Bennett, Thomas Jefferson, and William Henry Short arrived in Jefferson
County in the early 1840's. traveling from nearby Clinton County where
they had first settled. They originally came out of Tennessee with
their mother, Patsey. Bennett was born in North Carolina in 1801.
Thomas and William were born both in Tennessee in 1807.
Bennett and Thomas married Maddux sisters in Clinton county. William
married Nancy Gillespie in Bond county. All three brothers brought
their young families to Jefferson county. William, by this time a practicing
doctor, became a resident of the town of lynchburg. which no longer
exists. He acquired parcels of land throughout the county. along with
at least two known businesses: a mill and a grocery. He served in the
Black Hawk War and was a charter member of Mt. Vernon lodge No. 31 AS&AM. He
died in 1857 and is buried in Old Union cemetery. His family left this
county and as of this date there are no known living descendants.
Bennett. a farmer, settled in Webber township. He and wife Nancy had
seven children: Simeon, Thomas. levi. Martha. John Wesley. Mary, and
James. Mrs. J. M. (Ruth) lane of Bluford. Illinois is the grand-daughter
of John Wesley Short. Bennett and his family moved back to Clinton
county after 1860. and Bennett died there in 1866.
Thomas J. purchased a farm in Mt. Vernon township. He and wife Martha
had ten children: Alfred. Sarah. Joshua, Priscilla (married James
Marlow). Nancy, Lydia (married George Owens). Martha, William, Thomas
Bennett. and James. Eight of the children married and in turn produced
more than forty grandchildren. Today there are many descendants still
living in the area, among them William Short. a grandson of Thomas
When the War between the States broke out. five Short sons and the
father marched off to fight for the Union cause. All came back but
Bennett's son James. The father. Thomas Jefferson Short. was age 55
when he volunteered; he served eighteen months, receiving an
honorable discharge for disability at Nashville. Tennessee on May 26, 1863.
He died in ]870 and is buried in Atkinson cemetery.
For the early settlers, religion was an important part of their lives.
and the Shorts were no exception. Being faithful Methodists. they
soon prepared a meeting place near the Goshen trail and for several years
the Short campground, as it was known, served as a popular meeting place
for religious services for the residents of the area .
One fine Sunday, the Rev. Zadok Casey delivered an inspiring sermon,
calling upon the congregation to build a church. A small piece of land
was donated and trustees elected, among them Bennett and Thomas Short.
A log church was erected and called Puncheon Camp, after the nearby
creek. Other early members of this church were the Johnsons, Caseys,
Parkers, Webbers, and Lisenbys. A few years later the church relocated
a short distance to the north and the name changed to Mt. Zion Methodist.
Today it still exists on the same spot and continues to have regular services.
- Mrs. William L. Short
Source: Facts and Folks of Jefferson Co, IL
Submitted by Sandy Whalen Bauer