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George Whitworth: 150 Years in the Pacific Northwest

George Whitworth, Founder of Whitworth CollegeGeorge Whitworth was called "The Father of Presbyterianism in Washington," and in April 1853 he and his family set out from Indiana, with the intention of founding a "Presbyterian colony in Oregon."

In October 1853, the Whitworth party arrived in Portland, after spending six months on the Oregon Trail. George Whitworth quickly founded the First Presbyterian Church of Portland, moving the next year to the Puget Sound area, where he founded 15 more churches over the course of his lifetime.

It was at Sumner Presbyterian Church that he also started the Sumner Academy, which in 1890 became Whitworth College. In 1914, the college moved to Spokane, where it remains today.

For further information, contact Janet Hauck, Whitworth University Archivist, or Dale Soden, Professor of History.


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