The elder David Abner served in Texas’ House and on a county level in Harrison. Beyond politics, David Abner Sr. would be involved in college education for Blacks. He is the father of Texas educator David Abner Jr.
Born 1826 in Selma, Alabama he would move to Upshur County, Texas in 1843. He would remain in slavery until the conclusion of the Civil War and decided in Marshall, Texas. Sometime later he was able to rent and farm a plot of land rented from his sister’s original master. David Abner Sr. purchased the farm and established the family’s wealth in Harris County.
Entry into Politics
As it would happen, the 1870s would be a busy time for David Abner Sr. He would be appointed to the executive committee of the inaugural Colored Men’s State Convention in 1873 and later served on the county board for his native Harrison and Rusk Counties in 1874. It would also be in Harrison where he served as county treasurer.
During his time in the state legislature in 1875, Abner, a Republican, was selected to represent Harrison and Rusk in the rewriting of the 1869 state constitution. Of note at this convention was Abner being the only Republican to vote for a clause that would stop the state from spending resources to promote immigration.
Abner’s last political post of note was as vice president of the Republican State Convention in 1876. He would co-found Bishop College, a Black institution in Marshall, Texas. From 1881, he served as a trustee. Three years later, his son David Abner Jr. would graduate from the school and teach there for a time. Meanwhile, Abner entered the family into the ice business although his success in doing so isn’t documented.
David Abner Sr. passed in 1902 in his hometown of Marshall, Texas. He was 76 years old.