Jackson County

Biography - Edward Worthen

EDWARD WORTHEN, a well known farmer, who owns and operates a good tract of land on section 12, Sand Ridge Township, Jackson County, has always lived in this community. He was born September 15, 1848, near his present home, and is a worthy representative of an honored pioneer family. His father, William Worthen, was born in South Carolina in 1799, and was a son of Elias Worthen, a native of Virginia. The family was of English origin, and the great-grandfather of our subject, who served in the Revolutionary War, was killed in the battle of Cowpens. The mother of Edward was in her maidenhood Mary Will. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1809, and was a daughter of Conrad Will, who was also a native of the Keystone State, whence he emigrated to Illinois in 1813. He located in Kaskaskia, then Brownsville, in 1816, and there spent his remaining days. His family numbered three daughters.

Elias Worthen removed from Tennessee to Illinois in 1809, and located one mile east of Murphysboro. It was not his intention to here settle, but a storm delayed him, and he took up a squatter's claim in this locality. His death occurred soon afterward. William Worthen was the eldest son of the family of eleven children, all of whom are now deceased. In 1816, he went to Brownsville, Ill., and became one of its earliest settlers. A mile and a-half southwest of that place he opened up a large farm, upon which he continued to reside until his death in 1854. His wife survived him thirty years, and passed away in 1884. They were the parents of seven children who grew to mature years, while six are yet living, namely: Mrs. Elizabeth Richart, of Columbus, Ohio; Mrs. Mary W. Porter, of Sand Ridge Township; Mrs. Julia A. Richie, of Sand Ridge Township; Robert E., of Silver City, N.Mex.; Edward, of this sketch; and Mrs. Susan Waldbieser, of this county. The eldest son, Daniel, served as a soldier in the late war for three years and one month. He enlisted as a Lieutenant, but was mustered out with the rank of Captain. He died in March, 1873, leaving two children. The parents of our subject were both members of the Lutheran Church. The father took quite an active part in politics, supporting ihe Democratic party, and was elected Sheriff of the county for three terms. His long continuance in that office indicated his fidelity to duty and the confidence reposed in him by his fellow-townsmen. The maternal grandfather, Conrad Will, was also a prominent politician, and was a supporter of the Whig party. He served in the first Constitutional Convention, and was elected to the first State Senate. He served as Senator in 1818 and 1819, and also from 1828 until 1834. He was Representative from his district from 1820 until 1826. The first deed of conveyance in this county was made to his father, Daniel Will.

Edward Worthen was born and reared on the old homestead. He attended school in Carbondale, but left the school room at the age of sixteen years to work as a farm hand. He was married in October, 1877, to Maggie L. Osburn, daughter of James F. Osburn, and they located upon his present farm, which was then entirely' unimproved. Her death occurred March 27. 1884. They were the parents of four children, of whom Charles and Hugh are now living. Mr. Worthen was again married, in September, 1885, his second union being with Jennie Laney, who was born July 4, 1860, and is a daughter of William Laney, of Carbondale. One child graces this marriage, Blanche. The parents are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and are prominent and highly respected people of this community.

He served as a member of the School Board, was Supervisor of Sand Ridge Township in 1873 and 1874, and also served one term in Murphysboro Township in the same position. Later he was again Supervisor of Sand Ridge Township for three years. He has also been Justice of the Peace, and in that office, as in the others he has filled, he was found true and faithful to his duties, discharging the same with a promptness and fidelity that have won him high commendation.

In his business affairs, he has met with a high degree of success, and is now the owner of eight hundred and thirty-eight acres of valuable land, which yields to him a handsome income. He is a worthy representative of an honored pioneer family, and is himself numbered among the best citizens of Jackson County.

Extracted from Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois, published in 1894, page 446.

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