In 1853 George Whitworth, a minister in the Ohio Valley, set off for the Western frontier to establish a college that would
provide a good English education and a thorough religious training. Fifty families joined his mission trek to the Northwest.
By the time they reached Oregon, only Whitworth's family had persisted. It was 30 years before he was able to revive his dream
of establishing a college. In 1883, in the village of Sumner, in Washington Territory, George Whitworth founded Sumner Academy.
Seven years later, in February 1890, the school was incorporated as Whitworth College.
George Frederick Whitworth was born in England on March 15, 1816. His family moved to united States in 1828, settling in Mansfield,
Ohio. The family moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, where he graduated from South Hanover College. He married Mary Elizabeth Thomson
in 1838 and moved to Lancaster, Ohio. He was a principal of a high school, attended law school, and practiced as an attorney.In
1847, having completed divinity studies at New Albany Theological Seminary, he was ordained a Presbyterian minister.
In 1854 the Whitworth family took to the Oregon Trail and arrived in Washington territory. There he established many Presbyterian
churches and is considered the father of Presbyterianism in Washington. He served as president of Territorial University,
which became the University of Washington, and founded Whitworth College. He was active in the temperance movement, although
less successful in this than in his other enterprises. Hie died in Seattle in 1907.