The board of directors of the St. Louis Mercantile Library Association met every January to discuss the progress of the past year. At the third of these meetings in 1849, they decided to publish the proceedings of the meeting and store them for future generations. In the library's early years, they met in various spaces including the Odd Fellows Hall and Wyman Hall. Being business men, they then created the Mercantile Library Hall Company for the construction of a new building. This company had its own board of directors and annual meeting. Its annual report was printed with that of the library association's for the decade and a half of its existence. Ultimately the library association bought all shares of the company and came to own their building outright.