Lorenzo Short – Rondout’s “Boss” Photographer (Part 1)

May 01, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Introduction

 

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Lorenzo Short logo.Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Lorenzo Short logo.Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

 

Welcome

 

Lorenzo Short was born on November 24, 1847 to parents Peter Short (1792-1853) and Rebecca (Lane) Short (1818-1902). Peter was a veteran of the War of 1812. Peter’s first marriage was to Polly (Winne) Short (1803-1832). Together Peter and Polly had seven children, i.e., Lorenzo’s half-siblings, including Cornelius Short (1821-1899); Washington Short (b 1822); David P. Short (b 1824); James Short (b 1826); Hannah Short (b 1827); Sarah Short (b 1829); and Elizabeth Ann Short (1832-1925). Polly passed away on November 28, 1832.

 

Peter remarried seven years later on November 4, 1839 to Rebecca (Lane) Short, daughter of William Gilbert Lane (1787-1860) and Hannah (Soule) Lane. Rebecca was born in the town of Olive in Ulster County, New York. As per the 1850 United States census Peter was working as a “farmer.” Together Peter and Rebecca had six children, including Lorenzo, our subject. Lorenzo’s five siblings included William Sherman Short (b 1840); Mahala Short (1842-1917); Phebe Catharine Short (b 1845); Margaret Short (b 1850); and Adaline Short (b 1852). Lorenzo grew up in the town of Woodstock in Ulster County, New York. Rebecca passed away in 1902 and is buried at Woodstock Cemetery.

 

Peter Short, Lorenzo’s father, passed away in 1853, when Lorenzo was still at the very young age of five. Based on the 1855 New York State census and the 1860 United States census William Short, Lorenzo’s older brother, then age 15 and 20, respectively, presumably took on much more of the family responsibility on the family farm. The 1855 census listed William with an occupation of “farmer”; and the 1860 census listed him with an occupation of “farm laborer.”

 

The 1860 United States census reported Rebecca Short as the head of household, while residing in the town of Woodstock with her six children. As for the family home, the 1860 agricultural census for the town of Woodstock showed that Rebecca Short, Lorenzo’s mother, maintained a 75-acre farm, comprised of 50 acres of improved land and 25 acres of unimproved land. The farm was valued at $1,200, the livestock was valued at $500 and the equipment was valued at $50. The farm was home to three horses, five milk cows, two working oxen, two cattle and nine swine. The farm produced 20 bushels of rye and 20 bushels of Indian corn.

 

Map of Yankeetown, located in the town of Woodstock in Ulster County, New YorkYankeetown, New YorkFrench, J. H, et al. Map of Ulster Co., New York: from actual surveys. Philadelphia: Taintor, Dawson & Co., publishers, 1858. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2013593238/>.

Map of Yankeetown, home to the Short family farm near Woodstock, Ulster County, New York.


Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Map of Yankeetown, town of Woodstock, Ulster County, New York. 1858. Yankeetown was home to the Short family farm.

French, J. H, et al. Map of Ulster Co., New York: from actual surveys. Philadelphia: Taintor, Dawson & Co., publishers, 1858. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2013593238/>.

 

The Short family in America can be traced back to Adam Short, Sr. at Sussex, England. After Adam’s passing, his widow Miriam (Ingram) Short emigrated to the United States with her three children Ann (1663-1731), Miriam (b 1664) and Adam Short, Jr. (b 1666). The family departed from Deal, England in late August aboard the Quaker vessel named Welcome. Also aboard was Isaac Ingram (b. c. 1640-1682), Miriam’s (the senior) brother, who was from Gatton, Surrey, just north of the Sussex border, and the famous William Penn (1644-1718), Quaker leader and founder of Pennsylvania. The Welcome was the first of many ships transporting Quakers out of England to the New World in order to escape religious persecution.

 

As for the trans-Atlantic journey of William Penn and the Short family, Henry Darrach wrote in 1917 of the accommodations and some of the likely dangers.

 

“The passengers were about 102 and not all of Penn’s company. As the passenger list was full, others who desired to sail were compelled to wait for later boats, which numbered about 21 vessels.

 

The passengers must have been closely packed, like sardines, the poor cooking and odors of stuffy cabins must have rendered life unendurable, but blessed are those who do not expect much for they will not be disappointed.

 

While escaping the dangers of the sea and the capture by Spanish privateers, an epidemic of small-pox carried away about one-third of the original number. It must have been heart-rending to see the ones they loved sewed up in sail-cloth, weighted at the feet and slid down the gangplank. There must have been great anxiety for the remaining ones, if the officers should be stricken there would be not one to sail the vessel and all might be lost. During the trying voyage Penn attended the sick and dying, giving comfort and consolation to the entire company.” (Darrach, Henry. Voyage of William Penn in Ship “Welcome” 1682. Philadelphia, PA: Annual Meeting of the Welcome Society, 1917. p. 4.)

 

After a journey of 57 days the Welcome landed at the mouth of the Delaware River at New Castle, Delaware on October 27, 1682. The mother Miriam (Ingram) Short and her brother Isaac Ingram, were two of 30 people who passed away from small pox during the voyage. Miriam died several days before Isaac, for he, upon having contracted the small pox, drafted a will aboard the Welcome, leaving much of his estate and goods to his nieces and nephew, Ann, Miriam (the daughter) and Adam. Both Miriam and Isaac were buried at sea.

 

The landing of William Penn.The landing of William Penn.Ferris, Jean Leon Gerome, Artist. The landing of William Penn / J.L.G. Ferris. Cleveland, Ohio: The Foundation Press, Inc., July 28. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2004669764/>.

Ferris, Jean Leon Gerome, Artist. The landing of William Penn / J.L.G. Ferris. Cleveland, Ohio: The Foundation Press, Inc., July 28. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2004669764/>.

 

The seven ancestral generations of the Short family in America, traced over 250 years from Adam Short, Sr. to Lorenzo Short, include:

 

1st generation: great-great-great-great-grandparents: Adam Short, Sr. (b 1622) and Miriam (Ingram) Short (1642-1682).

 

2nd generation, great-great-great-grandparents: Adam Short, Jr. (b 1666), first married circa 1700 to unknown woman, who was likely the mother of his children, married a second time circa 1712 to Martha (Metcalf) Short. He lived at New Castle county, Delaware.

 

3rd generation: great-great-grandparents: Henry Short (b 1700) and Gepje (Winne) Short (b 1704). Henry, who was born at New Castle, Delaware, migrated to Kington, N.Y. sometime before 1724. Henry and Gepje were married on November 6, 1724 at the Old Dutch Church in Kingston, New York.

 

4th generation, great-grandparents: Peter Hendrick Short (1732-1806) and Annatje (Bakker) Short (1737-1820). Peter H. Short was one of the earliest settlers of Woodstock. The family 69-acre farm was located close to the junction of Ohayo Mountain Road and Broadview Road. Peter Hendrick Short is buried at the Zena Community Ground in Ulster County, New York.

 

5th generation, grandparents: David Short, Sr. (1768-1851) and Sarah (Edwards) Short (1771-1838). David was a farmer, was active in lumbering, manufactured maple sugar and kept a tavern near Woodstock. David Short, Sr. died in 1851 at Wittenburg in Ulster County, New York.

 

6th generation, parents: Peter Short (1792-1853) and Rebecca (Lane) Short (1818-1902).

 

7th generation: Lorenzo Short (1847-1928).

 

For more information about the Short family genealogy, see Sharon Short in her Short Families of Clark Co., WI as researched in 1976.

 

Peter Hendrick Short, Lorenzo’s great-grandfather, honorably served during the American Revolution. In the later stages of the War, in a widely told story, he, then a civilian, and his son-in-law Peter Miller were captured at Katsbaan, near Woodstock, on June 18, 1780 by British Tories as they were returning from church. They were held captive and marched through New York State, on to Niagara, later to be transferred to Montreal, Canada. Although there are multiple versions of the story, it seems that a year after capture both Short and Miller escaped, with the help of an Indian by the name of Joe De Witt that they had helped many years prior. Short and Miller returned to Woodstock, where they lived as neighbors to several of their prior tory enemies and captors.

 

Alf Evers wrote of the incident that “because of its human interest the story of the capture of Short and Miller is Woodstock’s most popular Revolutionary incident – and likely to remain so . . . The capture of Short and Miller as the last recorded episode of the violence that marked Revolutionary days in Woodstock. The war was moving on toward its end, and deep discouragement was overtaking Woodstock tories.”

 

New York State would later place, in the 1930s, an historical marker at the spot where Short and Miller were captured. For more information about the fascinating story of Short and Miller, see

  • “The Captivity of Short and Miller.” Olde Ulster. Vol. 2, No. 11, November 1906. pp. 339-343.
  • “The Days of Tory Rule.” Kingston Daily Freeman. April 1, 1886.
  • Evers, Alf. Woodstock: History of an American Town. New York: The Overlook Press, 1987. pp. 72-75.
  • Smith, Anita M. “HEARSAY AND HISTORY.” New York History, vol. 17, no. 1, 1936, pp. 59–69. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/23137378. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.)
  • Rockwell, Rev. Charles. The Catskill Mountains and the Region Around. New York: Taintor Brothers & Co., 1867.

 

Family

 

In 1871 Lorenzo married Mary E. Antus. She was born in March 1854, the daughter of Phillip Ira Antus (1823-1894), a farmer, and Isabella (Cunningham) Antus (1821-1869). Mary grew up on a farm in the town of Greenville in Greene County, New York. Phillip’s property consisted of 125 acres, of which 50 acres were improved and 75 acres were unimproved. As of 1860 the farm was home to two horses, three milk cows, two cattle, six sheep and one swine. The farm produced 25 bushels of rye, 50 bushels of Indian corn, 25 bushels of oats and 20 pounds of wool. After the passing of Isabella, Phillip remarried to Caroline Weaver (1837-1909). Both of Mary’s parents, Phillip and Isabella, are buried at Freehold Cemetery in Greene County.

 

Lorenzo and Mary were married for 57 years, until his passing in 1928. The 1900 United States census listed Mary as having had thirteen children, of which only seven were living. The seven children of Lorenzo and Mary Short included:

 

Isabelle “Belle” Short (b. January 1875), of Kingston, New York. She took over her father’s photography business in the Rondout upon his retirement and passing. She operated the studio until 1952.

Catherine or Kathryn (Kate) Short (b. June 1877). She married George Wendell Phillips in 1922. Only a year later she passed away in 1923 at the home of her father. George passed away only several days later.

 

Hazel E. (Short) Kuehn (b. February 1883), who married Richard H. Kuehn (1881-1952). Richard for many years operated a men’s furnishing store at 34 Broadway in Kingston. They later moved to Detroit, Michigan. Hazel (Short) Kuehn passed away at Moline, Illinois in February 1961. Both Richard and Hazel are buried at Montrepose Cemetery in Kingston.

 

Myron Short (b. October 1885), of Kingston, New York. Myron, having joined in 1909, was a long-standing member of Local 255, Painters Union for 51 years. He had also served as president of the union. Mryon married Carolyn M. Schnur in 1910. Carolyn worked in a shirt factory at the time of her marriage. Myron passed away at 74 years of age after a brief illness in September 1960. Funeral services, officiated by Rev. Dr. Clyde Herbert Snell of the Clinton Avenue Methodist Church, were held at the Jenson & Deegan Funeral Home. Myron Short is buried at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Kingston.

 

Edna L. (Short) Kohler (b. October 1, 1888), who married Augustus J. Kohler (b. 1889) on September 24, 1913. They later moved to Flint, Michigan. She passed away from bronchial pneumonia in 1938. Both Edna and Augustus are buried at Montrepose Cemetery in Kingston.

 

Clyde Vivian Short (b. August 5, 1892), of Flint, Michigan. He first worked for the Buick Motor Company and then worked for 30 years as an accountant for the Veit and Davison Lumber Company. He honorably served in the US Army during World War 1 as part of Company M, Development Battalion #6, 160 Depot Brigade. He was married to Mabelle Irene Stambaugh Short on November 25, 1925 at Elm Hall, Michigan. Maybelle graduated from Central Michigan College and worked in the public schools of Flint, Michigan, including as a school principal at the time of her marriage. Clyde passed away after a short illness on April 24, 1950. He is buried at Montrepose Cemetery in Kingston.

 

Philip Stanley Short (b. March 1894), of Cleveland, Ohio and Albany, New York. The 1915 United States census listed his occupation as “machinist.” In September 1930 he married Florence Antus at Genesee County, Michigan. At the time of the marriage Philip was employed as “body worker,” presumably at a car manufacturing plant.

 

Yankeetown and the Family Farm

 

The Short family were among the early settlers of the town of Woodstock. Alphonso T. Clearwater, author of The History of Ulster County, New York, wrote in 1907 about the arrival of Peter Short in 1784. “The region [Woodstock] was settled just previous to the Revolution. Philip Bonesteel, the first settler of record, came in 1770 and made his “clearing” about one mile below the present Woodstock village, on what is known as the old Hudler farm. He was followed six years later by Edward Short, who located in the region since known as “Yankeetown.” Next came Peter Short, in 1784, and four years later, Jacob DuBois, Ephriam Van Keuren and Philip Shultis.” (Clearwater, Alphonso T. The History of Ulster County, New York. Kingston, NY: W. J. Van Deusen, 1907. p. 403.)

 

In 1987 Alf Evers, Woodstock town historian and author of Woodstock: History of an American Town, placed the arrival of Peter Short to 1770, 14 years prior to the date written by Clearwater.

 

“Woodstock was indeed in an unhappy state as the Revolution ended, unloved by its neighbors, its pre-War settlers gone, without a town government, with squatters moving into empty cabins and skimpily tilling clearings in the hope of snatching a crop or two before they were discovered. Of all the leases and lease agreements entered into by tenants and Robert Livingston or his son Judge Robert R. in pre-War times only one survived the turmoil of the Revolution. And it should come as no surprise to learn that this was the lease (dated 1770) of Peter Short. Here as elsewhere Short behaved as if bent on asserting a claim to be Woodstock’s oldest and most active and alert settler – he continued to make appearances in Woodstock history until a few years before his death . . .” (Evers, Alf. Woodstock: History of an American Town. New York: The Overlook Press, 1987. p. 80-81.)

 

On the 1870 United States census Lorenzo, age 21, was residing in the town of Woodstock. Also living in the household were his mother Rebecca Short, age 53, who was listed with an occupation of “keeping house”; his sister Adaline Short, age 17, who was listed with an occupation of “at home”; and his sister Cathrine Short, age 25, who was listed with an occupation of “paper box maker for lozenges.” Rebecca’s real estate was valued at $1,500 and her personal estate was valued at $800. Lorenzo was listed with an occupation of farmer.

 

Map of Yankeetown, located in the town of Woodstock in Ulster County, New YorkWoodstock, NY Map, 1875.Beers, F. W. County Atlas of Ulster, New York. Map. [ca 1:24000]. New York: Walker & Jewett, 1875.

Map of Yankeetown, home to the Short family farm near Woodstock, Ulster County, New York.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Map of the town of Woodstock, 1875. Yankeetown, located in the southeast section of the town of Woodstock, Ulster County, New York, was home to the Short family farm.  

Beers, F. W. County Atlas of Ulster, New York. Map. [ca 1:24000]. New York: Walker & Jewett, 1875.

 

Map of Yankeetown, located in the town of Woodstock in Ulster County, New YorkBeers, F. W. County Atlas of Ulster, New York. Map. [ca 1:24000]. New York: Walker & Jewett, 1875.

Map of Yankeetown, home to the Short family farm near Woodstock, Ulster County, New York.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Map of Yankeetown, town of Woodstock, Ulster County, New York. 1875. Yankeetown was home to the Short family farm.

Beers, F. W. County Atlas of Ulster, New York. Map. [ca 1:24000]. New York: Walker & Jewett, 1875.

 

In 1870 the agricultural census for the town of Woodstock showed that Lorenzo operated a 90-acre farm that included 80 acres of improved land and 10 acres of woodland. As compared to ten years earlier in 1860 the family farm had increased in size by 15 acres, from 75 acres to 90 acres, and the amount of improved land had increased by 30 acres, from 50 acres to 80 acres. The farm included three horses, two milk cows, six sheep and two swine. The property produced 20 bushels of Indian corn, 10 bushels of oats and 16 bushels of buckwheat. The farm was valued at $1,600 and all farm equipment was valued at $25.

 

For additional insight as the outputs of farms located within of the town of Woodstock below is a summary of some its major agricultural products in 1875: Apples, 21,625 bushels; Potatoes, 12,868 bushels; Oats, 8,360 bushels; Indian corn, 6,962 bushels; Buckwheat, 6,329 bushels; Rye, 6,066 bushels; Winter wheat, 50 bushels; Beans, 21 bushels; Pork made, 91,291 pounds; Butter made, 79,425 pounds; Honey, 3,325 pounds; Maple sugar, 815 pounds; Maple syrup, 242 pounds; Milk sold in market, 2,150 gallons; Cider made, 918 barrels; Hay produced, 4,614 tons.

 

The Short family farm, located near the Little Beaverkill, was considered prime acreage for farming. Alf Evers wrote: “Most prosperous of all the farms [in the town of Woodstock] were those with ample acreage of lowland along the Sawkill and Beaverkill. Here the descendants of early settlers were in possession of the best farmland. The most valuable farms belonged to Lashers, Van Ettens, Vandebogarts, Riseleys, Shorts and a very few others. (Evers, Alf. Woodstock: History of an American Town. New York: The Overlook Press, 1987. p. 358.)

 

The family farm was located in a section of the town of Woodstock then known as Yankeetown. According to an 1858 map of Ulster County by J. H. French, Yankeetown neighbors of the Short family to the east included several members of the Happy family, several of them with their own farms; and neighbors to the west included those with family surnames such as Gulnack, Elting, Cutler, Shultis, Sagendorf, Sickler, Stone, Gardner and Peilman, among others. Also to the east of the Short family farm was the local one-room schoolhouse, district #4, where Lorenzo Short likely received his early education. Several saw mills were in operation along the Little Beaverkill or its tributaries. According to Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester one of the sawmills in operation along a tributary to the Little Beaverkill was operated by the Short family, although which member of the Short family was not identified.

 

In 1874 the South Woodstock Methodist Episcopal Church was constructed adjacent to the schoolhouse. Construction of the church cost $1,525. Presiding officers at the time of incorporation in 1873 included Samuel Cutler and Alfred Gulnack and the trustees included Samuel Cutler, William Shultis, Alfred Gulnack, William Short and David Sagendorf. The pastor in these early days was Reverend C. H. Reynolds.

 

The Yankeetown hamlet, later known as South Woodstock, and now known as Wittenberg, is located southwest from Bearsville near the junction of Route 40 and Route 45. Mount Tobias, at 2,540 feet, is located to the north and Ticetonyk Mountain, at 2,500 feet, is located to the south. The Esopus Creek is located generally to the west, with the hamlet of Mount Tremper situated to the northwest. Today, located within the Wittenberg hamlet is the popular New York state Kenneth L. Wilson Campground and Yankeetown Pond.

 

Bearsville, NY, 1:24,000 quad, 2019, USGSBearsville, NY, 1:24,000 quad, 2019, USGSBearsville, NY, 1:24,000 quad, 2019, USGS.

Map of Yankeetown, home to the Short family farm near Woodstock, Ulster County, New York.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Modern map of the Yankeetown section of the town of Woodstock. 2019. Yankeetown was home to the Short family farm.

United States Geological Survey. Bearsville, NY. Map. [1:24000]. 2019.

 

Although Lorenzo had long moved on to his photographic trade, in 1920, some 47 years after opening his Rondout gallery, he showed some of his farming skills in raising rabbits for sale. “FOR SALE – Raise rabbits in your backyard. The only way to solve the meat question. I furnish thoroughbred, healthy breeding stock: Flemish Giants, Rufus Reds, New Zealands. Lorenzo Short, 7 St. James Court, Kingston, N.Y.” (“For Sale.” Kingston Daily Freeman. May 20, 1920.) In a second advertisement Short announced that he was selling rabbit meat. “FOR SALE – Rabbit meat, either on the hoof or dressed. 30c per pound, live weight. Makes a fine thanksgiving dinner. L. Short, 7 St. James Court.” (“For Sale.” Kingston Daily Freeman. November 17, 1921.)

 

Continued next week . . .

 

Additional Information or Comments

 

If you should have any additional information, comments or corrections about the photographer Lorenzo Short please add a comment to this page, or send me an email using the contact page. Where possible, please include any available references. Thank you.

 


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