Byron Elliott Short
Born on December 29, 1901 in Putnam, Byron Elliott Short was a member of the illustrious DHS Class of 1919. His father was Elder Samuel Washington Sharp (1873-1956) and his mother Florence Gertrude Sublett Short (1872-1958) both of whom are buried in the main De Leon cemetery. He attended elementary grades in Scranton and Sagerton and then De Leon.
His father operated a blacksmith shop in De Leon where Byron and his brother Allan worked. In 1921, Byron enrolled at the University of Texas. He earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1926 followed by his M.A. in 1930. That same year, he also married Mary Jo Fitzgerald, a 1930 graduate of UT.
As an Adjunct Professor, he began teaching thermodynamics at UT in 1929 and continued until 1935 when he received a teaching fellowship at Cornell University. He returned to UT as an Associate Professor before again going to Cornell where he earned a second Masters and in 1939 his Doctorate. Between 1926 and 1930 he was a power engineer for Texaco, Inc. in the summers.
He served as Chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering on two separate occasions and was Acting Dean of the College of Engineering from 1948-1949 while Dean Woolrich was serving as the science attache to the US Embassy in London. He chaired the University of Texas Athletic Council from 1945 until 1948
Upon his retirement in 1973 he was named Professor Emeritus. He became a member of the Order of the Engineer in 1992. The Byron E. Short Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Mechanical Engineering was established at the University of Texas by the University Board of Regents on June 10, 1993 and was funded by the Mechanical Engineering Class of 1940 in his honor. The Regents later established the Byron E. Short Lectureship in Mechanical Engineering on August 10, 1984. He was named an Outstanding Alumnus of the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1995 and a Distinguished Graduate of the University of Texas College of Engineering in 1997.
He was a Fellow and Life member of both ASME and ASHRAE and a member of Tau Beta Pi, Pi Tau Sigma, Sigma Pi and Phi Kappa Phi all at the University of Texas.
He was the author of six books, numerous published research papers and held a patent. His son Byron E. Short Jr. also holds numerous patents.
He died October 31, 1996 at the age of 94. He along with another De Leonian, Texas Supreme Court Justice Zollie Steakley were members of the First Baptist Church of Austin. He is buried in Austin Memorial Park