The Family Business

William T. Delaplaine

In this heightened season of “giving,” I thought it was the perfect time to chronicle the life, and death, of newspaper and printing icon William T. Delaplaine, founder of what would in time become the Frederick News-Post. With his newspaper, begun in 1883, William T. Delaplaine gave the citizenry the news they sought, and in doing so, gave advertisers the customers they needed. Delaplaine even gave back to the community in benevolent ways, something that would always define the corporation and still holds true locally in the Delaplaine and Randall names through with gracious work of respective family charitable trusts.

The roots of this latter attribute actually played a role, in part, in our subject's untimely death at the age of 35. This occurred during one of Frederick’s first, concerted wide-scale efforts to feed those less fortunate through a hugely, successful food drive. Sadly for William T. Delaplaine, a sacrifice of his own personal health in the name of charity came as a result of tireless work put toward this benevolent endeavor. He died of pneumonia in February, 1895.

Along the lines of George Bayley in Frank Capra’s holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life," had William T. Delaplaine never been born, I surely wouldn’t be in the seat I am today writing this blog as historian of Mount Olivet. The “original” Mr. Delaplaine’s grave site is less than three football field lengths away from the desk at which I sit. I often think of this fact, along with his inspiring story when exploring the environs of Area Q which boasts his family burial lot.

To read the full story of William T. Delaplaine and the origin of the Frederick News-Post, click anywhere on the image above.

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