The ARGUS Newspaper is the modern iteration of an over 110-year-old African-American-oriented weekly newspaper founded in 1912 by the brothers Joseph Everett Mitchell and William Mitchell.
It began its existence as a newsletter for the Western Union Relief Association, an insurance company. The ARGUS has the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating minority-owned business black business west of the Mississippi River.
Over the past century, it has served the African American community in St. Louis, Missouri as its “Never-Sleeping Crusader” — one which reported the goings-on in the African American community, telling stories that helped the influx of southern blacks pouring into the “Mound City” deal with the realities of northern segregation.
As for its name, The ARGUS was inspired by a primordial giant of Greek fame named Argus Panoptes ( Ἄργος Πανόπτης ), said to have been endowed with one hundred eyes that never all blinked or slept at the same time. Argus Panoptes served as the guardian of the heifer–nymph Io, and was the son of Greek primordial deities Arestor and his wife Mycene (in another version of his origin, his mother was the primordial goddess Gaia), His last name “Panoptes”, was actually an epithet meaning “all-seeing” — an apt description, indeed.
One of the primary goals of The ARGUS was to help organize the African American community for political action. The newspaper’s editors promised readers that it would be “Moderate, Fair, and Fearless” in its coverage of relevant stories and events.
In recognition of its efforts, The ARGUS earned the coveted Russwurm award, named for John Brown Russwurm, one of three courageous founders (Rev. John Wilk and Samuel Cornish were the other two) who published the very first edition.