William Worthington Family Papers
Clergyman, of Ohio, Kentucky, New York, and Rhode Island
Family papers, 1832-1972. Bulk, 1881-1943.
Size: 1 linear foot
Catalog number: MSS 1109
Processed by: Rick Stattler, November 2002
©Rhode Island Historical Society
William Worthington (1860-1948) was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. to John and Mary (Stoker) Worthington. He graduated from Bishop's College in Lennoxville, Quebec in 1883, was advanced to the Episcopalian priesthood in 1888, and served congregations in Colorado, Ohio, Kentucky, and Brooklyn, N.Y., before coming to St. Luke's Church in East Greenwich, R.I. in 1899. He later served at Trinity Church in Pawtuxet and St. Thomas in Providence before retiring in 1928. He spent the last twenty years of his life in Providence, and died while visiting his daughter in Denver, Colorado in 1948. He was buried in Swan Point Cemetery in Providence.
Rev. Worthington's first wife Ethel died after only three months of marriage. He then married Ohio-born Susie B. Crosby (1870-1941), and had two children: Dorothy (Worthington) Sabin (1894-1981) and William Chesley Worthington (1903-2002). W. Chesley "Chet" Worthington graduated from Brown University in 1923, served as an editor of the Providence Journal, then as editor of the Brown Alumni Monthly from 1931 to 1968. He married Diana Scott (1908-1986), and had two children: Constance and William C. At the time of his death in 2002, he was the oldest active alumnus of Brown University, and among the most renowned.
Obituary of Rev. William Worthington, Providence Journal, May 19 1948
Obituary of W. Chesley Worthington, Providence Journal, July 26 2002
Rhode Island Cemetery Database
1920 U.S. Census, Rhode Island E.D. 189, page 33
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Scope and content:
The bulk of this collection consists of sermons written by Rev. Worthington from 1888 through 1919, and delivered at the various Episcopalian churches where he served. Many of these sermons were arranged into looseleaf binders, but the organizational scheme remains unclear. Most of the sermons are marked with the dates on which they were delivered, with many being delivered several times to different congregations. Thus, many of the early sermons written outside of Rhode Island were later used in the state. Also of note are a packet of letters written by Rev. Worthington while vacationing in Vermont in 1929.
Also included with this collection are a small quantity of papers of Rev. Worthington's son W. Chesley Worthington, including letters received during World War I, and drafts of poetry and short stories; an account book kept by Chesley's future wife Diana Scott; a 1939 report from wartime Latvia by Providence resident Norman Dewhurst; a 1930 letter re singer Nelson Eddy; and a World War II letter from Col. Thomas A. Roberts.
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This collection was donated in 2002 and 2003 by the estate of W. Chesley Worthington, via his daughter Constance Worthington. Two World War I letters had been previously donated by W. Chesley Worthington in 1979.
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Box 1, folder 1. Sermons, loose. Written 1888-1891. Many re-delivered at later dates.
Box 1, folder 2. Sermons, loose. Written 1892-1899. Many re-delivered at later dates.
Box 1, folder 3. Sermons, loose. Written 1900-1919. Many re-delivered at later dates.
Box 1, folder 4. Sermons, loose. Undated.
Box 1, folder 5. Sermons, bound. Miscellaneous 1904-1908; and "Vol. G," 1902-1913
Box 1, folder 6. Sermons, bound. "Shepherds, Vol. III," 1904-1918; and "Vol. R," 1912-1919
Box 1, folder 7. Sermons, bound. "David," 1902-1911; and "Good Friday," 1902-1905
Box 1, folder 8. Sermons, bound. Miscellaneous, 1903-1912; and miscellaneous, 1900-1912
Box 1, folder 9. Seminary notes, 1884-1885; miscellaneous bound sermons, 1908-1917
Box 1, folder 10. Lecture notes, 1914 and undated
Box 1, folder 11. Essays:
Prize-winning essay on "Longfellow's Place in Poetical Literature," 1883
"Our Twenty-Fourth," poem on the Queen's birthday, 1881
Box 1, folder 12. Letters to children, from Brandon VT, April 25 - June 1, 1929
Box 1, folder 13. Letter from Dr. Elihu Wing re health of Rev. Worthington, 1941
Michael Worthington (relation unknown)
Box 1, folder 14. Fragment reading "Michael Worthington, prize book, Quebec National Sunday School, 15 January 1832"
W. Chesley Worthington
Box 1, folder 15. Correspondence, 1918-1979:
Two letters received in World War I, from J. Harold Williams and Fred Wilshire of Providence, 1918; with explanatory note by Worthington, 1979.
Four letters re the World Peace Foundation, 1927
Letter re journalism school position in Illinois, 1927
Letter from Frank Merchant re poetry reading event, 1941
Letter re deed, 1953
Letter from and response to Bishop John Higgins re Providence Athenaeum share, 1972
Letter to sister Dorothy with detailed description of visit to East Greenwich, 1978
Letter from physician H. Denman Scott, 1983
Three unidentified undated letters
Box 1, folder 16. Writings:
Short story titled "Clangor" about a fireman, undated
"Supplement to the Story of Oriole Avenue"
Part of television script regarding pirate William Phipps
Miscellaneous poems, epigrams, etc.
Box 1, folder 16A. Miscellaneous:
Tax return, 1930
Receipts for bicycles shipped from Ireland, 1936
1918 account as treasurer of the Hope High School class of 1919
Deed from wife, 1952
Deed to Old Stone Bank, 1972
Program for talk to Colonial Daughters of the Seventeenth Century, 1944
Pass from Providence Police Department, possibly from Hurricane of 1938
Copies of two R.I. Militia general orders re Hurricane of 1938
Five documents re Blackstone Park Improvement Association, 1979-1981
"The East Greenwich Buddha," 2001
Diana (Scott) Worthington
Box 1, folder 17. Account book, 1928-1934. Includes memoranda re members of Wheaton College alumna club.
Box 1, folder 18. "Caught in Latvija," series of reports on wartime life in Latvia by Providence resident Norman Dewhurst, 1939
Box 1, folder 19. Miscellaneous:
Letter from William D. Eddy to Dr. Chapman, October 30, 1930, describing recent career of singer Nelson Eddy.
Letter from Col. Thomas A. Roberts to J. Harold Williams, May 25 1943, re North Africa campaign.
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Bishop's University (Lennoxville, QB)
Blackstone Park Improvement Association
East Greenwich, R.I. - Description and travel
Eddy, Nelson, 1901-1967
Episcopalians - Rhode Island
Hurricanes - Rhode Island - 1938
Latvia - Description and travel
Roberts, Thomas A. Jr., d. 1944
x Scott, Diana, 1908-1986
Scott, H. Denman
St. Luke's Episcopal Church (East Greenwich, R.I.)
St. Thomas Episcopal Church (Providence, R.I.)
Trinity Episcopal Church (Cranston, R.I.)
Vermont - Description and travel
Williams, J. Harold
World Peace Foundation
World War, 1914-1918
World War, 1939-1945
Worthington, Diana (Scott), 1908-1986
Worthington, William Chesley, 1903-2002
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