Worthington is a community planned in New England by a group of men under the leadership of James Kilbourne who formed the Scioto Company to purchase land west of the Allegheny Mountains. Thirty-eight original proprietors from Connecticut and Massachusetts purchased 16,000 acres and the first families arrived in 1803 – the same year that Ohio became a state. The town of “Worthington” consisted of 8000 acres surveyed into town lots for homes and businesses, and surrounded by Sharon Township farm lots in true New England style.
The pioneer village, named for Ohio Senator Thomas Worthington, prospered – forming an Episcopal congregation and a Masonic Lodge in 1804, acquiring a post office in 1805, an Academy in 1808, a newspaper and a manufacturing company in 1811. The 1830 census recorded 910 persons in Sharon Township – approximately one-third in Worthington and two-thirds on surrounding farms. (see “Articles” – A Village Along Main St. for a description of Worthington around 1825) In 1835, the Ohio legislature incorporated Worthington as a village with an elected Village Council and Mayor. The village retained a stable population with little growth and served as the market center for surrounding farms for the remainder of the nineteenth century.
When the electric street railway connected Columbus and Worthington in 1893, the village became a suburb with cars running every half hour and making it possible to live in Worthington and work or shop in the capitol city. The village acquired a telephone exchange in 1899, a public water system in 1913, permission for private homes to tap the interurban electric lines in 1917, and free mail delivery in 1929. By World War II, Worthington had a population of 1569. In 1954 when residents of the Colonial Hills subdivision circulated petitions to annex to Worthington, they had more residents than the village but together they had more than the 5000 residents required to be incorporated as a city with a city council/city manager charter. The post-war years were boom years for Worthington when the 1950 population of 2,128 ballooned to 15,326 by 1970. It was a period of annexations, new subdivisions, and new schools almost annually. When Interstate 270 was completed in 1975 defining Worthington’s northern boundary, growth again stabilized, although the present Worthington School District includes significant areas outside the city boundaries.