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Columbia Business Signs
The city of Columbia is located in the central portion of the modern day U.S. state of Missouri. Prior to Missouri being Missouri, this area was inhabited by peoples practicing the Mississippian culture and home to the Mound Builders. By the time Europeans arrived on the scene, the area was full of Osage and Missouri Native Americans. La Salle claimed all of Missouri for France in 1678 and later it was sold as part of the Louisiana Purchase to the United States in 1803. In 1804, the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through this particular area of Missouri along the Missouri River.
In 1806, two sons of the famous Daniel Boone established a salt like forty miles northwest of the present-day city of Columbia, which gave the area its first United States’ name, Boonslick. In 1818, settlers from the Smithton Land Company established the village of Smithton less than a mile from present-day Columbia. They moved the site of this town in 1821 and renamed the town ‘Columbia,’ which is “a poetic personification of the United States.” The city of Columbia, Missouri was officially incorporated on November 7th, 1826.
Today, according to a 2015 estimate by the US Census Bureau, Columbia, Missouri has a total population of 119,108 people. This makes it the 245th most populous city in the United States. The Columbia, Missouri metropolitan area, according to the same estimate, has a total population of 170,773 people. This makes it the 237th most populous metropolitan area in the country and the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the state of Missouri.
Columbia, Missouri is home to companies such as Shelter Insurance, Columbia Insurance Group, MFA Incorporated, and MFA Oil. Socket, Datastorm Technologies, Inc., Slackers CDs and Games, Carfax, and MBS Textbook Exchange were all founded in the city as well. According to Columbia’s 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employer in the city is the University of Missouri, which is responsible for 8,608 jobs. The second largest employer in the city falls quite some ways down – University of Missouri Health Care only employs 4,468 people.
As can already be surmised, the city of Columbia, Missouri is now primarily a college town. The University of Missouri is the most prominent member of Columbia’s colleges, but there is also Stephens College, which was established in 1833, and is a women’s college with 850 students enrolled, and Columbia College, which was established in 1851, and is an independent liberal arts and sciences institution run by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), with 2,100 undergraduates enrolled.
The largest institution of higher education in the Columbia area is undoubtedly the University of Missouri. The University of Missouri, which was established on February 11th, 1839, is a public, land-grant research institution. MU is considered one of the nation’s top-tier R1 institutions “and is one of the 34 public universities to be members of the Association of American Universities.” MU, as of June 2015, had a $852.3 million endowment, and as of Fall 2016, had 32,777 students in total enrolled in its various academic programs.
Columbia, Missouri does not have many professional sports teams, but it does have the University of Missouri’s “Mizzou Tigers,” who play in NCAA Division I SEC. The Tigers’ basketball teams play in Mizzou Arena while its baseball teams play at Taylor Stadium. The football Tigers play their home games at Faurot Field. In total, the University of Missouri’s athletic teams have two NCAA team national championships to their names – one in Indoor Track & Field and one in Baseball.
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