Thomas Worthington was born into a well-to-do family in Charlestown, now in West Virginia, in 1773. Attracted by abundant farmland and new social and political opportunities in “the West”, he moved to the Scioto Valley in 1798, with his new wife, and their friends and relatives. He soon became a leading citizen in the new village of Chillicothe, and one of the early advocates for Ohio statehood, both locally and in Washington. He was a key author of the Ohio Constitution, one of the new state’s first senators, and its sixth governor.
Later he was elected to the state legislature, where he strongly advocated building the canal system.
The lands of his beloved “Adena” grew to twenty-five-thousand acres, and produced cattle, pigs, and fine Merino sheep, as well as a diversified mix of crops. His idealism for what the new lands in “the West” could become is reflected in his ambitious choice to model his estate on the most distinguished European classical models, and to hire America’s leading architect to draw the plans.