Charles Laban Abernethy
Born in Rutherford College, North Carolina, Abernethy attended local public schools and Rutherford College before moving to Beaufort, North Carolina in 1893. There, he founded the Beaufort Herald newspaper. Abernethy studied law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was admitted to the bar in 1895. Practicing law in Beaufort, he was solicitor of the third (later the fifth) judicial circuit for twelve years, and a member of the executive committee of the North Carolina Democratic Party between 1898 and 1900.
Abernethy moved to New Bern, North Carolina in 1913, and continued to practice law there. In 1922, he was chosen, in a special election, to fill the seat vacated by the death of Rep. Samuel M. Brinson; he was re-elected to five more terms, serving between November 7, 1922 and January 3, 1935, before being defeated for re-election in 1934. After leaving Congress, he resumed his law practice, retiring in 1938.