About Us

The Northern Argus made news with its first edition on February 19, 1869, and Henry Hammond Tilbrook wrote in his first editorial:

"We come forward with no flourish of trumpets, we put forth no high-sounding policy; our aim will be to 'be just and fear not' and our convictions we shall maintain with independence of spirit and outspoken candour."

From its original site in a shed on Clare's Victoria Road the Argus moved to 245 Main North Road in the centre of the town, on the corner of Ness Street, where it stayed for 135 years.

This building was originally known as Gillen's Store, and was built specifically for use as a newspaper office.

A site was also occupied in the Eudunda Farmers building (now IGA supermarket) from 1927 to 1932 where the linotype was set and carried across the street.

"It could have been a recipe for disaster. It would have taken only one stumble and the paper would have been spread across the ground," Henry Tilbrook descendent, former journalist and newspaper executive Kym Tilbrook said.

As the district grew, so too did the Northern Argus. The paper, which was originally printed on a hand press, was now being produced on an old sheet-fed Wharfdale printing press, driven by a gasoline engine.

The Argus office also printed two other papers, the Port Broughton Echo from 1887 to 1888 and the Blyth Agriculturalist - which was first published in 1908 and ran for more than 60 years - its last issue was published on June 24, 1969.

For many years in the 1990s the Argus produced a tourist newspaper called "The Traveller" as well as a small weekly local news-sheet called The Clare Community News which had a short 18 month lifespan.

The Argus survived one threat of an opposition paper in the town. In 1872 an advertisement
appeared in the SA Advertiser inserted by the Clare General Printing Company Ltd, calling on people to invest in a second newspaper and general printing offices. The proposal never got off the ground.

With a succession of Tilbrooks at the helm, the Northern Argus successfully continued to reflect the news of the day for its base-town Clare and the Mid North Region.

In 1996 the newspaper was purchased from the Tilbrook family by Rural Press Ltd, and on April 1, 2005 made its first physical move for 135 years, to new, purpose-built premises about 250 metres south from its old offices.

In 2007 Rural Press was merged with Fairfax Media.

The Northern Argus archives are cared for by the Clare History Group and provide an invaluable snapshot of life in the Mid North.