Worthington was just a water station for the St. Paul & Sioux City Railway Company up untill 1871. Then, it was settled by a colony of religious freedom seekers--freedom from the sins of alcohol. Yet, along with the Homestead Act came many other types of settlers to the area.
A year later, a curious event took place. On Worthington’s very first Fourth of July celebration, one of the original temperance loving settlers heard that there was a keg of beer in the Worthington House Hotel. Professor Humiston entered the hotel, seized the keg, dragged it outside, and destroyed it with an axe. A witness described the following events:
''Upon seeing this, the young men of the town thought it to be rather an imposition, and collected together, procured the services of the band, and under the direction of a military officer marched to the rear of the hotel, and with a wheelbarrow and shovel took the empty keg that had been broken open, and playing the dead march with flag at half staff marched to the flagpole in front of Humiston’s office where they dug a grave and gave the empty keg a burial with all the honors attending a soldier’s funeral.
They then, with flag at full mast and with lively air, marched back to the ice house, procured a full keg of beer, returning to the grave, resting the keg thereon. Then a general invitation was given to all who desired to partake, which many did until the keg was emptied… In the evening they reassembled, burning Prof. Humiston in effigy about 10 p.m. Thus ended the glorious Fourth at Worthington, Minn." —Sibley Gazette July 5, 1872