History of Worth

History of Worth slideshow number 1
History of Worth slideshow number 2
Worth, and the land in which the Village occupies, has always been historically significant. 10,000 years ago Worth was 1 of Lake Michigan's ancient beaches rising 40 feet over our present day Lake Michigan.

In 1835 John Blackstone purchased the land in 1 of the 1st recorded land sales. A year later, it was sold to Dwitt Lane and was known as Lane's Island. In 1850, lands outside the City of Chicago were designated with Township names. Worth Township was named after General William Jenkins Worth (March 1, 1794 - May 7, 1849) who served in the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War.
In 1858 John Crandall built the first home in town on 111th Street, 31 additional residential homes soon followed. In 1883 the town's population was around 100 residents. In 1914, with the population around 300, residents founded the Village of Worth.


The area owes it's popularity to the construction of the I and M Canal in the 1830's, the Wabash Railroad in the turn of the century, the Worth Horse Race Track which is now Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, and the construction of the Calumet Sag Canal in 1911.

The Village of Worth is surrounded by historic waterways. Its north border touches a 14,000 year-old water way known today as Stony Creek. This creek was also once known as the Big Feeder during the Illinois and Michigan Canal era.

Worth's south border is the Calumet-Sag Channel which was completed in 1922 and is an intricate part of the Illinois Waterway. Worth is also home to 1 of the 5 Metropolitan Water District's aeration waterfalls.
I and M Canal National Heritage Corridor Map
The first known settlers to move into this area dates back to the 1830's. This was a transitional period because the work being done on both the I and M Canal and the Big Feeder caused people to move along with the digging. It wasn't until 1858 when Worth's 1st permanent settler, John Crandall along with his wife, Jane (McKenzie), came here from Bremen (Tinley Park) and built their home.
The Wabash Railroad eventually was built across the Crandall farm. It was the railroad that provided a real beginning to the community by establishing the Worth Train Station in 1880. This motivated John Crandall to encourage settlement. He began to sell portions of his land to settlers.

The years that followed proved to be impetus to growth. A general store and postmaster, blacksmith shop, Methodist Church, 1-room school, hotel and horse track (Holy Sepulchre Cemetery) stimulated new jobs, settlement and prosperity. But it wasn't until Worth's population sharply increased in 1914 due to the construction of the Calumet Sag Channel, that there was a need for an organized system of government.
On August 17, 1914, 38 citizens petitioned the County Court to become incorporated as a municipality. A little more than 3 weeks later, on August 29, 1914, voters approved incorporation by an overwhelming 115 to 2 margin, and so began the Village of Worth. Honored to be named after General William Jenkins Worth, who served the War of 1812 and the Mexican War, our village is proud of its long history. Worth is a community that respects its past and looks forward with confidence to the future.