Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Columbia Business District of 1850 Described

From the Columbia Evening Missourian, August 09, 1921, p. 4:

One Building In Business Section Has Stood For Years
     Only one building in the business section of Columbia today was standing seventy-one years ago [about 1850], according to the talk made by B.F. Venable at the dinner held at the Daniel Boone Tavern last Saturday evening in commemoration of the centennial of the city of Columbia.  In his talk, Mr. Venable gave an interesting description of the business section of the city as it looked seventy-one years ago when he came to Columbia.
     Beginning at the present location of the plant of the Hetzler Packing Co. west of the Katy Station, Mr. Venable described Broadway building by building as it was when he came to Columbia.  His description in full was as follows:
     “The first house on the other side of Flat Branch was owned by Colonel F.T. Russell.  On the east side of the tan yard, where the Katy station and Boone County Lumber Co. are, was a brick house built by John Rocheford, a man who worked at the University.  That was the only house until you came to the corner of Fifth and Broadway.  There was a big frame house owned by Doctor Provines.  Across the street east was Doctor Hall, next came Turner Daniels, a cabinet maker.  From his house to the corner of Sixth was all vacant.  Coming east across the street was Tom Powers.  He had a turning shop.  He turned wood work for tables and bedsteads.  His lathe was run by a horse named “Jack.”  The ground was all vacant from there until you came to the present postoffice.  There Mr. Powers had a cabinet shop, and he manufactured all kinds of furniture.  He also made pianos, not a great many, but a few.

     “Across the street, where Van Horn and Laughlin now are, was a vacant lot, and where Hetzler’s Market is, Colonel F.T. Russell had his office.  He was a lawyer.  Then came James Richardson’s Tavern; that was where Estes’ store now stands.  Where Fredendall is, Doctor Spottswood had a drug store; where the Boone County National Bank now stands was Tom Selby’s Tavern.  Across the street east was J.L. Stevenson’s dry goods and general store.  Next to that, where Higbee and Hockaday are now, was a little brick building with offices attached.  One was that of Judge James Gordon.  He was a lawyer, and next to him was Arch Turner.  In place of the Peck Drug Co., there was brick house where a shoe maker lived upstairs and worked downstairs.  Where Levy’s store, Hays Hardware store and Sapp Brothers are now located, there was a frame building.  It ran the whole length of these buildings.  It was below the street and at that time it was A.G. Newman’s residence.  From the street you could see across the roof of this building.  The ground from here up to Strawn-Neate was vacant.
     “Where Wolff-Berger and the Liberty confectionery store now stand was a brick house belong to Samuel Ashlock.  On the west part was the residence and on the corner he had a hat store where he manufactured all kinds of hats.  Across the street, where Sykes and Broadhead are, Lawrence Matthews had a carriage shop, and where Newman Hardware store is, Mrs. Neff and Mrs. Woodward had a millinery store.  It was the only millinery store in Columbia at that time.  Next to that, running east, where the Dorsey Buildings are, there was a little frame residence set below the street, belonging to Mr. Smith.  He was an artist and had his studio over Stephenson’s store when it was blown up.  From there to the corner of Tenth, the ground was vacant.  All the ground was below the level of the street.
     “On the next corner was the Presbyterian Church.  Next door to the Odeon there was a wagon shop, which was run by a man named Hackman, and on the corner where the Thilo Building now stands there was a residence occupied and owned by James Wood.  On the opposite corner where the Thilo Building is, there was a building occupied by Milton Matthews.  There was no other building in that block until you came to Mrs. McAfee’s house, which was a frame building occupied by Dr. Arch Young.  All the other property on east was vacant until you came to the Stephens College property which was then Oliver Parker’s residence.  He was the father of James and Moss Parker.  Mrs. Willis’ house was the next one.  It was built by John Field, but after Mrs. Willis came, it was greatly improved.  The land from there to the hospital was vacant and in those days was called the old fair grounds.  From that point to Hinkson Creek, the land was used for farming.

     “When one crossed Broadway at Hinkson Creek, on the north side, there was judge David Gordon’s residence, now owned and occupied by N.D. Evans.  The land was vacant west of this place until you came to James L. Stephens’ place.  Mr. Stephens owned all the property from the Gordon place west to Price Avenue and north to Paris road; then the property on Paris road going west was a pasture owned by David Hickman and where Alex Bradford and Mr. Goldsberry live David Hickman’s residence was located.  The next residence was owned by J.W. Stone’s father, the second by William Duncan and the third by Colonel William Switzler.  On Tenth and Broadway, running east, was Mrs. Switzler’s garden.
     “On the corner where the O’Rear Building is now, was George Gordon’s blacksmith shop.  He worked four or five hands and they were all negroes who belonged to him.  That was a frame building.  Next to that on the west was a little frame building occupied by W.T. Anderson’s father.  From there west, the land was vacant until you came to Ninth street, which was the Jeffrey place, where the postoffice was when I came here.  Across the street west, next to Barth’s clothing store, there were three brick business houses.  The house on the corner belonged to Tommie and Jimmie Johnson.  They made harness and saddles.  The next house belonged to the Reverend Mr. Jones.  He lived where the New York store is now.  The next business house was that of George Schoolfield, who had a silversmith shop and jewelry store.  Next came Dr. S.B. Victor, the place now occupied by the Drug Shop.
      “Where Henninger’s jewelry store is, there was a little frame building, one room of which was occupied by Alex McMillan, who had a saddle shop here.  Next to him was Henry Crumbaugh.  The next building was a frame building occupied by Major Reddy.  It was a tailor shop.  Then came Nutton Austin’s tailor shop.  Next to him was Richard Branham’s dry goods store.  At Eighth and Broadway was the Howard and Kirkendull [Kirkendall] dry goods store.  Next to them was Alex Douglas’ dry goods store and then came Stone Brothers building.  They were all brick buildings.  Wilson and Field, dry goods, came next, and then Jonathan Kirkbride, who kept a general store.
     “Across the street was a vacant lot with posts for hitching horses and stile blocks for the ladies to mount from.  Beyond this east was a frame building where A.G. Newman had his tin shop.  Next to this, there was a little brick building occupied by William LeNoir, and adjoining this was a vacant brick building.  On Seventh and Broadway was Trumpler’s bakery.  Next came a vacant lot, then Mrs. Royal’s residence.  It took up most of one block because she had a flower garden on the west. 
     “On the corner of Sixth and Broadway was William LeNoir’s residence.  On the northwest corner was Doctor Jewell’s residence.  It is the only building standing today that was here seventy years ago.  The property from there to Fifth street was vacant.  Where Clinkscales Garage is now, there was a frame residence occupied by Cliff Hensley.  There were not more houses until one came to a little house occupied by William Cato, a blacksmith.  From there on west to the branch going north to Walter [Water] Street, the land was owned and occupied by Gilbert Akers, a free negro.  His house stood in the center of the lot and he farmed the rest of the land.  Across the branch was the public school.  It was a little one-story brick building about 20 by 30 feet.  W.J. Hetzler’s residence was the next house.  It was then owned by Bob Nevins.  The next property was Jeff Garth’s farm.
     “No girls attended the school but they had a female academy where the Gordon Hotel now stands.  On one occasion, Hall Litch, who was a painter, passed by the academy and saw that it was on fire.  He hurried down town, and meeting several people said to them, ‘I am authorized to say to you that the female academy is now on fire, and if it is not speedy put out it will surely burn down.’”

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