Ohio Biographies

Chelsey Wornstaff

Chelsey Wornstaff, a member of the firm of Sperry & Wornstaff, proprietors of the Bank of Ashley, has been a life-long resident of Delaware County and is descended on both sides from old established families of this county. He was born on a farm west of Ashley, in Oxford Township, and is a son of Lewis and Sally Ann (Bartholomew) Wornstaff. His grandfather, Daniel Wornstaff, was the first of the family to locate in this county. He was a native of Pennsylvania and at an early date removed to Ross County, Ohio, and came to Delaware County in 1829. He bought a farm of about 100 acres on the west branch of the Whetstone River, and erected a log cabin. Here he lived the life of a hardy farmer and converted his farm from a wilderness into tillable land, remaining there until his death.

Lewis Wornstaff, father of Chesley. was born in Ross County, Ohio, in 1822, and was seven years of age when brought by his parents to Delaware County. He grew up on the old home place and then purchased a tract of about fifty acres of unimproved land in Oxford Township. He first erected a cabin of poles and it was in this the subject of this sketch was born. He subsequently built a log cabin and finally a frame house which stands on the farm now owned by his younger son. He remained on the farm until his death Jul7 20, 1890, aged sixty-eight years, and at that time he owned about 300 acres of land. He married Sally Ann Bartholomew, who was born in Liberty Township, in 1829, and at the present time resides with her son Sperry, at Ashley. Her father. Milton Bartholomew, came from the New England States to Delaware County at about the same time the Wornstaffs came. He moved from Liberty Township, where he first located, to Oxford Township, where his death occurred. Three children were born to Lewis Wornstaff and wife: Chesley; a child that died in infancy, and Sperry, who owns and resides on the old home place.

Chesley Wornstaff was reared and remained on the home farm until twenty-five years old. in the meantime attending the district schools and also the schools of Ashley. He bought a farm of seventy-eight acres known as the Eckles farm, one and one-fourth miles southeast of Ashley, and has always been very successful, having increased his holdings until he has 260 acres in his home farm, and 110 acres in Peru Township, Morrow County. In 1884, in partnership with his brother-in-law, C. E. Sherry, he established the Bank of Ashley, with which he has since been identified, but did not move into town until 1888. He still oversees the work on the farm, owns a fine brick home here and has other property.

Mr. Wornstaff was married November 9, 1870, to Mary Ella Sperry. who was born in Knox County. Ohio, and is a sister of C. F. Sperry. This union resulted in the birth of one son, Albertus. who was bookkeeper in the Bank of Ashley at the time of his death, March 22, 1903, aged twenty-six years. A mute from birth, he was of exceptional brightness and possessed educational attainment. He was a graduate of the State Institution at Columbus, and a graduate at Gallaudet College, Washington, D. C. and his early death, amid bright prospects, was a sad loss to his devoted parents. Albertus Wornstaff married Laverna Carr. Mr. Wornstaff is a Republican in politics, but has never taken an active part in political affairs.


From 20th Century History of Delaware County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens by James R. Lytle