A who’s who of people associated with the history of Columbia. Someone missing? Let me know at dobrien387 at gmail.com
J.W. “Blind” Boone, 1864-1927 — John William Boone, was an African-American classical and ragtime composer and musician. He was born on May 17, 1864 near Warrensburg to a confiscated enslaved mother and a bugler in the Union Army. Boone toured throughout the U.S. giving concerts for 47 seasons, according to this State Historical Society of Missouri biography. His home at 10 N. Fourth St., is on the National Register of Historic Places and has can be rented as an event venue. Hear his compositions here. There is a park with his name in Warrensburg, Missouri. Learn more about his life here. You can listen to his compositions, which range from a Ragtime Medley to Dixie to Nearer My God to Thee.
Ann Covington, 2019 Boone County Hall of Fame living recipient. A University of Missouri School of Law 1977 graduate, she was the first woman named to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western Division in 1983, the first woman named to the Missouri Supreme Court in 1989 and the first woman Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court.
Annie Fisher, 1867-1938. Fisher was a Black entrepreneur who died on June 11, 1938. She was born on Dec. 3, 1867 to former slaves, and at the time of her death her fortune was valued at $13,350. In 2020 dollars, this would worth $244,359.53. She was a famed caterer and known for her beaten biscuits.
In addition to owning restaurants, she amassed a collection of real estate holdings including rental properties. Her two homes have since been demolished but according to this May 20, 2015, Columbia Daily Tribune article, three of the homes Fisher owned still exist at 316 N. Garth Ave., 318 N. Garth Ave., and 306 Oak St. She is listed on the State Historical Society of Missouri’s list of Historic Missourians here.
- Don Faurot, 1902-1995, 2019 Boone County Hall of Fame posthumous recipient. A pioneer in U.S. football, he was the athletic director at the University of Missouri from 1935-1942 and 1946-1967. In 1961, he was named to the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach.
W.J. Hetzler — Elected mayor of Columbia, per March 9, 1927 Columbia Daily Tribune article on page 1, col. 8.
David Horner — Farmer, meteorologist, Boone County Commission and named to the Boone County Hall of Fame in 2021 by the Boone County History & Culture Center. See his video here.
Walter Williams, 1864-1935. He was first dean the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri.