The Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce’s home has a storied history of its own.

by DAVID MINTON, president of Central Bank and chairman-elect for the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce

As the Chamber’s 125-year anniversary motto attests, “Building bridges to the future” is the simplified mission of the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce. But it is the building at 213 Adams St. that serves as the chamber’s organizational home. This historic building, noted for its stately white columns, serves as a proud downtown landmark.

The structure has a rich and wonderful heritage. It was originally built as a home in 1907 by Dr. and Mrs. William A. Clark. Dr. Clark, who lived from 1865 to 1934, was a well-known and highly respected physician and community leader. During his lifetime, he doctored hundreds of Mid-Missouri residents, frequently receiving no compensation except for a bushel of sweet corn or other vegetables. He also served as the personal physician to at least eight Missouri governors.

The Clark family sold the house to the Missouri Baptist Convention in 1949. It was extensively remodeled to serve as their church headquarters. The church expanded the building to the north and added a chapel to the eastern part. The chamber then purchased the office building in 1976, and the chapel was converted to the Arthur P. Grimshaw Boardroom. Mr. Grimshaw served as the first chairman of the board in 1893, so it’s fitting that his name and picture adorn the room. Major renovations and upkeep projects over the years point to the chamber’s commitment to the building’s preservation.

As the incoming chairman of the board, I look forward to leading the chamber in 2019. Its building is indeed a strong symbol of leadership in our community. We should all be proud to have its history as part of our history.