LUTHER SHORT — As the public press is said to be the guardian of the people and their liberties, it is of interest to know something concerning those who, in their capacity as editors, are the ruling spirits of the press. The Democrat, of Johnson County, is a paper that ranks among the best county papers in Indiana, and it is of its editor, Luther Short, that we would briefly speak. His great grandfather, John Short, was born in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, in 1756. When quite young he moved to Russell County, Va., where he remained till the fall of 1802, when he again changed his home to Pulaski County, Ky., near Somerset, where he died. Wesley Short, son of John, was born in Russell County, Va., December 20, 1780, where, in the spring of 1802, he married Rebecca Owen, and the following fall moved to Pulaski County, Ky. Part of the farm which he owned at that time is now occupied by the depot of the Cincinnati Southern Railroad, at Tatesville. He was one of the pioneer ministers of the Christian Church, and held a prominent place in this denomination when he died. Milton Short, the father of Luther, and son of Wesley, was born in Pulaski County, Ky., May 18, 1807; he lived there till March, 1818, when he came to Indiana and remained about ten years, then returned to Kentucky in the fall of 1828, where he taught school, and on January 8, 1829, married Mary, daughter of Robert and Winnie (Atkinson) Tate. He made his home in Kentucky until 1836, farming and teaching, when he returned to Indiana, locating at Springville, Lawrence County. He bought a piece of land adjoining the town, and some time after this, attended college, preparing himself for a physician by taking a medical course. He engaged in the practice of medicine until 1854., when he went into the mercantile business, and remained in it until 1868, when he moved away from Lawrence County, and after making numerous moves, returned to Favettville, where he died April 27, 1887. There were born to himself and Mary Tate eight children, some in Kentucky and some in Lawrence County; of these, four were sons and four daughters. At the present time, two of the sons are physicians, one an attorney, and Luther an editor. The mother, Mary (Tate) Short, died in Lawrence County December 13, 1864; she was a good wife and mother, and was sincerely mourned by her family. Luther's great grandfather on his mother's side of the house, John Tate by name, was born in Virginia, where he spent his life, and where his son, Robert Tate, was born July 3, 1768. Robert was married to Winnie Atkinson about the year 1807. Their daughter, Mary, wife of Milton Short, was born December 5, 1811. Luther, son of Milton and Mary (Tate) Short, was born at Springville, Lawrence Co., Ind., May 14, 1845, where he lived until sixteen years of age, spending a portion of his time farming in the interest of his father, who, it will be remembered, had purchased land for the purpose of furnishing his boys employment, wishing to raise them in industry rather than idleness. In 1861, and at the call of the government for volunteers, Luther enlisted in Company F, Forty-third Indiana Volunteer Infantry, where he served three years and two months, when he was honorably discharged, the last of October, 1864. A part of his time in the army he held a position as non-commissioned officer, and took part in all the engagements of the regiment. On leaving the army, he returned home and engaged in the mercantile business, which vocation he followed until the fall of 1866. In September, the same year, he began a collegiate course by one year's attendance at the Northwestern Christian University at Indianapolis. In the spring term, 1868, he attended Asbury College, Greencastle, Ind. From there he went to the State University, Bloomington, Ind., graduating in 1869, and in a class of thirty-one. In the fall of 1869, he entered the law department of the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, remaining there two years, graduating in the class of 1871. During the summer of 1870 and 1871, he spent his time in the agricultural implement house of J. Braden, Indianapolis, wholesale and retail dealer, as general manager. He then located in Little Rock, Ark., where he engaged in the practice of the law until April, 1874, when he returned to Indiana and settled in Franklin, Johnson County. In January, 1875, was appointed deputy prosecuting attorney under W. S. Ray. In June, 1879, he formed a co-partnership with George E. Finney. July 1, 1879, and they having leased the Herald-Democrat, changed its name to the Democrat. March 29, 1880, Mr. Short bought his partner's interest in both paper and office, to which he has since added over $2,500 in presses and material. The circulation of the Herald-Democrat did not exceed 700 copies at the time of the lease, but under the new management, and in its new dress, it has increased to over 1,600, proving conclusively that in adopting the profession of editor he did not make a mistake, but has been able to fill that difficult position successfully. The Democrat is the organ of the democratic party in Johnson County, of which organization Mr. Short is a prominent member and supporter. April 9, 1883, he was married to Miss Emma W. Heineken, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel P. Heineken, of Franklin, and in company with his wife, started the same day for an extended trip through Europe. They were gone about four months, and during that time visited Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium and Holland. Mr. Short, of late years, has taken an active interest in Masonry, and is now the eminent commander of Franklin Commandery of Knights Templar. He has also taken the thirty-two Scottish Right degrees.
Transcribed by Cheryl ZufallParker
Banta, D.D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888.