Ohio History Journal

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12






One hundred years ago, in the month of October, the quiet

of the wilderness where Worthington now stands, was broken

by the arrival of forty families, under the leadership of James

Kilbourne. The journey had occupied more than six weeks.

They came from Granby and Simsbury, Conn., representing

many trades and occupations, and bringing the hope and courage

needed in founding a new home in a strange land.

The previous year their leader and Nathan W. Little, as

agents appointed by the Scioto Company to explore the territory

of the United States northwest of the Ohio river, had gone

through the country between Chillicothe and this place, and de-

cided to locate their colony here.

From a record kept by Mr. Kilbourne, we find that the two

men traveled by stage from Granby to Shippenburg, Pa. Thence

carrying packs, they walked over the mountains to Pittsburg,

one hundred and fifty miles, thence to Wheeling, and on through


A description of the land and its products reads like a chap-

ter from the Book of Numbers, when Caleb and Joshua brought

to the waiting Israelites their report of the land flowing with

milk and honey. Mr. Kilbourne says:

"We found Black Walnut, Hickory, Ash, Honey Locust,

Hackberry, Whitewood, etc., which never grow on any but first

rate land." He described the rivers as "clear, lively streams of

pure water as ever flowed from a fountain." He tells us:

"In one place I saw a thousand acres of the best clear meadow

I ever saw in any place whatever." He says: "Plums and

crabapples are the principal fruits, of which there are thousands

of bushels to be found in any part of the country, and the plums

are very palatable fruit." There were also large quantities of

grape vines.