Texas educator David Abner Jr. was a man of many firsts both in his studies and in his entry into academia. Born November 25, 1860, in Upshur County, Texas, he was the son of educator and Texas politician David Abner Sr. The family remained in slave until emancipation reached Texas and moved to Marshall, Texas in 1870.
A pursuit of academics was very important in the Abner family and during his late teens, the younger Abner studied at several institutions before focusing in Nashville’s Fisk University in 1877. Once he finished at Fisk, he rolled at Bishop College in his native Marshall four years later.
It would be here where he graduated in 1884 and became the first Black student to graduate from a Texas college. Bishop is also the college his father had a hand in establishing. After finishing his studies at Bishop, David Abner Jr. taught there for some time.
Three years later he took over as president of Guadalupe College in Seguin, Texas. The school had been in existence for three years when Abner started teaching at Bishop. Abner would hold the position until 1905, ousted by the church’s leadership.
During this period, he selected as a delegate at the National Convention of Colored Men. A year later while still at Bishop, David Abner Jr. also took the posts of corresponding secretary over the Baptist State Convention of Texas and editing the Baptist Journal and Baptist Pilot. When he removed from the president position at Guadalupe, another convention was opened. This resulted in Conroe College being established and Abner serving as president.
On July 21, 1928, David Abner Jr. passed away in Harris County at the age of 67.