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Einar Olaf Thorin was born on the 14th of September, 1913 in Hills, Rock county, Minnesota. He was the ninth of ten children born to the Swedish immigrant farmer, Joseph Arvid Thorin, and his Norwegian immigrant wife, Matilda Dahl. He would go on to live to the age of 90½, outliving even his one younger sibling, Alice Marie Thorin, who died 30 years earlier.

Einar never married but worked on the family cattle farm with his brothers all his life. Their cattle farm operation was known as “Thorin Bros.” and was locally renowned for its ability to feed and produce high-grade cattle. The farm was located just outside of Hills, where Einar was born; he never lived in any other location and even “dodged the bullet” of mandatory military service through his young years during World War Two and other conflicts.

Einar’s nickname, “Shorty,” was attached to him from a young age. In the late 19th century to the early 20th century, families received ice via an “ice man” who would travel from home to home and from farm to farm delivering large blocks of ice to the family freezers. In Hills during the late 1910’s, the local ice man went by the nickname of “Shorty.” He would pull a large wagon of ice while wearing his bowler hat from house to house. When he’d approach the Thorin farm, Einar would quickly grab his toy wagon and put on a bowler hat to await the arrival of Shorty, the ice man. When Shorty arrived, Einar would pull the his wagon behind the real ice wagon, and the family would call out, “Hello, Shorty!” From those early days onward, Einar would be known to all as “Shorty.”

Shorty 1958
Top image: Shorty at age 25 in 1938; Above: Shorty at age 45 in 1958.