The original inhabitants of the Columbia area, after the American Indian, were the English settlers and French traders.

Located on the Kaskaskia Trail, Columbia became an attractive stopping-off point for pioneers and immigrants.

The German immigrants, in particular, were especially attracted to Columbia, and many took up permanent residence in Columbia.

Originally laid out in 1820 and incorporated in 1859, Columbia has grown and prospered due to the strong work ethics and religious convictions of its people.