Shortridge Family Sketches

I am adding information on the lives of Shortridge family members as it becomes available to me. If you have any information that will help me in this regard, please let me know.

Alfred Shortridge

Alfred Shortridge, deceased pioneer of Atchison, was born in Milton, Ind., February 27, 1834. When twenty-three years of age he listened to the admonition of his elders to come to the great West, where opportunities for amassing a competence were much better for a young man than in his home community. He came by train to St. Louis and after stopping a few days at the Planter's Hotel, he boarded a Missouri river steamer which brought him to Atchison. His intention was to get a farm from the Government, and he accordingly took up a claim one-half mile south of Monrovia. He developed his homestead, sold it and later bought a farm, ten miles south of Atchison, in Walnut township, near Potter. He added to his first farm of 120 acres until he became the owner of a finely developed farm of 200 acres, which he still owned at the time of his demise.

Mr. Shortridge was one of the early day freighters and during the years of 1862 and 1863 he freighted from Atchison to Denver, and in 1863 made two trips overland to Denver and return with Pardee Butler, with whom he was on intimate terms. He enlisted in the company of soldiers which was formed in his neighborhood for the purpose of repelling Price's invasion of Kansas in 1864 and was present at Westport when Price's army of invasion was driven southward. After he had made his last trip to Denver in 1863, he sold his wagon and four mules for $1,500 and then engaged in farming. He resided on his farm near Potter until the year 1912, and then removed to a home in Atchison.

He was married February 23, 1867, to Miss Catherine Elizabeth Clasby, of DeKalb, Buchanan county, Missouri, and to this union five children were born as follows: Mrs. J. A. Edwards, Fairmount, Kan.; J. T. Shortridge, W. O. Shortridge, and Mrs. C. N. Faulkner, of Potter, Kan., and Miss Florence Shortridge, at home. The mother of these children was born March 20, 1843, a daughter of John D. and Sarah Ann (Ellison) Clasby. John D. Clasby was a native of Virginia, whose mother was a member of the Dunlap family of Virginia, one of the old colonial families of America. One of the Dunlaps, a direct ancestor of Mrs. Shortridge, served in the Continental army in the Revolutionary war. He was a pioneer settler of Buchanan county, Missouri, and is buried on a hill within sight of Atchison.

Mrs. Shortridge's mother, Sarah Ann (Ellison) Clasby, was born in Missouri, a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Dunlap) Ellison, who were residents of Kentucky, and who were among the pioneer settlers in Buchanan county, Missouri. There were nine children in the Clasby family, as follows: James T., Robert, Orlando, Joseph, Franklin, Julian, deceased; Mrs. Ann Eliza (Stewart), and Mrs. Alfred Shortridge.

Alfred Shortridge departed this life on July 17, 1915, and was sincerely mourned by a host of friends and acquaintances who had known him for many years in Atchison county. During his life, after attaining his majority, he was affiliated with the Republican party, and was always active in the affairs of his party, although he was never a seeker after political preferment. He was a member of the Christian church, and lived according to the precepts of his religious belief, as nearly as mortal man could. He carried his religion into his daily life and believed implicitly in the golden rule, which admonishes mankind to treat his neighbor as he would have his neighbor do unto him.

On February 23, 1911, Mr. and Mrs. Shortridge celebrated their forty-fourth wedding anniversary at the old Shortridge homestead, and it was a fitting culmination of one of the happiest life unions on record. Mr. Shortridge was deeply devoted to his noble wife and family and was always kind and considerate, not only with the members of his immediate family, but with his many friends and acquaintances. He was never known to complain or find fault but took things as he found them and made the best of every occasion. One of the last of the old guard of Atchison pioneers, he was a fitting example of the type which did so much to develop the Sunflower State, and made Atchison county one of the garden spots of the country. One by one the old pioneers are passing to the great beyond from which no man returneth; it is fitting that we record in imperishable print the record of their lives and their deeds and accomplishments while on earth in order that it all may live after them forever and their memories be kept continually green and fresh in the minds of suceeding generations which will know them not except through the pages of these Atchison county historical annals.

James Franklin Shortridge

James Franklin kept a daily diary, starting 1 Jan 1910 and ending 27 Jul 1910. In the back of the diary was a list of people from whom he had received letters, with the date received and the date answered listed, as well as the addresses of those who were referenced in the diary. He also wrote his personal statistics. Weight 130 pounds, height 5 ft 7 1/2 inches, hat size 7, collar 15 1/2, shirt 15 1/2, and shoes 7 1/2. He lived in Hiawatha, Brown County, Kansas and he celebrated his 78th birthday on 10 Jan 1910. The diary documented his daily activities, such as planting, hoeing, going to church, fishing, gathering eggs, helping with the clothes washer, etc. It also documented his travels around the area to Veo, Iowa, Fairfield, Iowa, Foss, Oklahoma, Pleasant Plain, Iowa, Lakin, Kansas, Chanute, Kansas, Topeka, Kansas, Humboldt, Kansas.

People mentioned in the diary include Nathan Jones, Willie Adams, Harvey Jones, Phoebe Jones, Henry Coffin, Wiley (William) Allen, Pringles, Lenny Catlin, Jimmy, Lonny Jones, Wes Watson, Thol Jones, Harvey Jones, Selva Bray, Aunt Mary, Mat Pringle, Nute, Oscar, May Turnbull, Kate Free, Leila Mathias, Mary Williams, Lib White, George McEntire, Mrs. Stiley, Nellie, Hannah, Allen Johnson, Nina, McCoys, Archie, Mrs. Bailey, Mrs. Cate Roush, Mrs. Charley Albey, Anna Bennett, Perle, Sam, Clarence, Lucas, Lawrence, Myrtle, S. E. Erwin, John (Jack) Moore, W. H., Mr. A.E. Curry, Velma, John Hines, Orville McEntire, Ed Idol and family, Weathers family.

Oscar and Nellie are Joseph Oscar Shortridge and Nellie Weathers (they were married in 1885) who are James Franklin's son and daughter-in-law. Velma is their oldest daughter, born in 1909. Perle is, I believe, James Franklin's son-in-law, married to his daughter Mary. Leila, Anna Bennett, Lawrence, Jimmy (James), and Sam are all James Franklin's grandchildren through his daughter Mary. Nina is his daughter and Archie McCoy is his son-in-law. W. H. is William H., a son who was a widower.

James had 80 acres of land in 1880, part of the Kickapoo Reservation. He raised fruit and was a dray man.

You can read the Diary here.

If you have questions about any of the names found here, please contact me and I'll provide you with any information I have.

Back to top