William Worthington

Historical marker #1812 in McLean County celebrates the life of William Worthington.

On May 7, 1761, Worthington was born in Frederick County, Virginia. He married Mary (Meason) Worthington. In 1784, the couple moved from Virginia to Kentucky. They took up residence in the western region of the state. During their marriage, the couple bore several children. Two of their children spent their adult lives in the McLean County area. In 1798, the area where the Worthingtons had settled became Muhlenberg County. In 1854, this section became McLean County. Worthington’s land, comprised of approximately eight square miles, gained a nickname, “the Island.” When the Green River and other bodies of water nearby overflowed, the land became surrounded by water, like an island.

Before moving to Kentucky, Worthington fought in the American Revolution under the command of George Rogers Clark. After moving, he became an active member in the Western Kentucky community. Worthington participated in many early county court meetings and presided over some court of quarter sessions and the local circuit court. Eventually, his influence led him to become a state senator from 1814 to 1826. Shortly after his term ended, tragedy stuck. His wife, Mary Worthington, died on August 25, 1827, at the age of sixty-six. Then, in 1830, a fire burned down his residence.

Around 1845, Worthington moved to Mississippi. He took up residence at his son’s plantation home, Point Washington. Three year later, on June 4, 1848, William died at age eight-seven. His body was shipped back to Kentucky and the family laid him to rest alongside his wife in present day McLean County. Two stone-walled graves, covered with a marble slab, mark the Worthingtons’ burial site.

The historic marker was erected on November 12, 1987, in conjunction with the Heritage Day Celebration for Island, Kentucky.