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Byline: David Nicklaus
Dec. 25--St. Louisans are used to seeing headquarters disappear. Big names like McDonnell Douglas and Boatmen's Bancshares have been leaving the local landscape for a decade, taking away a bit of local color and civic pride each time.
This year, the trend accelerated. Nine publicly traded companies that were based in St. Louis at the beginning of the year have been taken over.
The departures included two household names, Trans World Airlines Inc. and Ralston Purina Co., along with Agribrands International Inc., Data Research Associates Inc., Earthgrains Co., Jefferson Savings Bancorp, Purina Mills Inc., Southside Bancshares Corp. and …