodations in the Herford district as well as in Quincy for almost every exchange or visit.
- Regular travel group (every 1 – 2 years) from Quincy, exploring the Herford district. They are usually citizens of Quincy who are interested in seeing the region where their ancestors came from. Their trip is usually extended to see more cities in Germany and Europe.
- Journey to the Quincy “Germanfest” in June 2018 with a small delegation from the county administration and a larger group from the Sister City Association. Goals: strengthening the already existing youth and student exchanges; developing new exchange opportunities, such as trainings, exchange of expertise, exchange of firefighters, police officers and many more. (Trips to Germanfest take place regularly. The Sister City Association will usually organize the journey and program).