Granville H. Worthington was born
January 29, 1827 in Alachua County, Florida, the son of Samuel Worthington
(1785SC-1857FL) and Mary (Unknown).
It is believed that Granville grew to adulthood near the north bank of the Santa Fe River in the area later to be named for the family, Worthington Springs. It is said that he and his two brothers, Samuel H. and John, had as playmates the children of neighboring Indian tribes, though periodic tribal uprisings would require the family to seek refuge just downriver in nearby Fort Call, or across the river in Fort Gilliland near Newnansville. Also, the namesake spring is said to have been discovered one day by the young brothers when playdigging under an oak tree near the river.
It is unknown exactly when the family first “homesteaded” in the Springs area but is believed to have been considerably earlier than the April 26, 1845 date when Samuel was given clear title by exemption from “execution attactments and distress”. In any case, according to family lore settling the area did not come without a price, with Granville's mother Mary and brother John losing their lives to Indian action during the 1840-41 uprising.
Granville was enumerated in his father’s household for the 1830 and 1840 Censuses, but was absent for the 1850 Census. National Archive records show him enlisting June 18, 1847 as a Private, age 20, in Capt Livingston’s Company, Florida Volunteers at Alligator (now Lake City), Florida for service in the Mexican War. On December 6, 1847 he was found with the US forces in Pueblo, Mexico through copy of a letter that he wrote to his sister Mary Ann at Alligator, and on July 8, 1848 he was mustered-out at Mobile, Alabama. As aforesaid, he has not been found in Florida for the 1850 Census, though on September 8, 1850 he was in Marion County where he married Sarah Ann Marston, born December 13, 1837 in Georgia, the daughter of Randel N. Marston and mother unknown . In the early ‘50’s he and Sarah Ann are believed to have joined his father and brother Samuel H. in adjoining Levy County. An item of interest here are the ages of Granville and Sarah Ann at the time of their marriage, he at age 23yrs-8mos and she at 12yrs-9mos!
They were the parents of twelve children, all born in Levy County, Florida:
1. Samuel Randel: b. 11/11/1851, d. 4/16/1900; m. 1) Dora Curry,
bef. 1886, Levy Co.,
FL; 2) Minnie L. McKinney, 6/25/1899, Levy Co., FL. .
2. John Langley: b.12/15/1853, d. 5/5/1892; m. 1) Susan Taylor, 3/16/1876, Levy Co., FL; 2) Ella Lee, 12/16/1883, Levy Co., FL.
3. Benjamin S.: b. 6/23/1856, d. 3/1/1882; m. Vanna Alinda Davis, 10/14/1880, Levy Co., FL.
4. Mary Jane: b. 4/25/1859, d. 12/4/1923; m. 1) Edwin J. Williams, 9/17/1899.Levy Co., FL; 2) Mr. Forbes.
5. Thomas Robert: b. 3/12/1862, d. 3/26/1889; never married.
6. Sarah Fannie: b. 10/8/1865, d. 2/22/1898 ; m. Alexander H. King, 12/25/1881, Levy Co., FL.
7.*Louisa Carolyn: b. 11/1/1867, d. (dec.); m. Simon Frasur Sheppard, 4/12/1885, Levy Co., FL: b. 2/22/1861, Otter Creek, Levy Co., FL, d. aft. 1917; son of Simeon Frazar A. Sheppard (~1819-1901) and Rose Ann Kirkland (~1832-1917).
8. Granville W.: b. 3/22/1870, d.10/13/1877.
9. James Curry: b. 2/14/1873, d. 9/25/1905; m. Mary Van Dora Fleming, 4/26/1891, Levy Co., FL.
10. Ella Magnolia: b. 6/29/1875, d.10/13/1877.
11. Ellsey Harris: b. 9/8/1877, d. (dec.); m. Virginia Ann Hudson, 7/6/1902, Levy Co., FL.
12. Henry Oliver: b. 3/27/1881, d. 7/6/1886.
* Contributor’s Ggrandparents
Like his father and brother, Granville
was a farmer, owning adjacent lands west of Otter Creek, Levy County, Florida
where they were trying to raise their families and eke out a frontier living.
However, an Indian uprising in 1856 would see the two brothers leave their
families/farms, serving together in the last Florida campaign against
the Seminoles as privates in Lieutenant Enoch Daniel’s Mounted Volunteers
attached to Captain Asa A. Stewart’s Company No. 2 Detachment of the Special
Battalion, Florida Volunteers, commanded by Colonel M. Whit Smith.
Again, just a few years later, the brothers would answer the call to duty, enlisting on April 5, 1862 as privates in the Gulf Coast Rangers at Cedar Key, Levy County, Florida. This service would not be as short-lived, terminating some three years later and carrying them to the battlefields of Virginia.
In September 1863, their Rangers unit was redesignated Company A, 6th Battalion, Florida Volunteers,and in March 1864 following the Battle of Olustee (Ocean Pond), Company A, 9th Regiment, Florida Infantry. On September 10, 1864, National Archive records show Granville captured by the enemy at Petersburg, Virginia, and held as a Prisoner of War at Point Lookout, Maryland until November 1, 1864 when he was exchanged and paroled. Details of his return to Florida and transition to post-war status are unknown.
During Reconstruction years, Granville apparently prospered as a farmer and continued to increase his family, with only a few mentions of little significance being found in local records. His wife Sarah Ann died on July 24, 1901 and is buried in a marked grave in the Rocky Hammock Cemetery, Levy County, Florida. Granville is reported to have died on February 7, 1908 and is believed buried in an unmarked grave alongside Sarah Ann.
Thus ended the near-100 year saga of the Samuel Worthington family in settling and defending the Territory of Florida, which encompassed 5 Indian war enlistments, 1 Mexican War, and 2 WBTS; plus 2 lives lost due to probable Indian action ....Right or wrong, a 'tip of the kepi' to these ancestors for fighting for what they believed in!
Sources: 1830-1900 Federal Census; 1885 Florida Soundex; The Worthington Family of Florida by Eloise J. Rogers, Sarasota, Florida (1972); Search for Yesterday, A History of Levy County, Florida, published by the Levy County Archives Committee, Bronson, Florida (1977); Worthington Springs History by Mrs Albert Miller, History of Union County, Florida (1971); transcript of letter dtd. Dec 6, 1847, Pueblo, Mexico, written by Granville Worthington to his sister, Mrs Langley Bryant (Mary Ann), Alligator P.O., Columbia Co., FL, copied from original by Historical Records Survey, Florida State Archives, Tallahassee, Florida (1937); Muster Roll Records of the Florida (Seminole) War (1856), Mexican War (1848-50), and the War Between The States (1862-65) from the National Archives, Wash., DC; Tombstone inscriptions from Cemeteries of Levy and Other Counties by Lindon J. Lindsey, Levy Co., FL (1994).
Contributed by subject’s 2Ggrandson James M. Scruggs, 25 Sloop Drive, Cocoa Beach, Florida 32931-2619
Submitted: Feb 2000