The Shorter Cemetery is the family cemetery of General Reuben Shorter, and his son, John Gill Shorter, Governor of Alabama during the War Between the States. It contains the graves of numerous members of the Shorter family as well as the graves of the Shorter’s slaves and servants.
The cemetery, with its several acres of surrounding property, is located on a beautiful site atop a high bluff overlooking Lake Eufaula. The bluff was the home to the early settlers of Eufaula in the 1830s and 1840s including the Shorters. The site has many majestic, moss filled, cathedral like oak trees, many of which were there when the Shorters lived on the site.
General Ruben Shorter and his wife Mary Butler Gill Shorter settled on this property in 1837 which at the time contained approximately 100 acres. The property was the Shorter “home place”, not the Shorter plantation. General Shorter owned thousands of acres of rich cotton land on both sides of the Chattahoochee River between Eufaula and Columbus, GA.
General and Mrs. Shorter had thirteen children. Within four years after setting on the property, the Shorters had buried three of their children and a 23 year old son-in-law here. Seven of the Shorter’s children are buried here, five of whom died young and seven young grandchildren are buried here. The earliest burial in the cemetery is from 1839.
By the 1850s the settlers on the bluff were figuring out that the water borne diseases: typhoid, diphtheria, yellow fever, etc. was killing off many of the people who lived here close to the river. This resulted in a migration of the settlers to what is now downtown Eufaula and up onto what became known as “College Hill” where Kendall Manor and Fendall Hall are located.
However, even after the death of General Shorter in 1853, the Shorters stayed on the property. The property was inherited by one of General Shorter’s sons, Eli Sims Shorter, Sr. who was a United States Congressman. Eli was the brother of Governor John Gill Shorter. After the death of Congressman Shorter in 1879, his son Eli Sims Shorter, Jr. inherited the property and eventually moved to downtown Eufaula after building Shorter Mansion. Visit our Shorter Mansion page to learn more.
After leaving the bluff Eli Shorter, Jr. sold the surrounding property to Robert H. Moulthrop but retained ownership of the five acres on which the cemetery is located (visit our Moulthrop House page to learn more). Even after leaving the bluff, the Shorters and their servants continued to use the cemetery. The last Shorter family member buried in the cemetery is Governor Shorter’s daughter Mollie who died in 1922.