McCaffree-Short Title Company

History of the Company

The McCaffree-Short Title Company can trace its roots to 1857, making it the oldest continuously operating abstract and title company in the state of Kansas.  The company was founded by Samuel F. Atwood, a “conveyancer” and real estate agent.  In addition to being an abstracter, Mr. Atwood spent some time in the military around 1862 to 1863, but was primarily a businessman in Leavenworth for most of his adult life until his death in 1886. 

Upon Atwood’s death in 1886, Harold C. Short, purportedly one of Mr. Atwood’s employees, bought the abstract books from S. F. Atwood’s successors, Mr. Ritchey and Mr. McNutt.  He also purchased the abstracts from the N. H. Wood & Company, and Spaulding and Bowen Abstracters and consolidated them into one business—Harold C. Short Abstracts.  Harold operated out of the Manufacturers National Bank building which was located at the NW corner of Fourth and Delaware Streets in Leavenworth.

Mr. Short began his education as an abstractor by accompanying his father, a government surveyor, on surveying expeditions throughout Kansas.  While on one of these trips in 1874, his father, Oliver, and his brother, Truman, were killed by Indians.  It is reported that Mr. Short crossed the Oregon Trail twice between 1880 and 1882 and that he spent some time traveling and working in the West before returning to Leavenworth around 1885.  In addition to abstracting, Mr. Short was engaged in the real estate and finance businesses as well as serving as a County Commissioner for twenty-four years.  It has been reported that Harold C. Short had the oldest set of abstract books in Leavenworth County.  Harold C. Short died January 16, 1951.

Prior to Harold Short’s death, the management and ownership of the abstracting company transferred to his protégé and son, Albert.  In the 1930’s, the business name was changed to A.L Short Abstract Company and was located at 309 South Fourth Street.  Albert Short continued to run the business until it was purchased by Sam McCaffree in 1970—at that time, the name of the company was changed to McCaffree-Short Title Company. 

The McCaffree-Short Title Company has expanded its operations by opening additional locations as well as launching the “Smarter Closings” service, which provides customers with the convenient option of closing transactions in locations all around the Kansas City metropolitan area.  McCaffree-Short Title Company embraces its long, rich history while still remaining committed to pursuing new and innovative ways to provide our customers with the highest level of service.