MU was founded in 1839 as part of the Geyer Act to establish a state land-grant university. It was the first Institution of higher learning west of the Mississippi river. It was the first university in Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase and was designed in part upon Thomas Jefferson’s original plans for the University of Virginia.
On January 9, 1892, Academic Hall, the institution’s main building, fell victim to a disastrous fire rumored to have been caused by the first electric light bulb west of the Mississippi river. The fire completely gutted the building, leaving only the six parallel stone columns standing which still stand today.
The scope of their enormity can be seen by the young lady sitting at the base of the 1st column.
Around the borders of the beautiful quadrangle, you’ll find a statue of Thomas Jefferson sitting on one of it’s many benches and his original grave marker, built by his own specifications.
The campus today is a beautiful mixture of modern life and historic architecture.