Centerpiece from "The Founding of Worthington" Mural


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Centerpiece from "The Founding of Worthington" Mural is an art original, with genre painting and murals. Its dimensions are 6 ft. x 20 ft..

It was created in May 1963.

Andrew B. Karoly, 1893-1978 and Louis P. Szanto, 1889-1965 are the Artists.

Shown here is the centerpiece of a three-painting mural that was installed at the City National Bank for its grand opening in March, 1963. The bank, which eventually merged with JP Morgan Chase, stood at the corner of Broadmeadows Boulevard and High Street just south of Worthington’s city limits. When the bank was torn down, the mural became the property of the Worthington Historical Society and was placed on permanent loan to the Old Worthington Library, where it was displayed for more than 20 years.

This painting, the largest of the three forming the mural, is titled “Rev. James Kilbourne and His Brave Men Pioneered to Settle Worthington, Ohio, 1803." It imagines the May, 1803 arrival of Worthington founder James Kilbourne and an advance party of eight settlers preparing the land for the arrival of more settlers in October of that year. Certain characters in the painting are meant to depict actual settlers. The woman seated on the far left is Sarah Kilbourne (née Hastings). She and her husband Lemuel were among the first settlers. The two men conversing on the far right are (left) James Kilbourne and (right) Nathaniel Little, Kilbourne’s business partner.

The mural’s artists, Louis P. Szanto and Andrew B. Karoly, were natives of Hungary based in New York City. During the 1950s and early ‘60s they worked extensively in Cleveland, painting more than 30 murals for area businesses. They painted murals for at least a dozen bank branches for their biggest Cleveland client, the Society for Savings.

The mural represents a romanticized view of Worthington history meant to appeal to traditional values at a time of rapid societal change. In that respect, the work is more a reflection of the time it was created—the turbulent 1960s—than life in 1803, when Worthington was founded.

The mural was removed from the Old Worthington Library in late 2020 and returned to the historical society. In the years prior to that, a growing number of library patrons had voiced their discomfort with the mural being prominently displayed in a public library, as it depicts not only a romanticized view of colonial America, but also celebrates a time period when Native Americans were being forcibly removed from their land and Black people were held in slavery. As part of the library’s Anti-Racist Resolution, passed in September 2020 after a summer of increased understanding and awareness of issues related to racial justice and systemic racism, it was decided that the mural would be returned and that space would feature art highlighting the library’s role as a community center for all.

It covers the topics Worthington history, murals and early settlers.

It features the people Col. James Kilbourne, 1770-1850, Sarah Kilbourne (née Hastings) and JP Nathaniel W. Little.

It covers the city Worthington. It covers the area Old Worthington.

You can find the original at Old Worthington Library.

This file was reformatted digital in the format video/jpeg.

The Worthington Memory identification code is wpl0295.

This metadata record was human prepared by Worthington Libraries on April 24, 2018. It was last updated January 7, 2021.