Colonel James Logan Abernathy

Colonel James Logan Abernathy

Male 1833 - 1902  (69 years)

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  • Name Colonel James Logan Abernathy 
    Title Colonel 
    Born 20 Mar 1833  Warren County, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 16 Dec 1902  Leavenworth, Leavenworth County, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Mt Muncie Cemetery Lansing, Leavenworth County, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I543664092  Abernathy, William and Sarah Samuels
    Last Modified 2 Dec 2013 

    Father John Abernathy,   b. 14 Jan 1789, Rockbridge County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Apr 1861, Rush County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years) 
    Mother Lavinia Logan,   b. 13 Jun 1801, Augusta County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Aug 1885, Henry County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years) 
    Married 17 Apr 1823  Augusta County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 

    • Virginia, Marriages, 1740-1850 about John Abernathy
      Name: John Abernathy
      Gender: Male
      Spouse Name: Lavinia Logan
      Spouse Gender: Female
      Marriage Date: 17 Apr 1823
      County: Augusta
      State: Virginia
    Family ID F7557276509  Group Sheet

    Family Elizabeth Martin,   b. 21 Sep 1835, Hamilton County, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Sep 1926, Leavenworth County, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 91 years) 
    Married 4 Apr 1840  Parke County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Franklin Abernathy,   b. Unknown,   d. Unknown, Died in Infancy Find all individuals with events at this location
    +2. William Martin Abernathy,   b. 5 Jun 1860, Leavenworth County, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1911  (Age 50 years)
     3. Walter Logan Abernathy,   b. 11 Mar 1862, Leavenworth County, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Aug 1951, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89 years)
    +4. Harry Thomas Abernathy,   b. 23 May 1865, Leavenworth County, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Sep 1948, Missouri Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years)
     5. May Abernathy,   b. Abt 1865, Leavenworth County, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location
    +6. Omar Abernathy,   b. 6 Jan 1869, Leavenworth County, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location
    +7. Cora Abernathy,   b. Abt 1872, Leavenworth County, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 1 Dec 2013 
    Family ID F517754617  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 20 Mar 1833 - Warren County, Ohio Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 4 Apr 1840 - Parke County, Indiana Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 16 Dec 1902 - Leavenworth, Leavenworth County, Kansas Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Mt Muncie Cemetery Lansing, Leavenworth County, Kansas Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Abernathy Furniture Company
    Abernathy Furniture Company
    Founded by James, John and William Abernathy

  • Notes 
    • 1850 Census Center, Rush, Indiana as James L ABERNATHY
      1870 Census Leavenworth Ward 2, Leavenworth, Kansas as J L ABERNATH
      1880 Census Leavenworth, Leavenworth, Kansas as James ABERNATHY; states born in Indiana
    • Col. James L. Abernathy. For nearly a half century one of the conspicuous figures in Kansas history was the late James L. Abernathy, whose name is inseparably interwoven with the material prosperity of Leavenworth, to which he came in 1856, when it was but a frontier town. He was born in Warren County, Ohio, March 20, 1833. In early manhood he accompanied his parents in their removal to Rush County, Indiana, and at Rushville, the county seat, embarked in mercantile pursuits.

      In the early '50s the great West, then represented by the vast unsettled territory west of the Missouri River, seemed to possess glamour and fascination for the adventurous spirit of American youth, and it found lodgment in the mind of young Abernathy. In 1856 the contention of the free soil and proslavery factions for possession of Kansas soil, and the notable public debates of the time, had focused attention on this section of the country. This may have had something to do with Mr. Abernathy's choice of Leavenworth as a home. Undoubtedly he was attracted by the business possibilities of the place, for it was full of bustle and enterprise, a frontier forwarding point for the rapidly increasing population. He was accompanied by his brother, William, and together they embarked in the retail furniture business, in a small way beginning the manufacture of furniture, and this was the beginning of one of the greatest of Leavenworth's industries. It had already assumed large proportions when grim civil war threatened the disruption of the Union.

      Mr. Abernathy had taken a strong attitude against the pro-slavery factions and had voted for Abraham Lincoln. It is believed that he recruited the second Kansas company for the war and later he was commissioned captain of Company K Eighth Kansas Volunteer Infantry, and was in command of his company on its forced march from Fort Scott, in the dead of winter, to the beleagued, isolated post of Fort Kearney, in Western Nebraska. Still later he served all through the Cumberland Valley campaign, and was a participant in the Battle of Chickamauga. When peace was declared he laid aside the sword and again resumed the peaceful pursuits of commerce at Leavenworth.

      While his brother was serving his country, William Abernathy had become interested in a wholesale and retail furniture business at Kansas City, under the firm name of Woods & Abernathy, and Colonel Abernathy became connected with this concern, and in 1869, upon his brother's death, succeeded to his interest. About this time he also became associated in the firm of Abernathy, North & Orrison, and later, as a silent partner, in its successor, the firm of North, Orrison & Co. For business reasons, and to separate the wholesale from the retail trade, other affiliated concerns grew up, such as the J. H. North Furniture & Carpet Company, and its successor, the Duff & Repp Furniture Company. The manufacturing and jobbing departments at Leavenworth, in the meantime, had grown to gigantic proportions and expansion continued.

      Colonel Abernathy was active and seemingly untiring in many directions. He was gifted with a keen business acumen which was the potent reason for the wonderful success that attended his various investments. As time passed he became connected with numerous enterprises at Leavenworth. His abundant, tireless energy prevented him from taking life easy and found relief in many useful ways. In 1886 he was one of the organizers of the First National Bank of Kansas City, of which he was director, vice president and president. He served as mayor of Leavenworth for three years, having been elected in 1873, on the citizens' ticket. As a commissioner of the metropolitan police board, by appointment of Governor Humphrey, he was one of the first to attempt the enforcement of the new prohibition liquor laws. He was interested financially, officially or otherwise, in many enterprises in and about Leavenworth, all contributive to her growth and progress and to the furthering of her good name, of which he was jealously proud. After the close of the Civil war he was one of the commissioners named to locate the Kansas soldier's monument in Chickamauga Park.

      In 1859 Colonel Abernathy was married to Elizabeth Martin, and a family of six children was born to them, namely: Frank, who died in infancy; William M., Walter L., Harry T., Omar and Cora, who is the wife of Dr. A. G. Hull.

      Colonel Abernathy was a commanding figure physically, six feet in height and of dignified presence. Mentally he was a giant, and in every sense was well fitted to be a leader in whatever he undertook or wherever he might reside. He possessed the ability to grapple successfully with large propositions, to carry on big enterprises while at the same time was able to note details. Beyond most men, he had the power of concentration, caught an idea in a flash and was quick of decision. Notwithstanding the many honors of which he was the recipient, and of a business success that was quite unusual, he was a man of simple tastes, of unostentatious manner, although he was ever ready to defend his convictions if he believed them to be right, and once his opinion was formed, he pursued the course laid down, regardless of what public opinion might be.

      Colonel Abernathy's personality, as his friends knew it, was charming, for with all his strength of character there was a strain of courteous gentleness that made him beloved by his associates and esteemed as well as respected by the entire business community. This was particularly exemplified in his home life, and at his own fireside he was at his best, irradiating sympathy, appreciation, generosity and loving kindness. The business house of which he was the head for so many years always sustained a reputation for enterprise, honorable methods, generosity to competitors and to its many patrons. Colonel Abernathy died December 16, 1902.

    • Western Life Newspaper Name Index, 1900-02 about J. L. (Col.) Abernathy
      Name: J. L. (Col.) Abernathy
      Print Date: 18 Dec 1902
      Event: Death
      Place: Leavenworth
      Notes: at daughters home Tuesday

    • Kansas Civil War Soldiers about Abernathy, James L.
      Name: Abernathy, James L.
      Rank: Captain
      Company: A
      Residence: Leavenworth
      Date Mustr: 28 Aug 1861
      Remarks: Promoted Lieutenant Colonel Nov. 1, 1862

    • U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 about James L Abernathy
      Name: James L Abernathy
      Residence: Kansas
      Rank at enlistment: LieutenantColonelonel
      State Served: Kansas
      Survived the War?: Yes
      Service Record: Commissioned an officer in Company S, Kansas 8th Infantry Regiment on 01 Nov 1862.Mustered out on 08 Nov 1863.
      Sources: Report of the Adjutant General of the State of KansasUnion Blue: History of MOLLUSNational Archives: Index to Federal Pension Records

    • U.S., Returns from Military Posts, 1806-1916 about J L Abernathy
      Name: J L Abernathy
      Post Name: Leavenworth
      Post Location: Kansas
      Post Commander: John T Burris
      Military Place: Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Territory
      Return Period: Aug 1862

    • Leavenworth County, Kansas Deaths, 1891-1911 about Jas. L. Abernathy
      Name: Jas. L. Abernathy
      Cemetery: Mt. Muncie
      Sex: D
      Race: White
      Death: 15 Dec 1902
      Page #: 1
      Card: 4125-02
    • From Kansapedia, Kansas Historical Society

      One of the Kansas' earliest and most successful businesses was the furniture company established in 1856 by James Abernathy and siblings William and John. Abernathy Brothers Furniture of Leavenworth became a highly visible regional business that lasted nearly a century.

      James Abernathy was the most prominent of the three brothers, apparently made successful by personal ambition and (like others of his generation) service in the Civil War. Born in 1833 in Warren County, Ohio, he settled in Leavenworth in 1856. James and brother William opened a retail furniture business in the thriving city on the Kansas side of the Missouri River.

      During the Civil War, James became captain of a company of the Eighth Kansas Volunteer Infantry, eventually rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. William expanded the business during the war, operating a wholesale and retail furniture store in Kansas City. James took control of William's interests when the latter died in 1869. Brother John also became a partner, although the dates of his involvement are unclear.

      James clearly dominated the business. In addition to the furniture operation, he was involved in banking and insurance, served as mayor of Leavenworth, and was on the committee to place Kansas monuments on Civil War battlefields at Chattanooga and Chickamauga. He died in Leavenworth in 1902.

      Abernathy Brothers continued to operate its plants at Leavenworth into the 1940s, and in the West Bottoms of Kansas City into the early 1950s. Buildings from both plants still stand today. The furniture manufactured by the Abernathy plants is of good quality and serviceable, although not particularly innovative.

      The Kansas Museum of History collections include a few pieces of Abernathy furniture:

      Oak sofa bed in the Mission style (top, right). View the mattress and the patent plate. Purchased by the Cinzell family of McLouth in 1918, and later used in the offices of Jay Cross Masonry, also of McLouth, before being donated in 1984.
      Maple crib that held the infant daughter of Dr. F.N. and Edna Stephens of Parsons in 1937. Virginia Stephens Peak later donated her childhood crib to the museum.
      Office chair dating from the early 20th century. Originally purchased by the LaRosh family and later used by LaVern Noyes in his insurance office, both locations in Osborne County. Donated by LaVern's grandson, Brad Noyes.
    • From:

      Abernathy, Doughty & Hall, wholesale and retail furniture manufacturers and dealers in carpets, Nos. 227 and 231 Delaware street. In 1856, J. L. Abernathy, the senior member of the above firm, established his business in Leavenworth. A few years afterward he admitted John N. into partnership, and under the firm name of Abernathy Bros., they conducted the business for twelve years. In April, 1880, E. L. Doughty and J. C. Hall were admitted into partnership with J. L. Abernathy, forming the firm as above named, J. N. Abernathy giving his entire time and attention to the furniture factory. This establishment, corner of Second and Seneca streets, is conducted by Abernathy Bros. & Co., and supplies the house with the different styles of substantial, rich and elegant furniture, displayed and stored in the fine three-story brick structure on Delaware street. The store is 75 x 120 feet, three stories and basement. The ground floor is divided into two compartments, one being for storing unfinished furniture, the other used for office purposes, and sales and sample room for different styles of chamber sets, book cases, sideboards, wardrobes, etc. The second floor is the salesroom for parlor furniture, carpets, lace curtains and oil cloth. The third floor is used for finishing all grades of furniture and for upholstering, and the basement for storage and packing purposes. The goods of the house are distributed throughout the West. Some idea of the magnitude of its transactions may be obtained when it is stated that the firm employ 125 men, and transact and annual business amounting to $225,000
    • Kansas City, Missouri: Its History and Its People 1808-1908
      by Carrie Westlake Whitney


      Colonel J. L. Abernathy, who in the furniture trade won a measure of success that gained him rank among the capitalists of Kansas City, where he took up his abode in 1870, was a native of Warren county, Ohio, born March 20, 1833. His parents always resided in Ohio and in Indiana, the father following farming for many years in the latter state. The son was a student in the public schools of Knightstown, Indiana, where he acquired a good education and then began in business for himself, establishing a dry goods store in Rushville, Indiana, where he conducted his enterprise successfully until 1855. Feeling that he would have still better opportunities in the new but rapidly growing west, he removed to Leavenworth, Kansas, where in partnership with S. D. Woods he established a furniture store in which he engaged until after the outbreak of the Civil war.

      In 1862 he enlisted in a thirty-day company, while afterward he became captain of the Eighth Kansas Infantry, raising a company for service with that regiment. Still later he was promoted to the colonelcy of the regiment and continued in command until 1863, when in the battle of Chickamauga he became very ill and because of the condition of his health resigned and returned to his home in Leavenworth. He then again became an active factor in the furniture trade, in which he continued until about 1870, when he removed to Kansas City. His early identification with the business interests of this city was as a wholesale furniture dealer, while later he formed a partnership with Mr. Keith, and they engaged in the retail furniture business for a short time. Mr. Keith eventually sold his interest to Mr. North, who was associated with Colonel Abernathy in the retail furniture business for a few years. Later the firm became Duff & Abernathy, an association that was maintained for several years, when Colonel Abernathy disposed of his interest to Mr. Repp and the Duff & Repp Furniture Company is still operating at Nos. 1216-22 Main street. Throughout his commercial career Colonel Abernathy maintained a reputation for undoubted integrity and for energy and perseverance that constituted the basis of his gratifying prosperity.

      In 1859 occurred the marriage of J. L. Abernathy and Miss Elizabeth Martin, of Leavenworth, Kansas. She was born in Butler county, Ohio, not far from the birthplace of her husband, her parents being Thomas and Elizabeth (Marshall) Martin, both of whom were natives of Ohio but at an early day they took up their abode in the vicinity of Lafayette, Indiana, where Mr. Martin engaged in the saddlery business throughout his remaining days. Both he and his wife died there. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Abernathy were born six children: William Martin, who died recently leaving a widow who resides in Kansas City and who in her maidenhood was Fannie McClelland; Walter L., who is engaged in the furniture business in Kansas City and is mentioned elsewhere in this volume; Frank, who died in early life; Harry T., who is one of the prominent business men of Kansas City, being cashier of the First National Bank; Omar, engaged in the furniture business in Leavenworth, Kansas; and Cora, the wife of Dr. A. G. Hull, a prominent physician of Kansas City.

      Colonel Abernathy continued in the furniture business until his death, which occurred on the 16th of December, 1902. Aside from his interest in the furniture business he was one of the organizers of the First National Bank of Kansas City and was made one of its stockholders from the beginning. He also had financial interests in other business enterprises of Kansas City and Leavenworth, being a director of the Leavenworth National Bank. He was mayor of Leavenworth, Kansas, for two terms and also took an active interest in politics as a stalwart supporter of the republican party. He belonged to the Loyal Legion and the Grand Army of the Republic and maintained pleasant relations with his old army comrades in this way. He always took great interest in church work, both he and his wife being members of the Presbyterian church, while Colonel Abernathy served as elder in the Second Presbyterian church of this city. In Leavenworth he was elder in the First Presbyterian church and was superintendent of the Sunday school in both places for twenty-three years. Since the demise of her husband, Mrs. Abernathy has become a member of the Central Presbyterian church. She makes her home in Leavenworth, where she owns much valuable property, but spends much time with her children in Kansas City and is now with her daughter, Mrs. Hull, at No. 3(310 McGee street.
    • U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 about Jas L Abernathy
      Name: Jas L Abernathy
      Birth Date: 20 Mar 1833
      Birth Place: Warren County, Ohio
      Age: 67
      Passport Issue Date: 7 Jan 1901
      Passport Includes a Photo: No
      Residence: Leavenworth, Kansas

      States wife is Elizabeth ABERNATHY born 21 Sep 1935 Hamilton County, Ohio

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