Columbia College

Columbia College’s history referenced by Belleville News-Democrat

The Belleville News-Democrat,, has an question and answer section in it online publication.

A recent question referenced Columbia College, and the answer includes some very interesting history. Here is the answer and question, reprinted with permission from

Q. Every time I turn on the TV, I see ads for various colleges. Are these schools legit or just another way to make a buck? For example, Columbia College, Anthem College, DeVry University, etc.

— R.A., of Belleville

A. Looks like you need an education on college history.

Columbia College would be particularly unhappy to hear you questioning its legitimacy. A private liberal arts school, it was founded as Christian Female College in 1851 in Columbia, Mo.

Back then, a few dozen young women would start the day with a walk at 6 a.m. followed by worship, classes, a daily composition and a Bible lecture each night. In 1970, the school changed its name and switched from a two-year, all-female college to a four-year coed school.

Now, the school is home to more than 4,000 students at its main campus as well as 25,000 more taking courses at 33 campuses around the country and online. If that’s not legit enough for you, McKendree fans may remember the two NAIA volleyball titles that the Columbia Cougars won in 1998 and 1999 with an 89-0 record. It’s also the alma mater of famed singer-actress Jane Froman, whose rendition of the Lord’s Prayer can be heard on KMOX.

Other schools don’t have quite that distinguished background, but seem no less legit. Anthem College Online, for example, is a part of the Anthem Education Group, which was founded in 1965 as the Electronic Institute of Arizona. It boasts two dozen campus around the country, including the old Allied College in St. Louis, which it acquired in 2003.

Similarly, DeVry University was founded in 1931 as DeForest Training School and now has more than 80,000 undergrad and grad students at more than 90 campuses. Of course, potential students should investigate any school before signing on the dotted line.


Columbia Historic Preservation Commission

KOMU coverage of 2011 Most Notable Properties

Through this link, you can view KOMU’s coverage of the then-upcoming gala event of Feb. 16, 2011 where the Columbia Historic Preservation Commission announced the five new properties named to the Most Notable Properties List.

The coverage by Josh Frydman notes the five new properties will be added to the 118 already on the list. The segment starts by highlighting one of the five, Frederick Douglass High School, and includes photographs of other buildings added to the Most Notable Properties.


Columbia Historic Preservation Commission

See history, view 2011 Most Notable Properties

The quote from Brian Treece in the Feb. 15, 2011 article on the five properties named to the Most Notable Properties list sums up the importance of the list: “History is all around us, and sometimes we forget that.” The article includes photographs, a slide show and a map.

A free, open to the public gala is planned to celebrate the five new Notable Properties. It will be held at 7 p.m. on Feb. 16, 2011 in the Columbia Public Library Friends Room.

In his quote, Treece, chairman of Columbia’s Historic Preservation Commission, was referring to Cosmo Park, which the article by Jamie Tanner notes was once the site of the Columbia Municipal Airport. Again, from Treece, “A lot of people don’t realize when they’re driving to their child’s soccer game or a picnic at Cosmo Park, they are driving on a runway of the old airport.”

Five properties were named to the list:

901 E. Broadway, Haden Building, 1921. Now the site of Commerce Bank, this building is on the site where the Haden Opera house once stood and dates back to 1921. The two previous buildings on this site burned down.

1602 Hinkson Ave., Joseph and Mary Duncan House, circa 1906. Built for retired farmer Joseph W. Duncan, it may have been built from mail-order plans, an idea suggested, the article notes, due to the “refined style and unusual combination of architectural styles…”

601 W. Broadway, A Fredendahl House, circa 1920s. Owned today by Mike and Jewell Keevins, according to the article, the house was built by A. Fredendahl, owner of Columbia’s first department store, which was located at 19-25 S. Ninth Street. The first floor of that building remains, while the upper floors were removed during the 1950s.

1615 Business Loop 70 W., Columbia Municipal Airport, 1970s. Now Cosmo Park, it was once site of a 110-acre farm of Moss Jones, which then became the location of the Allton Flying Service owned and operated by John and James Allton. They sold the site  to Columbia for a municipal airport around 1932. The city expanded the site and operated the 500-acre facility as an airport until the 1960s, the article notes, before opening the Columbia Regional Airport south of Columbia.

310 N. Providence Road, Douglass High School, 1917. Built to serve the city’s African-American population prior to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling outlawing segregation, today, the school serves is an integrated high school. The full, complex history of the school can be found here.


Historical Homes, Stephens College

Stephens College President’s Home makes the news

Stephens College has five buildings on the Columbia Historic Preservation Commission’s Notable Properties Lists, however one was destroyed by fire after it was named to the list.

A building that is not on the Notable Properties list recently made the news: the President’s House. Built in 1926 by then-Stephens President James Madison Wood, the house was home to a long line of college presidents until the previous president, Wendy B. Libby took over in 2003. The house has been vacant since then, but current Stephens College President Dianne Lynch has announced plans to renovate the house funded through a $400,000, “Home Again” campaign. According to reports, as of Feb. 5, $220,000 has already been raised for the project.

The home, located on Locust Street, between Waugh Street and College Avenue, is an opportunity to ponder history. When it was first built, it had a “sleeping porch,” a place where people would sleep during the heat of the summer. The sleeping porch has since been enclosed, but it gives us an opportunity to appreciate the boon of Missouri summers – air conditioning.

Here are links to media coverage of the plans for the home and virtual tours of the house:

First, see inside the house via this virtual tour.

Feb. 5, 2011, Stephens College aims to restore President’s Home, Columbia Daily Tribune. This article includes photographs and outlines the history of the home and the fund-raising campaign.

Feb. 7, 2011, President’s house, Columbia Daily Tribune. This is an editorial by Hank J. Waters III supporting the campaign to renovate the house, support which makes sense given his is a member of the campaign’s board.

Here is a link to a historic article published shortly after the home was completed.


Depressed? History could be the cure

On Feb. 17, 2011, The Story of Blind Boone, will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Daniel Boone Regional Library. Mike Shaw will discuss ragtime musician John William “Blind” Boone, one of Columbia’s most famous residents and give an update on the restoration of his historic Columbia home.

How could this be the cure to depression? The house at 10 N. Fourth St. is literally a monument to endurance, caring for each other and going beyond limitations. Boone, born in 1864 of a union between a former slave and a Civil War soldier, is proof that care and concern stepped beyond what should be. There is some evidence that his father sought to return to the mother of his child despite the chaos and demands of his military service requirements during the Civil War.

Then at 6 months old, Boone developed a fever and his eyes were removed. However, through the largess of his mother’s employer, Boone received an education, as outlined in a National Register of Historic Places document: “Francis Marion Cockrell — a former Confederate general and future U.S. Senator residing in Warrensburg in whose household Rachel was employed as a domestic — to accede to the mother’s petitions to facilitate her boy’s eduction by sending him to the Missouri School for the Blind in St. Louis.”

Again, signs of care and concern.

The list could go on but even the home shows the way to believing in a better life.  Boone’s home until 1927 at 10 N. Fourth St., once nearly derelict now has been renovated through the efforts of Columbia’s community members and is slated to become a museum with interactive displays.

On Thursday, Feb. 17, hear more about continuing renovation efforts and get rid of any remaining winter time blues by learning that care and concern can overcome any limitations. The presentation will be in the Columbia Public Library at 100 W. Broadway.

Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, General

Previous Annual Most Notable Properties

Here’s a review of past years’ Most Notable Properties named by Columbia’s Historic Preservation Commission.

An event presenting this year’s properties was postponed from Feb. 1 until Feb. 16, due to the blizzard, but you can review past lists via these links.


Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, General

Historic Gala Postponed to Feb. 16, 2011

A new date, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011 has been set for the Most Notable Properties gala, an annual event by the City of Columbia’s Historic Preservation Commission.

The gala will be held the Daniel Boone Regional Library Friends Room.

This Columbia, Missouri, event is when the Historic Preservation Commission announces and gives a presentation on this year’s Most Notable Properties. In the past, notable properties have included commercial buildings, churches, cemeteries and homes in Columbia.

The event had been planned for tonight, Feb. 1, but a blizzard has led to it being postponed.

You can review previous years’ events via these links.