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The Worth Museum

Springport IN

   The Worth Museum (aka The Springport Museum) that was located in Springport, Indiana at the start of the 20th century was once one of the major tourist attractions in this part of Indiana.
   From "Heller's History of Henry County" For many years 'All roads led to Springport,' and automobiles, tho as of yet not too numerous, came from far and near, especially on Sundays and holidays. Four passenger trains daily stopped at the L E & W station 1 blocks away. In 1913 the Interurban line from Indianapolis to New Castle was extended to Muncie, a fine station and sub-station was erected in Springport about two squares from the Worth museum. So the fame of Springport's museum was spread throughout eastern Indiana and Western Ohio.
   It was started by a Professor Ed M Worth who came to live with his sister Anna in 1907 who as a child was sent here as an orphan on one of the 'Orphan Trains' of the late 19th century.
   Prof. Worth amassed a vast collection of many different objects, a collection that was similar to a "Ripley's Believe it or Not" Museum. The collection was started after Professor Worth's two trips around the world collecting many unusual and interesting objects for his museum George Washington's sword, the head of Charles Guiteau, the person who assassinated President Garfield, preserved in alcohol, coins and jewels from around the world.
   Building a huge building in the shape of a cross to hold his vast collection. The collection was mostly destroyed by fire on September 20, 1916 when an alcohol stove he was using for heat exploded catching the building on fire causing damage in excess of 2 million dollars. Many of the objects were saved with Plans made to rebuild, but Professor Worth died on August 20, 1917 at the age of 79 years.
   One has to wonder what ever happened to the many items that were saved from the fire?
   Could they be in someone's barn or attic just waiting to be discovered some day?
...photo courtesy of Betty K. Deitrick

2007 UEB

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