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Local Media History Group Acquires Copies Of Bi-Lingual Business Paper

(courtesy of the St. Louis Media History Foundation)

A local media history group has acquired nine issues of the region’s first bi-lingual business paper.

 The St. Louis Media History Foundation announced on Monday that it had purchased the copies of El Comercio del Valle from a private collector.

El Comercio del Valle — the Commerce of the Valley — began publishing in St. Louis in 1876 and was distributed all along the Mississippi River, said Frank Absher, the executive director of the foundation. The first publisher would eventually become the Mexican Consul in St. Louis.

"A lot of the articles that were published in Spanish were articles with information that businessmen dealing on an international level would need to see," Absher said.

Everything but the front page was in Spanish, Absher said, including the advertisements from companies such as Anheuser-Busch and the Missouri Pacific Railroad. But his favorite part was the English-language front page.

"It was a little more gossipy," he said. "Rumors that might have been circulating within the business community, things  of that sort. As a result of that, anyone who’s a student of St. Louis history would love seeing these sorts of news items from the perspective of business and international business. And it really fills a good gap there."

Find more information about the newspapers and other media outlets in St. Louis at the Foundation's website.

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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