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A “View” of Oliver Parker’s Lot #216 in Columbia in 1830

By David Sapp Oliver Parker came to central Missouri soon after the the War of 1812 concluded and established what may have been the first store in Boone County on Thrall’s Prairie a few miles northeast of later Rocheport in 1818 or 1819. He gained a postmastership about the same time and named it Lexington. Read More »

An 1830s Columbia Tavern: Peter Wright, Proprietor

An 1830s Columbia Tavern: Peter Wright, Proprietor By David Sapp Columbia in 1830 had only 59 families and 453 total citizens—324 whites, 128 slaves, and one free black. But it seems there were three taverns. Captain Samuel Wall, Edward Camplin and Elisha McClelland all had taverns in Columbia about this time (Boone County Record Book Read More »

Tom Bass

1859 – 1934 Before Jackie Robinson ever donned a Dodger uniform – there was Tom Bass. Before Rosa Parks ever demanded a seat in the front of the bus – there was Tom Bass. Before Martin Luther King ever had a dream – there was Tom Bass. Born a slave, the friend of Presidents, the most famous Black Read More »

Harry Satterlee Bill

     Harry Satterlee Bill By Linda Keown 1876 – 1946 Harry Satterlee Bill was born 22 May 1876 to Hibbard Dennison Bill and Charlotte Elizabeth Marshall Bill in Easthampton, Hampshire County, Massachusetts.  Hibbard Bill was born in Connecticut and Charlotte Elizabeth was born in England. (US census report 1880, 1900 and MO Death Certificate Read More »

Richard Brown Gans

1819 – 1905 Few people know today that in the late 1800s Boone county was home to an experienced and successful manufacturer of telescopes.  Richard Brown Gans (born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, 1819) moved to Boone County in 1868 where he purchased a farm near Stephens Station and served as an optician and manufacturer of Read More »

Luella Wilcox St. Clair Moss

1865 – 1947 Educator & Civic Leader Luella (Wilcox) St. Clair was born in Virden, Illinois.  She was named a valedictorian of her class and went on to attend Hamilton College in Kentucky.  She would graduate from Hamilton in only one years’ time.   Her husband, Frank St. Clair, was selected as president of Christian (now Read More »

John Batiste Lang, Sr.

John Batiste Lang, Sr. 1802 – 1879 John Batiste Lang, Sr. was a free French Creole from Louisiana who was married to Louisa, a slave belonging to the wife of James Shannon. He moved to Columbia in 1850 when Shannon became the president of the University of Missouri. Lang opened a successful butcher shop at Read More »

John Lange, Jr.

1840 – 1916 The son of Louisa Lang, a slave, and John Lang, Sr., Lange was born in Kentucky on October 4, 1840. He moved to Missouri with his family in 1850 when the husband of the woman who owned his mother, James Shannon, became the president of the University of Missouri. Lange worked in Read More »

Jane Froman

1907 – 1980 Singer, Actress, Humanitarian Jane Froman was born in University City in 1907 and moved to Columbia with her mother when she was 12. Jane graduated from Christian College High School and two years later Christian College.  After starring in the University of Missouri’s J-School Music Revue in 1926, she soon entered the Read More »

Hurst John

1911 – 1979 Hurst John was born in Broadway, Missouri, on August 31, 1911, the youngest of the six children of Edward Lee and Ollie (Travis) John. He began his education in the Star Rural School, a log cabin near his home in Maries County. While he was still in elementary school he moved with Read More »