Born: June 26, 1897

Died: August 2, 1960

Married: Grace Anna Reisteidt

Adolph F. Shortt was a village trustee in 1932, and a long time member of the Village Planning Board.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, August 3, 1960

Al Shortt Dies Suddenly Prominent S.L. Businessman Struck by Heart Attack Last Evening

A.F. Shortt, 63, who has been instrumental in the development and improvement of Saranac Lake since he came here in 1922, died at his home at 2 Winona Avenue suddenly last night at 11 o'clock.

Mr. Shortt was a member of the original Village Planning Board which was established in 1930. That group was responsible for the establishment of the Saranac Lake Airport and for bringing the Saranac Footwear Corp. here, and had a hand in practically every other important step in the expansion of village economy.

Born in Brooklyn on June 26, 1897, Shortt was the son of Mr. and Mrs. John W. Shortt. He was a graduate electrical engineer of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and worked for the G. G. White Engineering Corp. in New York City before going into the service during World War I. He served in France in the mapping division of the engineer corps of the Army until his health failed and he was discharged.

For a time he was employed by the American Gas and Electric Corporation in New York City but he became ill again in 1922 and he and his wife, the former Grace Anna Reisteidt, came to Saranac Lake at that time. Mrs. Shortt survives him.

In 1930 Mr. Shortt bought the Lakeside Garage, which had the Plymouth-Chrysler franchise, on River Street. He also became associated with the Texaco Company in 1936 and in 1938 bought out the Roswell Sharron distributorship. A heart attack in 1950 made it necessary to curtail his activities so in January of 1951, the garage was sold but Mr. Shortt moved to his present office at Ampersand Avenue, continuing the Texaco business.

In 1951 Mr. Shortt became a member of the Board of Directors of the Adirondack National Bank and when that bank was sold became a member of the advisory board of the Northern New York Trust Company, Adirondack office. He was a member of American Legion Post 447, was Past Exalted ruler of the Elks and Past Master Whiteface Mountain Lodge, FAM.

As a member of the Planning Board he was associated with the late Andrew Callanan, the late George LaPan and Tom Sheridan. With Mr. Callanan he went to Washington D.C. to work for the establishment of the airport.

The Past Exalted Rulers of the Elks will conduct a service tomorrow evening at 8 p.m at the Fortune Funeral Home and there wilI be a Masonic service at 8:45. The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at the Fortune with the Rev. Dr. Lionel Driscoll, pastor of the Methodist Church, officiating. Cremation will take place in Troy.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, August 4, 1960


For the very apt title of these paragraphs we are indebted to Gordon Partridge. This was his comment after he heard the news that Al Shortt had died suddenly of a heart attack Tuesday evening.

"Stout" in this phrase connotes solid, substantial in the sense of having substance, reliable. All of these things Al Shortt was.

It was never our privilege to have an intimate personal relationship with him. Perhaps, in the few short years of our acquaintance, this lack of intimacy may give us a bit more perspective, or maybe only a little different perspective.

We always thought of Al Shortt as the fellow to see if you really wanted something done in this community of Saranac Lake. He was the "follow-through guy," as well as the "take-charge guy."

His accomplishments were due to a number of factors. In the first place he had both instinct and knowledge, instinct as to whether the particular idea in question was feasible or crack-pot, and knowledge of the community's economics and of business and of the people who lived here. While he was always open to new ideas which would benefit the community, he was just as frank in telling you that you were on the wrong track and to forget it.

In the second place, Al Shortt had "know-how", that valuable quality which only in the last decade or so has been given such an appropriate and such an American expression. He knew whom to see and what to say to him; he also knew whom not to see and what not to say. In this best sense of the word, he was an "operator".

Finally, Al Shortt had what so many of us, whether we have good ideas or bad ones or no ideas at all, spectacularly lack: drive. He was persistent, consistent, stubborn, dogged. If he thought a project was worth the effort, he would stay with it until it was either accomplished or all possibility of its accomplishment had been exhausted.

* * *

Al Shortt (we never quite understood the ethnic significance, if any, of that extra "t" which always reminded us of the former homerun king, Jimmie "Double X" Foxx) was a successful businessman. That success was of interest to him and to his wife and friends. But in addition, he had a hobby. It was his hobby that was of special interest to the rest of us.

Al's hobby was Saranac Lake: its economic growth, its looks, its facilities, its people. Having no children of his own, he made all of us his wards, objects of his particular concern.

During the seven years of our residence here, it would be impossible to know all the community projects to which Al Shortt contributed his time, his energy, his brains and often his money. Among his major efforts were the airport and the footwear factory as reported yesterday.

But it was fitting indeed that one of the last projects which he saw to its completion was then given the name of his longtime friend and associate, George LaPan. The project was in many ways, typical of Al Shortt's efforts: it was a major project; it was confronted with many obstacles and took a long time; it was successful.

With the passing of George LaPan and Al Shortt— a kind of two-man team—his community is largely bereft. It is hardly enough to suggest that Al, like George before him, will be sorely missed. It is not even enough to say that we appreciated all he did for the community or that we express condolences to Mrs. Shortt who has been ill for so long.

Far more important is that we take cognizance of the fact that there is now a gaping hole left in our community life, that this hole cannot [ ] be filled, and that it is the task of those of us who remain to fill that hole inspired by the example that the George LaPans and the Al Shortts set for us.

[A final paragraph is illegible]