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Y1.9K: Mizzou in 1900

As a new year approaches, people often look forward with hope and optimism. Yet, they also look backward, measuring progress and noting accomplishments. On the dawn of the new millennium, University Archives looks back at an earlier era. A glance at the year 1900, the turn of the century, highlights significant changes and innovative measures in the history of the University of Missouri.

Missouri State Letterhead
An Example of Letterhead, 1900
(University Archives, UW:1/4/1, Box 10, FF 3A)

An Era of Rebuilding and Growth
1900 and the preceding decade witnessed dramatic changes at Missouri State University, as it was often called. On January 9, 1892, tragedy struck when a fire burned Old Academic Hall, the predecessor of Jesse Hall, to the ground. This devastation almost caused the University to be relocated to Sedalia.

Academic Hall
Old Academic Hall, January 9, 1892
(University Archives, Bulletin, 11/22/1971)

Rubble
January 10, 1892
(University Archives, Bulletin, 11/22/1971)

Columbia residents and benefactors of the University, however, rallied enough support to convince the Missouri Legislature to retain its Columbia location. The people of Columbia and Boone County raised $50,000 to complete the building fund. Donations arrived from many places, even from across the Atlantic Ocean.

Phoenix letter
January 12, 1892 Letter Thomas Jefferson Lowry, MU Dean of Engineering
(University Archives, UW:1/1/2, Box 2, FF 1)


English letter
English money

January 1892 Letter and Donation From England
(University Archives, UW:1/1/2, Box 2)










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Copyright © Curators of the University of Missouri 1997 - 2003
Published by: University Archives muarchives.missouri.edu/
Originally Prepared: December 1999
Revised: 17 January 2003
URL: http://muarchives.missouri.edu/1900-.html

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