Incorporated in 1859
Louis Nolan laid out the lots for what would become Columbia, Illinois in 1820 along the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, 12 miles downstream from St. Louis. Many European immigrants, especially Germans, settled Columbia in the mid-19th century.
Incorporated as a town in 1859, the settlement became a village in 1903 and grew until it became a city in 1927. Today, with a population of more than 10,000, Columbia is one of the fastest-growing suburbs in the metropolitan St. Louis area. The current residents of Columbia reflect the hard-working, patriotic people of the past. Columbia people are friendly, concerned and involved with their community. Their schools, churches, homes, businesses and public services reflect their pride and dedication. The city’s many clubs and organizations sponsor numerous spirited festivals and special events throughout the year. Volunteerism abounds. Columbia is a place where people belong.