William T. Short, one of the prominent residents of Concordia, ex-representative and well-known building contractor, was the first white child born in the township where his parents resided in Stark county, Indiana. His birth occurred May 20, 1847. He is a son of Job and Nancy Short, who were both born in Sussex county, Delaware, in the years 1812 and 1810, respectively. They were married in 1830 and eight years later emigrated to Cass county, Indiana, and thence to Stark county, where they remained thirteen years and then removed to Plymouth, in the same state. When they left their native Delaware there were not many railroads in existence, especially to the westward, and the greater part of their journey was accomplished on flatboats that plied the Ohio river. Their neighbors in the new home consisted largely of wild Indians, but with the industry and perseverance that characterize the pioneer of every country, they cleared a farm in the wilderness and gained a home. Their family consisted of nine children, six sons and three daughters, four of whom are living. Mr. Short's parents were also pioneers of Kansas. They settled in Washington county, five miles east of Clyde in 1867 and subsequently removed to Concordia, where they lived until their deaths. The paternal ancestry of Mr. Short were Danish, his forefathers having emigrated to Delaware in the sixteenth century. They are a long lived race, all having lived to a ripe old old age.
Mr. Short received a good common school education at Plymouth, Indiana, and pursued an academic course, but ere he had finished he enlisted his services to sustain the stars and stripes. He was a member of Company E, One-Hundred and Thirty-eighth Indiana Regiment. After being discharged he re-entered school, but in 1866 he began learning the trade that has brought him good financial returns. That he might more fully complete the requirements he went to Chicago in 1871, where he resided until 1873, when he came to Concordia, his present home and where probably he has erected more buildings than any other two men who have been engaged in contracting.
Mr. Short has always been an uncompromising Republican, voted while in the army for Abraham Lincoln in 1864 and has clung to the "old bark" through evil as well as good repute. He was elected to represent Cloud county in the legislature in the autumn of 1898 and re-elected in 1900, In the various orders with which he is associated he has advanced to the highest office in the lodge. He is identified with the Knights of Honor, Knights of Pythias, Modern Woodmen of America, Knights of the Maccabees and Grand Army of the Republic. He has served three terms as member of the city council and two terms on the board of education in Concordia. In summing up his characteristics, social and official career, Mr. Short jocosely remarked, "I am a full-blooded Methodist, but have not been working at the business much of late."
Mr. Short was married October 7, 1877, to Miss Belle F. Hale, of Jewell county, Kansas. Mrs. Short left Nova Scotia, the place of her nativity, when twelve years of age and became a citizen of Kansas. To their union have been born two promising sons, Rial A., born September 1, 1878, and Floyd L., born June 16, 1881, and a little daughter, Garnett E., born January 27, 1892.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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