John Short, who is living retired on his farm of three hundred and forty-one acres on sections 30 and 31, Wall township, was born in County Longford, Ireland, on the 12th of January, 1839, his parents being Edward and Mary (Thompson) Short. They came to the United States in 1845, locating first in Brooklyn, New York, where the father worked at his trade of stonemason for four years. They then removed to Ottawa, Illinois, where Mr. Short was employed at his trade until the time of his demise, which occurred in 1870, his wife having passed away in 1847. They were the parents of five children, namely: John, of this review; Patrick; and Katherine, James and Mary, all of whom are deceased.
John Short acquired a common-school education and remained with his father until he had attained his majority, when he began work as a farm hand, being employed in that way for three years. He was then employed in the butchering business at Ottawa, Illinois, for two years, on the expiration of which period he removed to Chicago, and was engaged in the same line of business for a similar length of time. Subsequently he secured a position as fireman with the Rock Island Railroad Company, the firing being done with wood. After acting in this capacity for eighteen months he returned to La Salle county and was again engaged at farm labor for five years, subsequently operating a rented farm in that county for one year. He then removed to Lostant, Illinois, where he again went into the butchering business, but after a year moved to Livingston county, purchasing a tract of land of eighty acres, on which he lived for sixteen years. Selling that farm, in 1884 he bought three hundred and forty-one acres on sections 30 and 31, Wall township, Ford county, and has since made his home here. In addition to the work of general farming he has also made a specialty of raising and feeding stock, this branch of his business likewise bringing to him a gratifying financial return. He is now, however, living retired, having turned over the active work of the fields to his son James B. Mr. Short has met with a good measure of success in his agricultural interests, and has long been numbered among the prosperous and enterprising citizens of Ford county, having won a competence through the utilization of his native talents, combined with untiring perseverance and unabating energy.
In 1863 Mr. Short was joined in wedlock to Miss Martha Ann Philips, whose birth occurred in Putnam county, Illinois, in 1848, her parents being William and Martha (Roy) Philips, who were early settlers of this state and who died when their daughter, Mrs. Short, the youngest in their family of six children, was but two years of age. She is now the only survivor of the family, and by her marriage has become the mother of nine children, namely: George E., deceased; William, who makes his home in Iowa; Edward, who also resides in that state; James and Frank, both of whom have passed away; Mary E., the wife of Fred Sharp, of Wyoming; James B., who operates the homestead farm; Charles, who has also departed this life; and Nellie, who became the wife of Frank Foster and resides in Ford county. Our subject and his wife now have twenty grandchildren living.
ln his political views Mr. Short is a democrat and has served as school director for nine years. He was reared in the Catholic faith but his wife and family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and fraternally he is connected with the Masonic lodge at Melvin. Mr. and Mrs. Short started out in life empty-handed, but have since accumulated a good fortune, enabling them to spend their remaining days surrounded by many of the comforts and luxuries which go to make life worth living. They have gained an extensive circle of friends during the long period of their residence in this county, their genuine personal worth commending them to the confidence and esteem of all with whom they have come in contact.

Extracted 17 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 709-711

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