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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


SUMNER A. WORTHING, who is now living virtually retired in the City of Redlands, San Bernardino County, has the distinction of having been one of the pioneer business men of this place, and he has the satisfaction of having contributed his quota to the development and upbuilding of the beautiful little city which he still claims as his home and in which his circle of friends is coincident with that of his acquaintances.

Sumner Augustus Worthing was born at Plattesville, Illinois, on the 8th of August, 1853, and is a son of Augustus and Mary Worthing, the former a native of the State of New York and the latter of Ohio. The parents early established their residence in Illinois, and there they passed the remainder of their lives, the father having been a farmer by vocation during the major part of his active career. In the family were three sons and four daughters, and of the number the subject of this review was the fourth in order of birth. The public schools of his native state afforded Mr. Worthing his youthful educational advantages, and after leaving school he there served a thorough apprenticeship at the trades of tinsmith and plumber, in both of which he became a skilled workman For a long period of years he was employed by P. W. Worth, one of the leading business men of Plattesville, Illinois.

At Buckingham, Illinois, on the 15th of January, 1876, Mr. Worthing wedded Miss Mary E. Watson. Mrs. Worthing died on the 5th of January, 1885, and is survived by two children. Charles, the elder of the two, was born August 25. 1878, and is a plumber by trade. He is a leading dealer in plumbers' supplies at Redlands, California, and is one of the substantial business men of this city. August 2, 1904, recorded the marriage of Charles Worthing and Miss Emma Riddle, and they have three children Emma, Charlotte and Leroy. Robert, the younger son of Sumner A. and Mary E. (Watson) Worthing, was born November 20, 1880, and he is now engaged in the plumbing and tinning business at Lankershim, Los Angeles County. He anticipated his elder brother by a few months in appearing at the hymeneal altar, for on March 12, 1904, he married Miss Bertha Woodruff, their three children being Emma, Velma May, and Marion.

On the 15th of January, 1886, Sumner A. Worthing was united in marriage with Miss Sadie Watson, a sister of his first wife and a resident of Buckingham, Illinois. Mrs. Worthing is a daughter of J. K. and Caroline (Nickol) Watson, who were born in Canada, whither the former's father immigrated from Picadilly, near London, England, the latter's father, John Watson, having married a cousin of the English member of the celebrated Rothschild family, the great European capitalists and financiers. From Canada the parents of Mrs. Worthing removed to the United States and settled in Illinois, where they passed the remainder of their lives. Their children were nine in number. To Sumner A. and Sadie (Watson) Worthing were born four children, concerning whom brief record is here entered: Leonard Augustus, who was born July 31, 1887, is a sheet-metal workman and is employed at his trade in the City of Los Angeles. February 10, 1905, he married Miss Myrtle Holcomb, a native of the State of New York, and they have two children, Albert Augustus and Howard. Lillie Mattie, the second child, was born November 4, 1889, and her marriage to Louis Kelly occurred September 30, 1906. The one child of this union is a daughter, Jessie May. On the 27th of September, 1911, Mrs. Lillie M. Kelly contracted a second marriage, when she became the wife of Pearl Bunnell. They reside in San Bernardino and have one child, Ruth Naomi. Fannie Alice, the third child, was born June 7, 1892, and on the 16th of July, 1911, she became the wife of Thomas Rowe, who is engaged in the bakery business at Venice, Los Angeles County, their one child being a son, Theodore. Caroline May, the fourth child, was born August 16, 1896, and March 5, 1915, recorded her marriage to John L. Welsh, of Redlands. They have two children, John Lawrence, Jr., and Elizabeth Jane.

Summer A. Worthing came with his family to California in 1889, his arrival in the state having occurred on the 13th of June. Thereafter he was employed in various plumbing establishments until 1894, when he purchased the interest of the junior partner of the firm of Brock & Osier, engaged in the plumbing and tinning business at Redlands. The firm of Brock & Worthing successfully continued the business for the ensuing ten years, at the expiration of which Mr. Worthing purchased the interest of his partner and assumed full control of the enterprise, which he thereafter conducted under the firm name of S. A. Worthing & Company, with his two eldest sons as silent partners. In 1916 he sold the business to his eldest son, who has since continued to maintain the same at the high standard set by the father, the latter having lived retired since disposing of this business. Mr. Worthing is a veritable pioneer of Redlands and has witnessed and aided in the transformation of a barren desert tract into one of the beautiful cities that give far-flung fame to Southern California, while the entire district that was but a desert waste of sagebrush when he here established his home is now resplendant with fine gardens and orange groves and beautiful homes. Mr. Worthing is a life member of Redlands Lodge No. 585, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; is a charter member of the local organization of the Fraternal Brotherhood, and in the community which he has helped to develop and build he commands inviolable place in popular confidence and esteem.


History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011