Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
JOHN K. WORTS is a pioneer of
the Big Bend country and has gained distinction in at least two lines since
coming here, while previous to that, he followed various occupations in
each of which he had achieved success.
John K. Worts was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
on January 10, 1840, being the son of John and Katherine (Gagle) Worts,
natives of Pennsylvania. They lived about ninety miles from Philadelphia
and there remained all their lives, each being ninety years of age at the
time of death. They were the parents of eight children, two of whom
are living, Philip and our subject. Both of the grandfathers of our
subject were participants in the Revolution. The public schools and
Franklin college furnished the education of John K. Worts and at the age
of twenty he quit school and soon thereafter, at the time of the first
call, enlisted in Company F, Fifth Pennsylvania Infantry. He was
in the militia for sometime previous to the war. In their hurry to
reach Washington they were crowded into box cars much the same as cattle.
Upon reaching Washington, he was appointed corporal and served his ninety
days. Upon the expiration of that he reenlisted, participating in
the battles of Gettysburg, Antietam, and other heavy engagements.
Then he was taken sick and languished in the war hospital for six months
after which he was mustered out. After regaining his health, he entered
a machine shop and mastered that art, then operated a locomotive on various
railroads until 1875, in which year he came to San Francisco. He
spent one year in viewing the country and during the centennial year, came
to Portland, Oregon. From 1876 to 1878 we find him again as engineer
on the railroad, this time operating a locomotive on the Lake Shore in
Thence he went to Portland; from there to The Dalles, and on February
4, 1879, he landed in what is now Spokane. There were very few people
there then. He took a homestead on Four Mound prairie, bought a sawmill,
and furnished lumber to the incoming settlers. In 1883, he came to
Lincoln county and bought a mill which he continued to operate until 1890.
During these years he bought and sold land and now has three-fourths of
a section well improved and cropped to grain. He also owns one of
the finest orchards in the Big Bend country and in addition to this has
In 1862, Mr. Worts married Miss Adda, daughter
of Benjamin and Harriet Kline. She has nine brothers and sisters.
To Mr. and Mrs. Worts, five children have been born; Luther, in Lincoln
county; Ella; Hattie, wife of Fred B. Hincle, in Paterson, New Jersey;
Maggie and Fred in Philadelphia.
Mr. Worts is a good strong Republican and
one of the real workers at the campaigns. He belongs to the A. F.
& A. M. and is a member of the English Lutheran church. In 1875,
Mr. Worts was called to mourn the death of his wife, that event occurring
at Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania.