Columbia, Missouri

City: Columbia

County: Boone

State: Missouri

Lat/Long: 38.9500, -92.3333

Columbia is the county seat of Boone County and home of the University of Missouri. Settlers began trekking to the area that would become Columbia after the Louisiana Purchase. Local entrepreneurs platted the town in 1821. Ten acres of the town was set aside with the idea of some day establishing a state university. In April 1821, Columbia became the county seat of Boone County, and in 1826, the Missouri General Assembly incorporated the town. Columbia soon became a hub of mercantile businesses and educational institutions. In 1839, the Missouri General Assembly established Missouri State University (later the University of Missouri), the first public university west of the Mississippi River. Columbia also became home of two women's schools: Columbia Female College (Columbia College), chartered by the Missouri General Assembly in January 1851, becoming the first woman's college west of the Mississippi chartered by a state legislature, and Columbia Baptist Female College, established in 1856 and endowed as Stephens College in 1860. The population of the city grew from approximately 700 residents in 1843 to more than 1,400 by 1860. Unlike Boonville and other locations nearby, Columbia emerged from the Civil War unscathed, no battles or skirmishes being fought in or near the town.

Valerie Battle Kienzle, Images of America: Columbia (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2014), 8-9.