Columbia, "Educational Center of Missouri", originated in the town of Smithton, laid out by the Smithton land Company, 1819. By 1821, when the name was changed, the town was the seat of Boone Co., organized 1820, and named for Daniel Boone who died that year in St. Charles Co., Missouri.
Here between St. Louis and Kansas City in the famed old Boon's Lick Country are the University of Missouri, chartered 1839, first state university west of Mississippi, Christian College, first school of college rank for women chartered in Missouri, 1851, and Stephens College, chartered 1857, which traces its beginnings to Columbia Female Academy, 1833.
The offices and outstanding Missouriana library and historical art collections of the State Historical Society of Missouri are in Columbia. Founded in 1898, the Society has now the largest state historical society membership in the U.S. Here also are the offices of the Missouri Press, Missouri State Teachers and Missouri Farmers' Association and here are the Ellis Fischel State Cancer, Boone Co., and University Hospitals.