Fitzpatrick, Harriet Ellen
B: 30 Mar 1922, St. Vincent, MN
D: 08 Aug 2001, Fargo, ND
Buried: 13 Aug 2001, St. Vincent, MN
M: 13 Feb 1943, Gordon Leo Short in Ft. Worth, TX b. 14 Mar 1919 in Warren, Kittson Co., MN.
Harriet worked for Northwestern Bell Telephone in Bemidji, MN in 1941 and resigned in January 1943. After she was married to Gordon she canned all their fruits and vegetables and even meat before the day of deep freezers. Harriet worked as Transportation Coordinator for Kittson Co. and had her office in the Welfare Department at the courthouse in Hallock, MN.
Children of Gordon Leo Short and Harriet Ellen Fitzpatrick:
1. Sharon Ann Short
B: 29 Feb 1948
2. Betty Jean Short
B: 30 May 1950
3. Patricia Kaye Short
B: 10 May 1959
M: Thomas G. Lewis
From a diary for Albert & Elizabeth Fitzpatrick's 50th Wedding Anniversay 1906-1956 put together by Harriet Ellen Fitzpatrick Short:
Every story must have its beginning and this history is no exception. Albert was born in Ontario, Canada. While yet a boy, he left Skarborough in 1882 taking a train to this area where his Father (Sheldon Albert Fitzpatrick) had already migrated. Having secured a yoke of oxen, they settled on a farm about 9 miles east of St. Vincent near the Joe River. He will never forget that severe winter spent in a poorly built frame house with walls that became coated with ice from the frozen moisture inside. Many a morning he woke up to find snow had filtered in and lay on the bed covers.
The following spring, he moved into St. Vincent taking residence where Warren Clow now lives, though in a different house. St. Vincent was then a thriving village, having grown considerably since it had been founded before 1800 as a fur trading post. Incidentally, the village was names after a certain Saint Vincent Depaul, founder of missions and hospitals in Paris, France. It became incorporated in 1870.
Dad was like most boys in that he could be mischievous too. He got quite a thrill out of catching live gophers and letting them loose in a bachelor's home by the name of Pat Miles. Another time, having no stones to throw at a bird, he suggested his brother quietly go around on the other side and catch the marble he would throw, so it need not get lost in the pasture. But alas, the bird escaped unhurt, and instead of catching it, Dick got beaned and went home with a large welt on his head.
He received his schooling in St. Vincent before working on the Hill farm near Humboldt for some 2 years. In 1904, he and his brother Dick made a trip to Grandview, Manitoba. The land looked good to them but they decided not to stay. This same year the Soo Line Railroad was being built through this section so he started working there, continuing as a section hand for about 10 years.
Elizabeth Ann Fitzgerald was born in St. Vincent, MN. Her Dad was a carpenter, a trade that Mother became quite familiar with. She later worked for Rev. & Mrs. Manly in the Parsonage where Sam (Bub) Lapps now live. When the Manly's were going to move away, a sewing machine needed to be packed and crated. Mother had completed this when the Drayman with a team of horses came to pick it up. Apparently he became interested in picking up somebody else too, for it was then that a courtship lasting 2 years began and March 29, 1906 was chosen as the wedding day. The day was mild, the snow had been melting until some 8 inches of water covered the ice on the Red River. There was no bridge to Pembina then, but with a horse and buggy they went across. All went well and soon they arrived at the Methodist parsonage where they were united in marriage by Rev. Alex Kerr. Lilian Anderson and Nancy Karr acted as witnesses for the ceremony.
They made their home in St. Vincent where Dad did carpenter work with Ed Cameron for awhile, later taking on such jobs as running the Red River Ferry for 2 years, serving as school janitor, carrying mail to Noyes and back, being mayor of the town and serving on the village council for many years. He recalls that at one election there were 6 tie votes to settle. As they were earnest Christians they became active in church work too, he at one time serving on the church board and she with the Ladies Aid.
Mother was also a practical nurse and helped many little lives into this world. The first one was 48 years ago and the person was Sid F- - -(blotted out) of Emerson. For 20 years they maintained a licensed maternity establishment in their home. In 1929, they bought a farm 4 miles east of St. Vincent. The depression hit soon afterward and for several years there was severe drowth. During this time they recall selling 6 cows for only $125. Also, they can vividly recall the floods of 1897, 1916, 1948 and 1950.
The Lord blessed them with 5 children, 4 of whom survive, 18 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. The children were as follows: Clara (Fitzpatrick) Chitwood of Portal, ND; Irene (Fitzpatrick) Hauser of San Jose, Illinois (?); John Fitzpatrick (deceased); Alberta (Fitzpatrick) Beaudette of Bemidji, MN; and Harriet (Fitzpatrick) Short of St. Vincent, Minnesota.
Some of the early families of this community who are still around are those of Wallace Cameron, Bill Le Masurier, W. G. and W. H. Easter, Dick Sylvester, Chris Theodorf, RH. Lapp Sr., John Munro, Wm. Cridland, Eliza Moore, Bill McKay Sr., George Clem and several Gooselaw families.
50 years have come and gone with all its many happenings of joy and sorrow, smiles and tears, defeats and successes. We thank God today for these two lives, devoted to each other in love and determination that they have come this far in the journey of life together. May the Lord lead and bless them even for the future, until we arrive in that eternal Home of joy and bliss. God bless you Mother and Dad, is our continued prayer.
(Prepared to be read by one of the children - Harriet)
Notes for Gordon Leo Short
In St Vincent was a cafe named "Shorts Cafe" It was the busiest and was known around the country for many miles for their excellent food. Their popularity made it impossable to serve the public without outside help, other than their own immediate family. Gordon Short, a nephew of the proprietors, from Augus, Mn. was contacted and hired for the summer of 1938. He worked seven days a week for $6.00 a week plus room and board. Gordon was 19 yrs old at the time so it really caused quite a stir in the community from the young ladies. Gordon worked during the summer of 1938 in the cafe and returned home in the fall to help his parents on their farm. In the spring of 1942, he was inducted in the U.S. Army and served his country in the Pacific Theatre of war. He was stationed in New Guinea, the Phiippine Islands, and before returning to stateside he spent a few months in Japan. During Gordons's service for his country, he spent 22 months on the front lines. Gordon singled out one of the girls during his short stay in St. Vincent.
Harriet Fitzpatrick was the lucky young lady to catch his eye. She was sweet sixteen at the time. During the next 5 years they saw one another occasionally. Then when he returned from the service they were married on 13 Feb 1943.
Jobs were not plentiful after the war and Gordon worked at anything and everything to help provide foe the family needs. In 1948 the railroad needed extra men to work to repair bridges and track after the flood. Gordon applied and was hired and later transferred to working as an agent-telegrapher after going to school in Minneapolis to learn the trade. He retired from Burlington Northern Depot in Noyes. Harriet and Gordon live in the house they purchased from her parents and have remodled it to make it their dream home. They live in Truth or Cons NM during the winter and spent thier summers in St Vincent.