Chris, Better still would be store the values in a form that represents what they are. If you have a specific object, it would be better to have the fields named (ex-Book has a title, author, ISBN, etc) and reference those without going through a loop.
If you have some generic query and the first column is a title/label, you could have a Row object with a String title/label and Collection for the rest.
There must be something special about that first column for it to be displayed differently. And it's better for you model to know about it than force the view to handle it. (Java code in a JSP is an anti-pattern which should get you to think about whether things are designed in the best possible way.)