Lot # : 75
Plot # : 3
Oct. 22, 1892
Oct. 24, 1892
|Notes: Son of pioneers, Robert Valentine Short and
Mary Geer Short. Steam boat captain on the
Willamette. Lost his life in shipwreck on the
Columbia. See news article below.
Notes: Age: 26 Yrs., 5 Mos., 16
Days Nativity: Oregon
News Article (probably the Oregonian): ON
DUTY TO THE END
The Barge Columbia Wrecked and Two Lives Lost
The following is a correct account
of one of the most distressing accidents that has taken
place for some time in the boating line. It was
the wrecking of the barge Columbia at Astoria last
Saturday morning by which Captain Marshall B. Short, one
of the best known men on the river, lost his life,
together with one of his deck hands. The barge,
loaded with wheat, had just been towed down the river to
Astoria by the steamer Ocklahama, of which Captain Short
was master. In making the landing the barge ran
against the wharf, injuring her bow and making a hole
through which considerable water entered her hold.
She was made fast to the wharf, and Captain Short,
together with several others, went into her hold to
ascertain the extent of the damage. A bulkhead was
built around the leak with sacks of wheat and boards,
and while this work was going on the barge began to list
The men below were warned of their danger, as the barge
was a round bottomed one and easily listed to either
side by shifting a very small part of her cargo.
The barge settled slowly until she rested on the bottom,
when she began to roll considerably. All the men
except Captain Short and August Peterson, a deck hand,
realizing their danger, left the hold and came on deck.
The two latter had started, and Captain Short was almost
out of the hatchway, when the barge gave a sudden lurch,
bringing down the wheat, which was piled eight sacks
high about the hatchway, in an overwhelming torrent.
The unfortunate man gave one cry, and then a confused
mass of sacks and broken timbers sank from sight,
carrying with it what was now no longer the fearless
young captain, but only a crushed and lifeless human
Despite the utmost efforts the body was not recovered
until 9 o'clock in the morning, nearly six hours after
the accident. As soon as the tide went out
Saturday evening the body of Peterson was recovered from
the hold, where he had met death either by suffocation
or drowning, as he was found still clinging to a beam
where he had endeavored to keep above the surface of the
The body of Captain Short arrived in this city Sunday
morning on the steamer R. R. Thompson and was conveyed
to his home on Market street, between Second and Third.
Here a large number of friends of the deceased captain
paid visits of respect, among them being a delegation
from Willamette harbor of pilots, who came in a body to
pay their last tributes to the memory of the departed.
One of the many floral offerings was a handsome piece
representing a broken wheel, presented by the crews of
the steamers Ocklahama and Bonita.
On Monday morning the remains were taken on board the
steamer Modoc and conveyed to Wilsonville, Clackamas
Co., accompanied by a large number of relatives and
friends. From there one of the largest funeral
corteges ever witnessed in that section followed the
body to its final resting place in the family lot in
Pleasant Hill cemetery. Here a most touching
Spiritual burial service was held, conducted by
President Brown of the First Spiritual society of
Portland, and Mrs. Flora Brown.
While the grave was being filled the flag of the
Ocklahama, which had covered the casket of its departed
master on the up-river voyage, was held at half-mast by
Captains Patterson and Pope, and when the sad task was
finished the grave was completely covered with flowers.
Captain Marshall B. Short was aged 26 years, 5 months
and 16 days at the time of his death. He was one
of the youngest captains on the river, and was known and
liked by the river men. He has been in the employ
of the Union Pacific company for six years, and was mate
on the steamers Lurline and Bonita for nearly three
years. Last August he took out captain's papers,
and was soon assigned as master of the towboat
Ocklahama, the largest and best towboat on the river.
He was generally regarded as a careful and competent
master, and was in the midst of duty when death overtook
him. He had been married less than three years,
and leaves a wife, parents and six brothers and sisters
to mourn his loss, his two remaining brothers being both
captains. He was the youngest son of Hon. R. V.
and Mary Short, Oregon pioneers of 1847.
monument and double plinth on a sandstone base
||Has fallen previously;
was repaired and secured in 5/08. Top is missing; monument has corner and bottom chips; base has trimmer damage.
||Clear, but worn; legibility reduced due to lichen; SHORT is on the plinth in relief
||Lilies with ribbon at top of four sides plus ivy band at bottom of monument
|Inscriptions, West face:
OCT. 22, 1892
R.V. & MARY G.
26 YR. 5 MS.