Present day site
Article originally published In Columbia Tribune on January 15, 1989
Whatever Happened to Rockhurst?
By Francis Pike of the Tribune Staff and Midge Crawford of the Boone County Historical Society
The neo-classic home at 1133 Ashland Gravel Road, Originally called the Gordon place and later Rockhurst, is currently owned by John McGee, Gary Evans and Tom Mendenhall and now serves as the office for tara Properties.
John Boyle Gordon, the first owner of the property came from Kentucky to Columbia in 1826. His father, David Gordon, had arrived in Boone County in 1818 and was one of the founders of Smithon, preceding the establishment of Columbia in 1821.
John Gordon lived with his parents upon arrival from Kentucky at what is known today as Gordon Manor, 2101 East Broadway, but he soon built a house at the present site of Rockhurst and farmed the acreage surrounding the house. In addition to being a farmer, he was also a lawyer and served five terms in the Missouri General Assembly.
He donated Land to the then-new University of Missouri in 1839 on which the main campus of the university -- now known as the Red Campus-- was built.
His son, Boyle Gordon, graduated from MU in 1849, practiced law and taught law courses at the university. Boyle married Mary Ann Gentry, daughter of Richard Gentry, another early pioneer of the county. Boyle and Mary added to the back of the house in 1880, where their son, Marshall Gordon, was born in 1869.
Following the marriage of Marshall Gordon to mary Denny, the two, in 1897, added to the front of the house that today imparts its classical appearance. They named it "Rockhurst" because of the commanding view from its hill site that included the limestone rock cut through by Hinkson Creek.
The home remained in the Gordon family 125 years until it was sold to James Taylor in 1941, who then sold it to James Capen in 1952. McGee and tara Properties bought the house in 1982, restored it and made it into an office for the apartment complexes they built around it.
Reproduced with permission from The Columbia Tribune