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 • Collin County
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William Roberts Abernathy
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Birth: 1876
Death: 1940


On this the 9th day of September, A. D. 1940, in Open Court, I, J. E. Abernathy, County Judge of Collin County, Texas, do hereby receiver and order recorded in the Civil Minutes of the County Court of Collin County, Texas, the following resolution as a permanent and perpetual tribute to the Honorable William Roberts Abernathy, deceased:

TO THE COLLIN COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION:The subject of this memorial, William Roberts Abernathy, was born in Kelly Springs, Mississippi, February 9, 1876. He was a son of the late William and Lucy (Roberts) Abernathy, and came to Texas with them in 1877.

He continued to reside in McKinney from that day till his passing. His education was in the McKinney Public Schools and his legal education was obtained in the office of the firm of Abernathy and Beverly, on of the leading firms in North Texas for many years. He obtained his license as a lawyer in 1900 and has devoted his time to the practice of his chosen profession, however, devoting a large part of
his talents in every worthy and laudable undertaking that was a part of the City and County life.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Ozella Abernathy and a son, W. P. Abernathy and a daughter, Mrs. Margaret Pace, wife of John Pace, an attorney at Dallas. He is also survived by one brother, Roger A. Abernathy and four sisters, Mrs. K. D. Thompson, Miss Cecil Abernathy, Mrs. Mary Browne and Mrs. L. D. Finley and one grandson, William Charles Abernathy.

He was licensed to practice law under the old system, which was usually without College or University training, and was thrown into immediate competition with the best legal talent, not only of McKinney, but of North Texas.

Upon the death of his father in 1911, the responsibility of a large law practice fell immediately upon him. The task was unusually large and burdensome and many believed it was entirely too heavy for one so young.

In case after case, when pitted against the lawyers of the very best training and experience, he showed a marvelous capacity to be familiar with the law on every conceivable phase of the case and the details of the evidence as well.

Thoroughness was his watchword and this find reputation, so richly deserved, extended throughout the State.

One of his rules which was scrupulously carried out, was never to express a positive opinion upon any legal question without being able to sustain it by ready references to the decisions of the higher Courts. He seemed to regret that any of his clients were ever in litigation and always did his very utmost to prevent even the filing of a suit, as well as complicated and expensive trials. He worked not only for himself, but for his clients. He was intellectually and morally, a lawyer of the highest and finest type and in every part of the State may be found lawyers and Judges who voice this sentiment.

As a lawyer, he occupied a foremost place in his profession. He had as much to do with the history of litigation and legal affairs in Collin County during the last twenty years as any other man.

Without any political ambition whatever, he rose to the heights of intellectual brilliancy by unceasing labor and by a marvelously developed sense of justice. He was a lawyer and a layman alike. He had a particular concern and friendship for the young lawyers, all of whom felt free to ask him for counsel and aid in complicated matters. They were always welcomed and he would lay aside his own personal affairs and give them the benefit of wide and varied experience. ....

To him, law was a science, growing, developing and unfolding before him and his familiarity with all of the developments as shown by the Courts of this State as well as by the United States, was marvelous.
We shall not soon see another like him.

He gave to the Masonic Lodge many years of the most valuable service and the fruits of his labors in that institution still abide with it. He gave his time, his talents and gave unsparingly of his earnings to the Church of his choice. Since childhood's hour he was a leader and a most valuable member in the Episcopal Church: there too, may be found "a vacant chair."

His family life was all that heart could wish. Never domineering, but unusually influential and always for the best as will be attested by those who bear his name and are of his blood.

Liberality and fairness characterized his dealings and relations with all people. He extended to every one alike, the humble and exalted, the most courteous consideration. His amiable disposition and attractive personality endeared him to all who came within his circle.

He was intellectually strong, thoroughly honest and in all dealings honorable. The promises that he made were made to be performed. These and many other qualities, and space forbids other enumerations, brought to him the success that he most justly merited.

He had no sympathy or patience with hypocrisy in either private or public life. Without show or parade, he was liberal in giving and no deserving charity appealed to him in vain.

He closed an unusually active and successful career so far as this life is concerned, at four o'clock on the afternoon of July 5, A. D. 1940, and went to, "The undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns."

With much pain, we resign ourselves to his passing, yet we must say, that according to our limited vision and imperfect knowledge, his leaving this life at a time when there were opening up to him broader fields of usefulness to the public and richer harvest for himself and loved ones, is exceptionally pathetic, regrettable and sad.

While we give our deepest sympathy to his family and friends, we must pronounce them heirs of a most marvelous life filled with good deeds and wise counsel, the influence of which can never die.


That the COLLIN COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION indorse the foregoing, expressive of our thoughts and feelings upon the sorrow that has come to us: that a committee be appointed to present this memorial to the District Court and to the County Court of Collin County and that a page be set apart appropriately marked in which his memorial will be inscribed; that a copy thereof be furnished the family of the deceased and that the newspapers of the County be requested to publish it.

Respectfully submitted,
Memorial Committee of the Bar Association of Collin County, Texas. 
Family links: 
  William M Abernathy (1843 - 1911)
  Lucy Roberts Abernathy (1846 - 1937)
  Ozella A. Perry Abernathy (1887 - 1972)
  Robert E. Abernathy (____ - 1878)*
  Frances Abernathy Thompson (1874 - 1968)*
  William Roberts Abernathy (1876 - 1940)
  Cecil Abernathy (1879 - 1973)*
  Cecil Abernathy (1879 - 1973)*
  Clare Abernathy Finley (1887 - 1953)*
*Calculated relationship
Pecan Grove Cemetery
Collin County
Texas, USA
Created by: June
Record added: Jul 15, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11357306
William Roberts Abernathy
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Georgia
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