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Among the few real pioneers of Cass county, John Worthington is in every way entitled to an honored place in local and State history. He is a native of Sullivan county, Pa., born January 24, 1843, his parents being Enoch and Mary (Lake) Worthington, natives respectively of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The father was born October 24, 1806, and the mother April 22, 1805. The paternal grandparents were David and Sarah Worthington, and the maternal grandparents were Joseph and Mary Lake. Enoch Worthington, the father, was a lumberman in Pennsylvania until 1854, when he migrated to Jones county, Iowa, where he purchased a farm of unimproved land, upon which he resided until 1875, when he came with his family to this county. Here he resided with his sons until his death, April 5, 1880. His wife passed away in 1885. They became the parents of three sons and four daughters, all being now dead with the exception of John. The parents were both members of the M. E. Church.

John Worthington developed into manhood in Jones county, Iowa, his early years being passed in assisting upon the family farm. He was thus engaged at the outbreak of the War of the Rebellion, enlisting in the Union cause December 19, 1863. He became a member of Company L, Second Iowa Volunteer Cavalry, and participated with his command in the operations of the Army of the Tennessee. He saw service in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and was personally engaged in the following battles: Tupelo, Oxford, the operations before Memphis and Nashville, and in many smaller engagements. He was discharged from the service, in the fall of 1865, and returned to Jones county, where he remained until 1870. He then traveled overland to Cass county and purchased a tract of prairie land in Union township, which he improved by cultivation and buildings. He has increased his original purchase at various times until now he owns 600 acres of valuable farming property.

John Worthington was married, in 1866, to Jessie J. Guthrie, a native of Scotland and the daughter of Clement and Agnes Guthrie. The family migrated to the United States about 1856. Mr. and Mrs. Worthington have become the parents of ten children: Elmer E.; Addie I., now Mrs. Studley; Howard K.; Lura, Mrs. Morgan; Homer; Elsie, Mrs. Jay Pigsley; Mina, now Mrs. Hebing; Leona, Mrs. Berry; and Eva and Belva, who both reside at home. His first wife died May 1, 1889, and Mr. Worthington was married again in February, 1896, to Harriet Buxton, the widow of A. J. Merrin. Mrs. Harriet Worthington is a native of New York City and came to Iowa in 1875, her parents moving into the Empire City from Connecticut.

Mr. Worthington has filled several local offices and is an old time Republican, having cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln. Naturally, he is an honored member of the G. A. R. and is identified with Masonry. Mr. Worthington is particularly identified with Cumberland, as well as with the county at large. He originally owned the land upon which the village now stands and set out with his own hands the groves which now constitute its public park. He has therefore been not only a witness of many important changes in the county, but has been an active participant in furthering its progress in every way.

From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pp. 569-570.

The land upon which the town [Cumberland] stands was originally owned by John Worthington, who, in 1884, sold it to a railroad town site syndicate, who had it surveyed and platted.

From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pg. 139.

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