Hlas Office & Print Shop

Hlas Print Shop
“In the office of Hlas the map of Europe was changed by zealous liberators” —St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

Location: 1611 South 11th Street
Date of Construction: 1844
Date of Demolition: 1988

The newspaper Hlas (The Voice), one of the principal newspapers published in this country, had wide distribution and influence. Its editor for many years was the distinguished Dr. Hynek Dostal, a main force in the forming of the Republic of Czechoslovakia after World War 1.

Dostal, a prime mover in the Pan Slav Movement in the United States, worked diligently throughout the war both in this country and in Europe for the liberation of his homeland. After the Armistice Dr. Thomas Masaryk, hero of the Czechs and the first president of Czechoslovakia, came twice to St Louis to confer with Dostal and other leaders in the movement. Much of the preliminary work concerning the boundaries as well as for the constitution of the newly formed nation was accomplished in the office of Hlas.

In the vestibule of the adjacent Saint John Nepomuk church is a bronze plaque given Dostal by the Republic of Czechoslovakia in recognition for his successful efforts in the formation of that country. The poignant prayer which circles the plaque translates as follows: “St Wenceslaus, leader of the Czech land, grant that neither we nor our prosperity perish”.

The building was a flounder house. It was the home of the Bohemian Literary Society of St. Louis from 1908 to 1954. This was the first Czech Catholic national publishing company in America. Jan Habenicht’s book, History of Czechs in America, was first published in the Czech language in the Hlas printery. Hynek Dostal, the editor of the Hlas (Voice) newspaper, wrote many editorials in Hlas advocating nationhood for the Czechs in Bohemia. Dostal met with the future president of Czechoslovakia, Thomas Masaryk, in the Hlas printery on at least two occasions. Hynek Dostal signed the Pittsburgh Agreement. The building was demolished in 1988.

Hlas 1

Restored front doorway. Restored lower front window unit not pictured.