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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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Frank J. Short.

For some years Frank J. Short has lived retired in Greenfield, but was formerly identified with the farming and business interests of Adair county.  He is a native of Iowa, born in Madison county, May 21, 1870, of the marriage of Cyrus H. and Sarah (Hebner) Short, the former a native of Hennepin county, Illinois, while the latter was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.  The father engaged in farming in early life and remained in his native state until he had reached mature years.  He then accompanied his parents on their removal to Bethany, Missouri, where he resided until April, 1860, at which time he sought a home in Madison county, Iowa.  He there rented land and engaged in its cultivation, being thus engaged until 1872, when he came to Adair county and purchased land in Lee township, southwest of Greenfield.  He immediately set about improving this place, but at the end of two years he retired and took up his abode in Greenfield, where after a long residence he departed this life in October, 1901.  His wife survived for about a decade and passed away in March, 1911.

Frank J. Short was but two years of age at the time the family home was established in Adair county, so that practically his entire life has here been passed.  He was educated in the schools of Greenfield and after putting aside his textbooks went to Omaha, Nebraska, there to become an apprentice at the plumber's and steamfitter's trade.  For eight years he worked at his trade in the latter state and then, having in the meantime married, returned to Adair county and engaged in cultivating land in Lee township belonging to his father-in-law for thirteen years, during which time he became the owner of farm property.  At the end of that period Mr. Short abandoned agricultural pursuits and removed to Greenfield, where he has since occupied an attractive home, surrounded by six acres of land located within the corporate limits of the city.  Although he is practically living retired he deals to some extent in real estate and was formerly identified with the lumber business of Orient.  He is strong, forceful and aggressive, and in all lines of business to which he has given attention he has so ably managed his interests that he has met with success --- a success that permits him to enjoy all the comforts of life.

On the 12th of August, 1893, Mr. Short was united in marriage to Miss Ella E. Witham, a daughter of William W. and Elmira (Sutherland) Witham, who were early residents of Adair county.  The father was born in Maine, while the mother was a native of Kentucky.  In an early day Mr. Witham made the long journey from the Pine Tree state to California, but eventually returned to the east, whence he made his way to the middle west, locating in Chickasaw county, Iowa.  In 1870 he made a permanent location in Adair county, purchasing land in Orient township.  As the years passed and he accumulated funds he kept investing in more land until he became the possessor of several thousand acres here and in Kansas and at the time of his death, January 22, 1908, he was reputed to be the wealthiest man in Adair county.  He availed himself of every opportunity for advancement and in addition to farming also conducted a store prior to the building of a railroad through this section of the state.  He also gave some time to auctioneering and in all these lines of endeavor met with a gratifying measure of prosperity.  His wife preceded him to the home beyond many years ago, her death occurring in 1878.

To Mr. and Mrs. Short have been born a son and two daughters, Dick J., who is engaged in the jewelry business at Estherville, Iowa, wedded Miss Rose McGuire and they have a son, Richard, two years of age.  Nina A. is the wife of Donald F. Brooks and resides in Greenfield.  Ruth N. is thirteen years of age.

In politics Mr. Short is a democrat and in religious faith is a Baptist.  His fraternal relations connect him with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks at Creston, Iowa.  He is influential in his community and is one of the leaders in all movements for the betterment of his city and section of the state.  He is a man of broad and comprehensive views and is conservative rather than radical.  The people of Greenfield and Adair county recognize him as a man of genuine worth and respect him highly.



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