In 1824, the United States land commission required Desiderio Quina to show he owned property in Pensacola, which he did by providing papers indicating he bought a property "with buildings" in 1821. Quina having three children at the time, most likely purchased a property with a house and did not construct it himself. The Historic American Building Survey noted the house's construction is typical of 1810-1811 period and matches other houses, similar to the LaValle House built in 1805. The Quina House is the oldest building in Pensacola on its original foundation.
Quina was Italian, born in Italy, he joined the Spanish Army and was sent to America as part of the Louisiana Infantry which was stationed in New Orleans, Mobile, and Pensacola. His name was Chini which through pronounciation, misspelling, and perhaps even Americanization changed to "Quina." One of Quina's daughters married a Touart who became the jailer across the street and managed the jail when Jonathan Walker was imprisoned for slave stealing. Walker noted in his diary when she gave birth (to one of Desiderio Quina's grandchildren) -- Walker became one of America's leading anti-slavery proponents in 1846 period.