The Infamous "Shorty" Jones

Shamokin Cemetery, the final resting place of Shorty Jones

During the late 19th century, farmers in northern Dauphin County were terrorized by a gang of mountain-dwelling bandits led by the colorful Thomas Frohm, better known as "Shorty" Jones. Shorty was killed in a shootout with a vigilante posse on the third of September in 1900, and here, from the September 13, 1900 edition of the Middleburgh Post, is the story of Shorty's last stand:

Thomas Frohm, alias "Shorty" Jones, of Sunbury, a member of the band of robbers who shot and seriously wounded Lafayette Strayer and Frank Grim, farmers, last Friday night near Elizabethville, was shot and killed on Berry's Mountain by a posse of Dauphin county farmers. Frohm was detected by Harry Stine, of Elizabethville, hiding behind a log on the mountainside, and was ordered to surrender. He refused, and fired eight shots from two revolvers at Stine, none of which took effect.

A posse was quickly organized, and the alleged robber was soon surrounded by a great crowd of armed and determined men. He again refused to surrender and fired several shots at the party. The farmers opened fire on Frohm in every direction, literally riddling him with bullets from head to foot. He fell in his tracks and died soon after.

Frohm was 38 years old, and formerly lived at Shamokin. He is alleged to have been the head of a trio of robbers who have been terrorizing the farmers in the vicinity of Elizabethville for some time. One of his companions, Frank Venaski, was arrested Saturday and is in jail here awaiting the result of injuries of Strayer and Grim. The posse is scouring the mountains for "Whitey" Streusser, the other member of the party.


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