Columbia College, Historical Homes

Free Food and History

Even history buffs like me enjoy some perks from time to time. The public unveiling of the 2013 Most Notable Properties on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, includes hors d’oeuvres — yes, free food. Get more information and RSVP at

The event is sponsored by the Historic Preservation Commission of the City of Columbia. It will be held at 7 p.m. preceded by light appetizers. The event will be in the Historic Daniel Boone Building Lobby, which has recent under gone an amazing renovation itself. It is at 701 East Broadway, Columbia, Mo.

Why attend? This is where the year’s newest additions to the city’s Most Notable Properties list are announced, the property owners accept the honors and you have an opportunity to get to know more about Columbia and the properties that mark the city’s history. Last properties named to the list have included the “Gingerbread house,” at 121 N. West Blvd., brick streets and even Columbia Cemetery.

This Columbia Missourian article of Feb. 6, 2012, “Six properties to be honored by Columbia’s Historic Preservation Commission,” covers last year’s event, honoring the Arrowhead Motel, Calvary Cemetery, Harry Satterlee Bill and Florence Henderson Home, Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority House, Missouri Hall at Columbia College, and the Columbia Telephone Building, which now houses CenturyLink.

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.


Historical Homes

College buildings, museums, bed and breakfasts

Look around your home. Could you imagine it as a museum, a bed and breakfast — or a college building?

Probably neither could Oliver Parker, but that’s exactly what happened to his house. Today, it’s part of Stephens College’s Senior Hall.

Here is a mini-tour of the historic homes in Columbia that are no longer homes.

  • The home of John William “Blind” Boone, a famous ragtime musician, is slated to become a museum. It is located on Second Street in downtown Columbia.
  • Maplewood Home, built in 1877, is a museum, which gives visitors a look at life during the 19th-century.
  • The Samuel H. and Isabel Smith Elkins House at 310 N. Tenth St., now houses Village Glass Works.
  • Williams Hall at Columbia College was built as a home, but was never used as a residence. 
  • The John and Elizabeth Taylor House at 716 W. Broadway is now The Taylor House Inn, a bed and breakfast.
  • The McMurray Home at 1315 University Avenue is now the University Bed & Breakfast.
  • Senior Hall, Stephens College. This dormitory began life as a home built in the 1840s house for Oliver Parker, of New Hampshire. Senior Hall under went renovation in 1990 and today it is home to the Harriette Ann Gray Dance Studio, the Music Program, a board room, recital hall and parlors, according to the Stephens College website.