James Rada, Jr.
Note: Portions of this article are pulled from a series of articles The Catoctin Banner ran in 2014 about the history of newspapers in Northern Frederick County.
William R. “Bo” Cadle, Jr., died January 21, 2020, at the SpiriTrust Lutheran Village in Gettysburg with his wife, Jean, by his side. Although no longer living in Emmitsburg, the Cadles left their mark on how northern Frederick County receives its news.
The Cadles started the monthly Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch in 1993. You can still read old copies of the newspaper at www.emmitsburgchronicles.com.
“Volunteers helped us do all sorts of things. An unexpected and greatly appreciated alliance between people in the community (readers and merchants and the worker-bees) over the following months helped the paper to gain firmer footing,” Bo Cadle wrote in a 2002 editorial.
Bo was born October 10, 1931, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Frederick High School, received a degree in science from the University of Maryland, served two years in the Air Force and then earned his Master’s in Education. Although not a trained newspaper man, Bo had a desire to contribute to his town by keeping its residents informed of local news.
A couple years later, after he started his own paper, Bo encouraged Lori Zentz to get into the newspaper business. Chronicle Press had started the Catoctin Banner in 1994, but by 1995, Art Elder was looking to sell the paper. The Cadles already had the Regional Dispatch running, so they contacted Zentz about taking it over.
Zentz saw a need for local news in Thurmont. WTHU in Thurmont was publishing the Thurmont Times, but this was seen more as a coupon supplement than a newspaper. The Gazette published a Thurmont/Walkersville edition, but it, like the Frederick News Post focused more on happenings around Frederick. Meanwhile, the Regional Dispatch was primarily focused on Emmitsburg. The Catoctin Banner was eight pages when Zentz took over, and it grew steadily, at one point reaching 32 pages. Her goal was to create a paper that was about Thurmont.
Both the Banner and Dispatch continued operating independently, focusing mainly on their respective areas.
Cadle nicely described a community newspaper when he wrote in 2002, “As far as we know, there were few, if any national conversations, ever held, but the Dispatch chatted on. Writers, of less than national stature, but with their unique voice, kept us informed of what was going on in our churches, clubs, service organizations, and homes across the greater community. Local merchants and groups were willing to bend their bottom-line thinking and underwrote the Dispatch by placing ads or making donations to insure that the Dispatch was able to pay its way. Small-town journalism was taking root, not spectacularly but the entire community, the Dispatch’s extended family, was contributing and the paper became a household word.”
In 2002, the Cadles decided to pass on the Disptach to Raymond and Jennifer Buchheister. They changed the name to The Emmitsburg Dispatch, and eventually started publishing a sister publication, The Thurmont Dispatch. The Buchheisters published each newspaper twice a month. The Dispatch newspapers ceased publication in November 2008. Just a year before, Deb Abraham Spalding had taken over publishing The Catoctin Banner and also received helpful advise from the Cadles.
The Catoctin Banner continues publishing and living up to its name. It combines the news and events of the Catoctin region in much the same way some elements of both Emmitsburg and Thurmont have combined.
Although Bo is gone, we at The Catoctin Banner still remember his positive impact on our history, the history of our local newspapers, and the history of the greater Emmitsburg area.