Short, TX

By: Laurie E. Jasinski

Type: General Entry

Published: December 2, 2004

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Short is a rural residential community located about a mile off U.S. Highway 96 and five miles south of Center in south central Shelby County. Settlement began in the area in 1870 when pioneer Elkanah Hughes homesteaded on his 160-acre preemption survey. More farmers moved into this region, conveniently located near the intersection of two major routes. A church and school were built in 1879. A post office opened on January 4, 1885, with Frank C. Powell as postmaster. Residents sought to name their town Crossroads, but when that name was already claimed for another town, citizens called their new community Short after Daniel M. Short, a prominent Shelby County lawyer and legislator. Tragedy struck the area in 1889 when a dysentery epidemic claimed the lives of many children. This event prompted the establishment of a community cemetery. At some point, citizens organized a Methodist church. In 1890 the Texas State Gazetteer and Business Directory reported that Short had a population of thirty. Businesses included two general stores, a hotel, blacksmith, physician, barber, lawyer, and carpenter, and residents included the Hughes, Johnson, Roberts, and Mills families. By the late 1890s Short also had five grist mills and gins. The post office was discontinued on April 2, 1906, when mail was sent to Center, and by 1914 the school had consolidated with other regional schools. Logging became an important industry in the area, and in the early 1900s J. C. Stack owned a shingle mill. During the 1930s Short consisted of a church, a sawmill, and numerous farms. A general store, owned by Sim Holt, operated until the 1960s. By 2000 the Short Methodist Church and the Short Cemetery were the most visible signs of the old community. No population estimates were available.

Shelby County Historical Commission, History of Shelby County, Texas, 1988 (Dallas: Curtis, 1988). Short Cemetery website (, accessed September 29, 2004.


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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Laurie E. Jasinski, “Short, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 18, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 2, 2004