Jesse T. Langworthy chose the site of her childhood home for the construction of the Seward Civic Center. The town of Seward was the place that she lived all of her life. In her Last Will and Testament states that the…… “property (is) to be used as a civic center, as a home for the Chamber of Commerce, for various civic, educational and religious clubs or groups and as a home for the Woman’s Club of Seward, Nebraska, all of which property shall be used without remuneration or profit to any person or persons.” The original construction, which was completed in 1955, the 1977 addition, and the construction of an elevator were totally funded by income from the Langworthy Trust. Since then,the trust, through it’s administrator, has provided all the funding for the buildings maintenance and equipment.
Since 1964, a seven-member Civic Center Commission has been annually appointed by the Mayor and City Council of the City of Seward. Meetings of the Commission, which are open to the public, are held for the purpose of administering all phases of development, operation and maintenance of the building subject to the provisions of the Will.
Following the death of Jessie Langworthy, a Lincoln newspaper editorial stated: “Nowhere in the world has philanthropy revealed itself to a greater degree or with the maximum wisdom in accomplishing lasting, permanent good for the people.”