First edition of the Darling Downs Gazette, 1858

The first edition of the Darling Downs Gazette newspaper was published on June 10, 1858. The newspaper was founded by Arthur Sidney Lyon, who held the distinction of founding the first four newspapers in Queensland, namely the Moreton Bay Courier, the Moreton Bay Free Press, the North Australian (Ipswich) and the Darling Downs Gazette.

First edition of the Darling Downs Gazette, June 10, 1858

First edition of the Darling Downs Gazette, June 10, 1858

The Darling Downs Gazette was first published in a wooden shanty in Drayton before later moving to premises in Toowoomba.

In its first edition, the Gazette laid the groundwork for the future of the newspaper –

“With regard to the general principles of this journal, they will be liberal in the fullest acceptation of the term. Our aim will be, as it has ever been, to seek success by deserving it, and past experience leads us to look forward with confidence to the future. No pains will be spared to make the paper as perfect as possible, so that readers may find in its columns a carefully prepared summary of all matters of interest occurring at home and aboard, and reports of all local events and proceedings, as full as their importance demands. We intend to avoid all extremes of political opinion and to avoid factious strikes, aiming rather at earning a reputation of independence, impartiality, and accuracy, and desiring to make the Gazette acceptable as a family paper as well as a commercial journal.”

The Darling Downs Gazette ran until 1922, when it merged with rival newspaper, Toowoomba Chronicle. Issues from the Darling Downs Gazette have been digitised and can be searched online via Trove Newspapers.

As well as preserving the original copies of this newspaper, SLQ holds an interesting curiosity from the Darling Downs Gazette’s past in our original materials collection – a metal plaque which belonged to the premises of the Darling Downs Gazette during the early 1900s. The plague reads – “D.D. Gazette. Estab’d 1858. 1d Morning Daily 1d. Leading paper on the Downs. 6/6 per quarter. Very best for Advertising. Guaranteed circulation 20,000 per week. This is proof of its value. Office Margaret Street., Toowoomba.”

Darling Downs Gazette metal plaque, 1901-1922. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Darling Downs Gazette metal plaque, 1901-1922. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Further reading:

Myles Sinnamon – Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland