Biography of John Short

JOHN SHORT. John Short, who is a native of east Tennessee, born in Roane County in 1826, but who has long been a resident of Stone County, is a son of Willis and Nancy (Kindrick) Short, who were also natives of east Tennessee, where they owned the farm upon which our subject was reared.

The parents were hard-working, industrious people, and by their thrift and enterprise accumulated a fair competence. They passed their entire lives in their native State, the mother dying in 1873. Aaron Short, grandfather of our subject, was a native of Kentucky, but early moved to Tennessee, where he was an early settler. He was a Revolutionary soldier. Grandfather Kindrick was a farmer of Roane County, Tennessee, and there he and his wife passed their last days. To the parents of our subject were born fourteen children as follows: Franklin, an old settler and farmer of Stone County; Elias B., of Greene County; Melsena, the wife of Wesley McCullah, died in Stone County; Samuel, of Christian County; John, our subject; Jasper, died in Tennessee; William, was in the Federal Army and died in Virginia; Edom, of Tennessee; Julius, died in Clinton, Missouri, since the war; Jackson died in Tennessee; Lauriett of Tennessee; Diannah, died in Arkansas, and two others of whom no record is extant.

In the district school our subject received a limited education and remained with his parents until 1850, when he married Miss Lydia Coleman, a native of Roane County, Tennessee, and the daughter of William and Elizabeth Coleman, natives of Tennessee. The following children were born to this union: George W., a prominent farmer of Grant Township this county; Jackson C., county collector; Nancy, wife of Andrew O’Bryant, of Christian County; Sarah, wife of Joel O’Bryant, of Christian County; Rachel, wife of C. Steele, of Stone County; Lucy, wife of Charles Robertson, of Marionville; Huldah, single; Viola, and others died in infancy.

In 1850, Mr. Short came by water to Memphis, then down the river to Searcy County, Arkansas, from which he walked to Greene County, Missouri, got a team and went back after his family. The first year after coming to Greene County he worked as a laborer and then settled on a small claim adjoining his present farm, where he remained for nearly thirty years. Then nearly all his improvements were destroyed by the Marshfield cyclone and one of the deeds to his farm was found nine miles beyond Marshfield. Being rather discouraged at his loss Mr. Short sold that farm and purchased the one just below and on this he now resides, owning 200 acres of the best land on Spring Creek. He is one of the county’s best known and much esteemed citizens, and as a farmer and stockraiser has built up quite a reputation. During the war he was a stanch Union man and served for some time in the militia. He was in numerous encounters with the enemy during that time and at one time was captured by the guerrillas, at his house, and taken to the James River ten miles away. There he was shot in the head, robbed of his effects, and left for dead. After he had been shot, he lay quiet but conscious all the time, and he heard one of them remark that they had better shoot him again to make sure work of it, but some thought he was dead and so they left him. This was late in the evening and soon after they left he got up and started for home. Darkness overtook him and he stopped at a neighbor’s, had his wound dressed and remained all night. The next day he returned home. Another band, after killing Mr. Short’s brother-in-law, Wesley McCullah, at his home, came on to our subject’s house, yelling and shooting as they approached. He was shoeing a horse and on seeing them ran for his gun and fired among them, wounding one who was carried off. He followed after some of them but a number slipped around to the house, took everything they could find and fired the beds. The fire was soon extinguished by a neighbor woman who was present, but it was fired again and the men left soon after. Once after that two of Price’s men rode up and called Mr. Short out. They dismounted and attempted to take away his pistol, but Mr. Short resisted and a severe struggle took place. Mrs. Short, seeing her husband’s danger, came to his rescue and pleaded with them to let him alone. Paying no attention to her they continued the struggle and the brave woman seizing an ax struck at them, grazing one man’s head. The latter fled, but the other man continued the struggle and Mrs. Short buried the ax in his back and he fell to the ground. Mr. Short then shot him and finished his career.

This brave wife and mother died in the year 1886. Mr. Short and wife came to this county with little or nothing, and what they accumulated was the result of industry and good management on their part. Mr. Short is highly esteemed in the neighborhood and classed among the best citizens. He is a Methodist in his religious views


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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