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About the Author

Oliver Norton Worden

Oliver N. Worden, editor, writer, and publisher, was born April 18, 1817 in Cazenovia, Madison County, New York.  He was the youngest of three children -- two sons and a daughter -- born to Jesse Babcock Worden, a Baptist minister for nearly fifty years who ended his ministry in Jackson, Susquehanna County, Pa.  At fourteen Worden was indentured to the printer’s office of The Baptist Register in Utica, NY, as an apprentice. 

In 1837, at the age of twenty, Worden began publishing and co-editing the Spectator in Montrose, PA.  The paper was decidedly anti-slavery and absorbed many of Worden’s Whig views.  The Spectator dissolved in 1840. His next paper, the Athens Scribe, published from August 1841 to May 1842, relocated him to Athens in Bradford County, Pa.  In 1844, Worden began publishing the first Whig paper printed in Wyoming County, the Wyoming County Record, at Tunkhannock.   In 1847, Worden moved to Lewisburg, Union County, and began publishing the Lewisburg Chronicle.  Upon buying the paper, Worden shifted the politics from Democratic to independent.  However, with the advent of the Free-Soil movement in 1856, the paper began to adopt a Republican slant.  This was his last and most successful paper, which he headed for twenty years. 

Worden was an active writer and editor outside of the newspaper world, authoring and editing a number of works.  He wrote a history of the Northumberland Baptist Association entitled: The first half century of the Northumberland Baptist Association situated in Northumberland, Montour, Columbia, Sullivan, Lycoming, Clinton, Union and Snyder counties, Pennsylvania.  He edited a work on a pioneer evangelist, Life and Times of Thomas S. Sheardown.  Worden was also interested in genealogy, compiling and publishing The Worden Family Record in 1868.   

Worden was active in the community at Lewisburg. He served as church clerk for the First Baptist Church from 1849-1852 and clerk of the Northumberland Baptist Association for about a dozen years.  He was recording secretary for the Union County Agricultural Society in 1853, and Notary Public beginning May 14, 1855.  In addition, Worden played an important role in founding the University at Lewisburg, now Bucknell University.  He was on the board of curators, serving as their scribe beginning in 1852, and was instrumental in increasing the publicity of the school.

In 1844, he married Jane Martha Huston in Athens, PA.  She passed away from illness in 1867, leaving him without any children.  He subsequently suffered many health problems until his death.  He moved in with his only sister, Martha Gillespie, in New Milford, PA, where he died on April 28, 1881.

Please visit the following link for materials authored by Oliver Norton Worden maintained in the Their Own Words database:

Worden, Oliver N. , 1817-1881

Researched, authored, and edited by Margaret Browndorf.

Page created: April 29, 2009                                            close window