August 24, 1833

Columbia took its first step toward becoming College Town USA on this date. Columbia Female Academy, later known as Stephens College, is founded. Operating in Columbia for six years prior to the University of Missouri’s founding, the Columbia Female Academy was born out of necessity. Gen. Richard Gentry had five daughters who needed an education, so he helped organize the institution.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.