The Missouri Medical College was originally organized in 1840 as the Medical Department of Kemper College, making it the first medical school to be established west of the Mississippi river. In 1845, it became the Medical Department of the University of Missouri. The college changed names again in 1855 when it became an independent institution under the name Missouri Medical College. Despite closing for most of the Civil War years, students resumed taking classes in the fall of 1865. Missouri Medical College affiliated with Washington University in 1899.