Worthington, The New Eden

More views


Full video (mp4: 723.07 MB)

In Copyright

Learn more about copyright and access restrictions for use of materials from Worthington Memory.

Worthington, The New Eden is a videorecording. It is 54 minutes and 46 seconds long.

It was created in 1976.

Gene Warman is the Narrator. Dr. Goodwin Berquist, Jr. and Dr. Paul Bowers are the Producers. Robert W. Shaw is the Director. Darrell Muething is the Cinematographer. Carl Subich and Mary B. Marsh are the Production personnels. Amelia Schneider is the Screenwriter. Michelle Gams, O. F. Hecker, William McWorter, Bruce Phillips, Amelia Schneider, Gail Siegerdt, Sam Simmons, Judy White and Robert White are the Actors.

This film was created in 1976 by students and faculty from The Ohio State University, as part of two communications courses on historical analysis taught by Dr. Goodwin Berquist and Dr. Paul Bowers.

As reported in an article in the November 11, 1976 "Worthington News," Berquist explained that "The purpose of the course was to expose students firsthand to the raw data of history so that they could learn to interpret facts themselves." Students selected Worthington for study due to its proximity to the university and its early founding in 1803. They took field trips to libraries in Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Connecticut (the original home of Worthington’s founders) and studied books, letters, autobiographies, records and diaries.

This film was the final product of their research, and was aired on WOSU-TV in two parts, the first on November 16, 1976, and the second on November 23, 1976. The airings were followed by three public discussion forums over the subsequent three Tuesday nights.

Additional support for the $32,300 project was provided by the Columbus Foundation, the Gund Foundation, the Ohio Program for the Humanities and the OSU Tele-Communications Center.

Each of the film’s two parts is roughly 25 minutes, and covers the following topics:

1. Worthington: The New Eden

The first half describes the process by which James Kilbourne settled in the area now known as Worthington. It details his upbringing, his studies with Alexander Griswold, and his 1789 marriage to Lucy Fitch, daughter to steamboat inventor John Fitch.

The film recounts Kilbourne’s 1802 founding of the Scioto Company in Granby, Connecticut, and his journey from there to Ohio with Nathaniel Little. Worthington’s first settlers soon followed.

Though the first years of settlement were arduous for some, Worthington came to be known as the “Emporium of the Upper Scioto Valley.” Kilbourne began publication of central Ohio’s first newspaper, the Western Intelligencer. Kilbourne’s unsuccessful bid to make Worthington the capital city of Ohio and election as a U.S. Representative are also described.

2. Worthington: The Virtuous Society in Transition

The second half of the film depicts Worthington more generally. Narrator Gene Warman describes day-to-day life of Worthington’s first settlers in the early 1800s.

Warman discusses the efforts of farm labor contributed to by entire families, especially with flax as a crop. He shares how settlers traded corn with American Indians for baskets, cranberries, and deerskin.

In 1811, Kilbourne’s Worthington Manufacturing Company was incorporated. However, the War of 1812 and the selection of Columbus as Ohio’s capital were major blows to the firm, and the establishment failed in 1819. Still, many schools and a library were formed in Worthington around the same time, the latter named after Jonas Stanbury.

Warman also describes Worthington’s contributions to abolition. In 1812, Kilbourne assisted in freeing a captured enslaved man. Edward L. Sebring became an Underground Railroad conductor at age seventeen. In 1836, a group formed a local Anti-Slavery Society, though the group met infrequently and members disagreed about the ways to institute equality, with some suggestions decried as hypocritical and prejudiced.

Warman concludes the film by relating the ideals of Worthington to broader attitudes and goals of America as a whole.

It covers the topics early settlers and Underground Railroad.

It features the person Col. James Kilbourne, 1770-1850.

It covers the city Worthington.

You can find the original at Worthington Libraries.

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

The Worthington Libraries identification code is wpl0136.

This metadata record was human prepared by Worthington Libraries on February 22, 2016. It was last updated July 29, 2021.