1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Jefferson City
JEFFERSON CITY (legally and officially the City of Jefferson), the capital of Missouri, U.S.A., and the county-seat of Cole county, on the Missouri river, near the geographical centre of the state, about 125 m. W. of St Louis. Pop. (1890), 6742; (1900), 9664, of whom 786 were foreign-born and 1822 were negroes; (1910 census), 11,850. It is served by the Missouri Pacific, the Chicago & Alton, and the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railways. Its site is partly in the bottom-lands of the river and partly on the steep banks at an elevation of about 600 ft. above the sea. A steel bridge spans the river. The state capitol, an imposing structure built on a bluff above the river, was built in 1838–1842 and enlarged in 1887–1888; it was first occupied in 1840 by the legislature, which previously had met (after 1837) in the county court house. Other prominent buildings are the United States court house and post office, the state supreme court house, the county court house, the state penitentiary, the state armoury and the executive mansion. The penitentiary is to a large extent self-supporting; in 1903–1904 the earnings were $3493.80 in excess of the costs, but in 1904–1906 the costs exceeded the earnings by $9044. Employment is furnished for the convicts on the premises by incorporated companies. The state law library here is one of the best of the kind in the country, and the city has a public library. In the city is Lincoln Institute, a school for negroes, founded in 1866 by two regiments of negro infantry upon their discharge from the United States army, opened in 1868, taken over by the state in 1879, and having sub-normal, normal, college, industrial and agricultural courses. Coal and limestone are found near the city. In 1905 the total value of the factory product was $3,926,632, an increase of 28.2% since 1900. The original constitution of Missouri prescribed that the capital should be on the Missouri river within 40 m. of the mouth of the Osage, and a commission selected in 1821 the site of Jefferson City, on which a town was laid out in 1822, the name being adopted in honour of Thomas Jefferson. The legislature first met here in 1826; Jefferson City became the county-seat in 1828, and in 1839 was first chartered as a city. The constitutional conventions of 1845 and 1875, and the state convention which issued the call for the National Liberal Republican convention at Cincinnati in 1872, met here, and so for some of its sessions did the state convention of 1861–1863. In June 1861 Jefferson City was occupied by Union forces, and in September–October 1864 it was threatened by Confederate troops under General Sterling Price.