The town of Columbia, located in the extreme southwest corner of section 27, township 74, range 20, in the southern
part of Washington Township, was surveyed by William Kent on March 23, 1857, for Hugh S. Smith and his wife Rebecca.
According to the original plat, which was filed on May 2, 1857, the town consisted of fifty eight lots, to which
was added on October 22, 1892, Burr's addition of twenty two lots. The first house in the town was built by James
D. Steele and the first merchant was John McEldoring. About two miles west of the village was a postoffice called
Columbia, which had been established on November 15, 1854, with Brumfield Long as postmaster. Shortly after the
town was laid out the post office was removed there, and Andrew Reed was appointed postmaster. Two men named Clark
and Williams opened a hotel and later became the proprietors of a large flour mill.
When Columbia began to assume an air of importance the people of Gosport, two miles north, believing that there
was not a sufficient field for the two towns, and perhaps a little jealous of their lusty young rival, hit upon
a scheme to check Columbia's growth. A movement was organized to visit the new town on the day when lots were to
be sold, bid in the choice locations and then permit them to lie vacant. But the Columbians got wind of the plan
and ran the price of lots up to such high figures that the "committee" from Gosport abandoned the project.
Columbia is situated upon a large and beautiful prairie, in the midst of a rich farming district. According to
Polk's Iowa Gazetteer for 1914, it has a bank, three general stores, a hardware and implement house, a garage,
a public school that employs two teachers, a Methodist Episcopal Church and a population of 150.
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Also see -Towns and villages with links
City of Knoxville
City of Pella
Marion County, IA
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