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Robert Valentine Short
Birth: Mar. 31, 1823
Fairview Heights
Allegheny County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Sep. 7, 1908
Multnomah County
Oregon, USA

Robert was the son of James and Eleanor (McFarland) Short, natives of the Keystone state. In 1824, the family removed to a point within the present limits of Ashland county, Ohio, where his parents both died, his father was born Dec. 31, 1786 in Allegheny County, PA and died Feb. 19, 1861 in Ashland County, Ohio.

1. Lemuel Short b. 1815 PA
2. Alivina Short b. 1818 PA
3. Thomas Short b. 1820 PA
4. James McFarland Short
5. Marshall Short
6. Lillis Ann (Short) Brown
7. Mary Jane (Short) Woods
8. John N Short
9. David R Short
10. Elizabeth (Short) Finney


Sept. 9, 1908; Oregonian, p 16
"Oregon Pioneer's Life Story Ends"

Robert Valentine Short, who surveyed the town of Portland and made the first map of the city, and who was a member of the Oregon Constitutional Convention and a pioneer of 1847, died at his home, 1220 East Salmon street, Monday night, after an illness of several months.

Mr. Short lived in retirement in Portland for a number of years. He was not only the oldest surveyor, but he was a man who had participated in nearly all the important events of pioneer days of the Oregon country. Since 1875 a diary, kept with fidelity and care, reflects his temper, sturdy character and systematic methods.

For several years Mr. Short had been in failing health, and for seven months he was confined to his home. The funeral will be held from Dunning's undertaking chapel, 414 East Alder street, at 2 P.M. today, and the interment will be in Multnomah Cemetery. He was 85 years old, and is survived by the following children: Captain W. P. Short, Captain S. V. Short, Mrs. Evangeline S. Shaw, of Portland; Mrs. Alvina S. Merrithew, Gresham, Or.; Mrs. Lillie A. Dygert, of San Francisco, Cal.; Mrs. Juliette G. Tooze, of Gladstone, Or.

A short time ago Mr. Short, anticipating that he had but a short time to live, dictated to his son an account of his life. The first part of the sketch deals with his career, before he started across the plains with Joseph C. Geer. He came to Oregon in the company commanded by General Joel Palmer. Following is the account that pertains to his life in Oregon:

On February 17, 1847, I started overland once more across Indiana for a farewell visit to my father in Ohio and my boyhood home in Pennsylvania. April 3, 1847, I took passage on the steamer Planet for Cincinnati. From Cincinnati I went by boat to St. Joseph, where I met Joseph C. Geer, for whom I had agreed to drive an ox-team across the plains that Summer. May 7, 1847, we crossed the Missouri River and then made up our immigrant train, General Joel Palmer being chosen captain. On November 7, 1847, I arrived at Oregon City, being just six months making the trip. I immediately opened a tailor shop in Oregon City in the meantime with two others, Albion Post and Heman Geer, late of Cove. The father of T. T. Geer built a shop, Post being a harness maker and Geer a shoemaker.

On the 19th of February, 1848, I married Mary Geer, a sister of Heman Geer. On March 2, 1849, I started for California, for the goldl mines, meeting Joseph Lane, then appointed Governor for Oregon Territory, with others, in a canoe at the Clackamas Rapids. I went on board a sailing vessel at the mouth of the Willamette River and landed in San Francisco March 14. Thence I went by rowboat to Sacramento City, which then had but one wooden building in it. March 29, 1849, I paid $200 for an Indian pony and started for the gold fields, reaching Spanish Bar April 14, and mined there until July 8 and then left for home. I remained in San Francisco eight days and helped to organize the first vigilance committee on the Pacific Coast, old Captain Priest being elected captain.

Returning to Oregon, I arrived at Astoria August 7 on the brig Mary Ellen. In July, 1850, I surveyed the town of Portland and made the first plat that was put on record and from which two copies were made by Brady, of San Francisco, being known as the Brady map. I bought a lot 50x100 on the southwest corner of Third and Washington streets, where the Dekum building now stands, and built a one-story frame house with brick chimney, and then moved to Oregon City. I bought an interest in the first steam sawmill that was built on the Pacific Coast, which was constructed by Stephen Coffin and W. P. Abrams.

In 1851 I moved on a donation land claim in Yamhill County and later was appointed captain of militia and organized a company in Chehalem Valley to assist in the Indian wars. In 1855 I was elected first County Surveyor of Yamhill County and also Justice of the Peace. In 1857 I was elected member of the constitutional convention. The Legislature detached a portion of Yamhill County and annexed the same to Clackamas, leaving my residence in the latter county.

In 1862 I was elected Assessor of Clackamas County for a term of two years, and in 1888 I was elected to the Legislature from the same county. In 1891, having sold the farm, I purchased a suburban home in Portland and retired from active life.
Family links: 
  James Short (1786 - 1861)
  Eleanor McFarland Short (1790 - 1825)
  Mary Geer Short (1830 - 1899)
  Alvina S Short Merrithew (1850 - 1919)*
  William Penn Short (1852 - 1938)*
  Sherman Valentine Short (1856 - 1915)*
  Mary Elanor Short (1860 - 1862)*
  Lillie Ann Short Dygert (1863 - 1938)*
  Marshall B Short (1866 - 1892)*
  Juliette G. Short Tooze (1867 - 1953)*
  Evangeline S Short Shaw (1870 - 1964)*
  Orra Loleta Short (1874 - 1875)*
  Lemuel Short (1819 - 1895)*
  Robert Valentine Short (1823 - 1908)
  James McFarland Short (1825 - 1840)*
  Marshall Short (1826 - 1909)**
  Lillis Ann Short Brown (1828 - 1899)**
  Mary Jane Short Woods (1830 - 1897)**
  John N Short (1833 - 1847)**
  David R Short (1835 - 1908)**
  Elizabeth Short Finney (1841 - 1916)**
*Calculated relationship
Multnomah Park Cemetery
Multnomah County
Oregon, USA
Plot: Section D, Lot 26, Grave 2
Created by: Owlisnapp
Record added: May 05, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 26628133
Robert Valentine Short
Added by: Owlisnapp
Robert Valentine Short
Added by: Invenio Sepulchrum
Robert Valentine Short
Added by: David Anderson
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- Sherry Hess
 Added: Sep. 19, 2012
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