The Talia run was named by J.H. Browne and originally held by J.T. Symes from 2 January 1856. John Strange and Mary Irvan Dinnison arrived in South Australia from Scotland in 1851. They worked for 14 years at Mount Crowford and in 1865 moved to Talia to manage the station for Dr John Harris Browne. It would later be known as ‘another of those historic head stations of the Great Pastoral Era’.
A Post Office was opened around 1862. The Hundred of Talia in County Musgrave was proclaimed on 22 September 1881. The Town of Talia was proclaimed on 17 May 1883. A School opened in 1889. In 1909 T and G Mudge's Mail Coach stopped at Talia each Thursday night on its way from Fowlers Bay to Port Lincoln.
One early settler to take up land at Talia was James Hood, born in Belfast in 1832. He grew up in Glasgow and began work in the mines when he was 9 years old. In 1857 he married Elizabeth Nelson of Glasgow. They would have 12 children. However before they had reached that number they migrated to South Australia where they arrived in 1865 on the Matilda Athean. For more than 30 years they worked near Mount Pleasant for Randall after which they took up farming at South Rhine. At Talia he grew wheat and grazed sheep. At the turn of the century he handed over to his son John. James died 16 March 1923 leaving 113 descendants.
Other landowners at Talia around the turn of the century were; H.C. North with 4000 acres and W.A. Barnes, both of Colton, also held 4000 acres. One of the largest landowner was the Thompson family. They held thousands of acres, including the old Talia Station as well as a block of 2000 acres at Colton.
Another well known identity at Talia was Daniel Higgins. Born on 11 March 1817 at Buckinghamshire he came to South Australia in the Planter when he was 22 years old. He secured himself a job at the Register but left it to join the rush to the Victorian goldfields. He too returned and eventually settled on the West Coast. He died at Talia on 27 March 1907.
His son James Lock Higgins, born at Walkerville in 1848 worked at many different places and stations, among them Warcowie, Port Lincoln, Warrow, Wilpena and Orraparinna. After the great drought of the 1860s he moved to Eyre Peninsula and in 1878 took up 579 acres in the Hundred of Colton.
In 1906 Talia Station was held by Archibald Graham Thompson when it carried some 7000 sheep. Near Cudlee Well, P.J. Boylan and E. Wheaton had been established for some years and between them kept the Talia School going for 7 years with a regular attendance of 14 children. Archibald Graham Thompson was born at Burnside in 1842. In 1856 he and his brothers went north to Mount Arden Station where he spent 5 years gaining pastoral experience. However when the gold rushes had started in New Zealand in 1862 he went too.
Not doing too well he was soon back in South Australia where he joined one of his brothers at Weitra Station. After some ten years, and marriage in 1873 to Harriet Hoskin of Denial Bay, he and his brother William bought both Talia and Kalka Stations from Dr J.H. Browne. Archibald settled at Talia, but after the death of William in 1884 he also took on the management of Kalka. He kept it going until 1887 when it was resumed by the government for closer settlement.
In 1907 he sold 4000 acres of Talia and five years later, after handing over to his three youngest sons, he retired. He died 8 August 1919 at Unley. He left a wife, six sons and four daughters.
A.G. Day's store at Talia.
Alfred George Day, store keeper of Talia was born at Venus Bay in 1875. He worked in his father's store at Talia which he took over upon his retirement. Alfred was secretary of the Talia cricket club and the Institute and also a Warden of the Church of England.
In 1910 Talia had two resident Justices of the Peace, George Mayers and J.L. Higgins. The post office was conducted by C.M. Crowder, A.G. Day had the local store and A.G. Thompson was listed as stockholder with J.P. Thompson as farmer. The Shipard family was well represented among the farmers. No fewer than five of them were working the land.