William Jewell House
Present day site of the William Jewell House
Article originally published In Columbia Tribune on March 15, 1987
Whatever Happened to the William Jewell House?
By Francis Pike of the Tribune Staff
Dr. William Jewell, one of the founding fathers of Columbia, built a combination home, office, and hospital at the northwest corner of Sixth Street and Broadway. The site is now the location of a branch of Commerce Bank of Columbia.
Jewell's two-story structure was the only hospital in Columbia at the time it was built. Numerous servants were hired to care for the patients.
The building later became the Central Hotel, where statewide conference were held. In the 1870s Mrs. W.J. Gordon operated the business.
In 1822 Jewell led an effort to place the center of Columbia at Fifth Street and Broadway in opposition to Gen. Richard Gentry's plan to designate the center at Eight and Walnut streets. Gentry won, and the center remains there where the courthouse now sits.
Jewell was known for his involvement with education as well as his participation in downtown matters. He was one of three men who accepted applications for enrollment to the University of Missouri, which was established in 1839. he was also a member of the board of trustees in 1833 when Columbia Female College, predecessor to Stephens College was founded.
Dr. Jewell was a state senator from 1830 to 1834, and represented Boone County in the house from 1844 to 1846. Later he contributed to the building of William Jewell College in Liberty.
Reproduced with permission from The Columbia Tribune