The First Blacksmith Shop

Location: On Lick Fork of the Pound on the Pound-Dewey road, 
opposite the Creed Dorton place.

Date: 1845

Description: Consisted of anvil, hammer and tongs and bellows homemade from cow hide. Building was low one-room log structure.

History: Daniel Henry Short was born in North Carolina in 1810 or 1811, a son of William and Mary Short. His parents moved to Kentucky while he was still in infancy, and about 1820 crossed back into Virginia and settled on head of Pound River. Here Dan grew to manhood. He married Leah Baker, also a native of North Carolina, and settled at what is known as the Creed Dorton place just below the village of Dewey. It is believed that Daniel H. Short was the first man to establish a blacksmith shop and made a business of smithing in Wise County. Prior to that time settlers hammered out tools and sharpened and dressed tools at home. Short's shop was established about 1845, probably as early as 1840, and he operated it continuously until his death in 1890, serving a large territory. The only signs of the shop today are the foundation stones of the building and the fire place, and the ash dump at back of where the building stood.
     Daniel Henry Short was a very prominent man in the affairs of Wise County. Prior to the formation of the county he was elected a justice of the peace, and when the new county (Wise) was organized in 1856, his district being in the new county, he was one of the justices who organized the county and held the first court. He was reelected and served as a justice until his death. He wrote all deeds and other public papers for the entire upper Pound country and many of the settlers, being unable to read and write, would come to "Squire
Dan" to have letters written to their friends and kindred and to have letters they had received read to them.
     One day in the summer of 1890, he asked his grandson to climb up in a tall apple tree and cut out some limbs which hung down knocking off the view of the road in front of his house. He was standing under the tree looking up at the boy, giving him instructions, when suddenly he fell forward and was dead within ten minutes.

Source of Information: C. F. Dorton and Mrs. David Maggard.


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