29. September 2012 · Comments Off on ABERNATHY, John Matthews · Categories: Biographies · Tags: , , , , ,

JOHN MATTHEWS ABERNATHY. One of the prominent young attorneys at the Giles county bar is John Matthews Abernathy, a descendant of an old and honored American family, who was born the 21st of September, 1890. His great-great-great-grandfather on the maternal side was Captain Thomas Short, captain of the Virginia militia during the Revolutionary war; his great-great-grandparents were John and Susanne (Short) Lee; his great-grandparents were Benjamin and Frances (Lee) Franklin; and his grandparents were Newton and Dorothy (Franklin) Eslick. His parents are Jerome Clayton and Elizabeth (Eslick) Abernathy. On the paternal side his grandparents were Alfred Harris and Elizabeth (Butler) Abernathy, natives of Giles county, of whom more extended mention is given on another page of this work.

When attaining school age John Matthews Abernathy attended the public schools of Giles county and then entered the Abernathy Preparatory School. Upon the completion of his literary course he entered the West Point Military Academy in 1912 and later became a student in Cumberland University at Lebanon, from which institution he received the LL. B. degree in 1920. He was a teacher of the high school in Pulaski from 1910 to 1914 and he was principal of the high school at Forrest City, Arkansas, from 1914 to 1917.

On the 8th of May, 1917, John Matthews Abernathy put all personal interests aside and enlisted in the United States army for service in the World war. He entered the Officers’ Training Camp at Fort Logan H. Roots, near Little Rock, Arkansas, and was commissioned a second lieutenant on the 15th of August and sent to Camp McArthur, Waco, Texas. There he was assigned to the One Hundred and Twenty-first Field Artillery, Thirty-second Division, and was transferred to the One Hundred and Nine-teenth Field Artillery, same division, and later sent to Camp Sevier to the One Hundred and Fifteenth Field Artillery, Thirtieth Division. Subsequently he went to Camp Dix, New Jersey, where he was attached to the Three Hundred and Third Signal Battalion and transferred to the Three Hundred and Third Train Headquarters and Military Police. He sailed overseas on the 27th of May, 1918, and landed at Liverpool, England. He then moved to Southampton and crossed the channel to Le Havre, France, where he was stationed until sent to the British area around St. Omer. He remained there three months, at the termination of which time he returned to the American army in the Toul sector and was placed in command of Company A, Three Hundred and Third Military Police, participating in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne drives in September and October, 1918, remaining in command until the 11th of July, 1919. On the 24th of February, 1919, he was promoted to a first lieutenancy and a short time later sailed for home, arriving in Brooklyn, New York, on the 6th of July, 1919. He received his honorable discharge the latter part of the month from Camp Dix and immediately returned to Pulaski.

After the World war Mr. Abernathy studied law and was admitted to the bar immediately. He began practice in Pulaski, and is enjoying a growing practice, having already attained a well-merited position in his profession. Politically Mr. Abernathy gives his allegiance to the democratic party and he is actively interested in party affairs. Fraternally he is identified with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Masonic Order, the Junior Order of United American Mechanics, and the Exchange Club. His religious faith is that of the Methodist church. Along strictly professional lines he holds membership in the Pulaski Bar Association and he is identified with the American Legion and the Sons of the American Revolution. Mr. Abernathy was a member of the textbook commission of St. Francis county, Arkansas, in 1916. He has achieved success in every undertaking and he enjoys the confidence and esteem of all who know him. (Tennessee, The Volunteer State, 1769-1923, Vol. 3, John Trotwood Moore and Austin P. Foster, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1923)

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