Joseph Charless was a native of Ireland who came to St. Louis in 1808. A successful businessman, he became publisher of the Missouri Gazette, the first newspaper west of the Mississippi River. The newspaper was literally produced at first in a log cabin. With the first issue appearing July 1, 1808, the paper had 174 subscribers and part of it was printed in French in an effort to appeal to the city’s majority population (80%). As part of his effort to reach the community, Charless would barter for subscriptions, taking meat, vegetables and even flour as payment. His Missouri Gazette operated for over a century under different names.