Ellen Hardin Walworth was born on October 20, 1832, in Jacksonville, Illinois, the daughter of General John J. Hardin, (killed at Buena Vista, 1847) and Sarah Ellen (Smith) Hardin. In 1852, she married M.T. Walworth who died in 1873. She was educated at Jacksonville Academy and by private tutors and graduated from the women's law class at the University of New York.
Mrs. Walworth was one of the three founders of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and for 18 years she was a trustee of the Saratoga Monument Association of New York. She was one of the first three women nominated and elected to a school board under a new New York law admitting women as trustees. To her credit is also owed the founding of the Art and Science Field Club of Saratoga and the Post Parliament Club of New York. Mrs. Walworth was involved in war relief as the director general of the Women's National War Relief Association in 1898. During this same war with Spain she and her daughter Reubena Hyde Walworth were volunteers at Montauk and Camp Wikoff. Mrs. Walworth died on June 23, 1915.