To quote a recent Columbia Tribune article:
The site, though, contains the oldest still-standing structure in the city and a choice for Columbia's 2013 Most Notable Historic Properties. Built in 1837 by Gen. Richard Gentry and his wife, Ann Gentry, who were considered founders of the original town of Columbia, it housed Columbia Female Academy, a precursor to Stephens College.
By 1897, it was owned by Frederick Niedermeyer and Turner Gordon, who added two wings to the building and turned it into the Gordon Hotel. Mark Twain was believed to have stayed there and given a speech at a dinner when he visited Columbia to receive an honorary law degree from the University of Missouri. In 1921, Niedermeyer would convert the building into the Niedermeyer Apartments, said Deb Sheals, a historic preservation consultant who has studied the property's history.
(photograph by Alli Inglebright of the Columbia Missourian)