I am not an Abernathy, but while researching some neighboring families hoping to find information about the family I am interested in, I came across an obituary that I thought some descendants might like to have. I will transcribe it here.
This comes from the War of 1812 Pension file of James R. Abernathy. His widow, Jane, received pension and bounty land based on James' service, pension file #WC-34734. The pension file gave many good details about this family. The widow had sent in the obituary of James, and the brown newspaper is in the pension file at the National Archives in D.C., with the rest of the pension documents.
The newspaper is "The Mercury", editors A. G. Mason and Joe Burnett, published in Paris, MO, 5 February 1886. It reads as follows:
"Death of James R. Abernathy.
Jas. R. Abernathy walked up into the city last Friday morning, bought several balls of cotton, returned home, went into the sitting room, took a seat in his rocking chair before the fire, and speaking to his wife, said: "Jane, how much will fourteen balls of cotton come to at 6 1/2 cents a ball?" His wife, knowing he was joking with her, replied: "You figure it out in your head and I will go and prepare your dinner." Mrs. Abernathy had scarcely reached the kitchen before she was summoned to return, as her husband was very ill. She at a glance noted the pallor of his face and poured some medicine--which he had been taking for "spells" of fainting to which he was subject--into a spoon, and when she put the spoon to his lips she was shocked to find that he was dead! He had quietly laid his head back against the chair and died without a struggle, the expression of his face being that of calmness and repose. He was nearly 91 years old, and was remarkably well preserved. He was temperate, never having used strong drink or tobacco in any shape. He was a mild mannered man, but very industrious and active. As to the cause of his death, we might say his system gave way under the weight of years, and like a leaf smitten by the frost of autumn he let loose of life and calmly passed away.
He was born in Lunenburg county, Va., on the 25th day of February, 1795; moved to Fayette county, Ky., at two years old, and was raised to young manhood near Lexington. He moved to Howard county, MO., (then the Louisiana Territory), in October, 1817; moved to Boone county in 1821, and to this (then Ralls) county in 1824. Monroe county was organized out of Ralls in 1830. He carried the chain in 1831 in laying off Paris. He was appointed constable, then justice of the peace. When the county was organized the first county court appointed him commissioner to sell the school lands, and at the same time he was appointed treasurer of the county. He then taught school in Paris, devoting his spare time to the study of law, and by hard work was admitted to the bar in a very short time. He was elected prosecuting attorney for twelve counties, composing Northeast Missouri, held the office for ten years and never missed a court. He was then elected clerk of the county court for seven years. He was a notary public for many years. In politics he was a Whig as long as that party lived. He bought the Paris Mercury in 1837 and ran it for about twelve or fifteen years. He was married on June 17th, 1817, in Fayette County, Ky., to Miss Jennie Winn, to whom four children were born, two of whom--Mrs. A. H. Tribble of Centralia and Mrs. Jacob Ford of this county--still survive. In 1826 he married Rosana Davis, of Ralls county. They had eight children, six of whom are living: Mrs. Dr. H. J. Glenn, Mrs. S. E. Wilson, and William and Clay Abernathy, all of California, and Mrs. J. W. Mitchell, of this city. In 1840 he married Jane Davis, to whom was born three children, all of whom are dead.
Mr. Abernathy was a remarkable man in many respects. His memory of events and men of early times, his accurate knowledge of dates and names, was wonderful. He was genial, social and full of life. He loved to tell a joke, sing a song, or recite short poems of his own composition. He was always anxious to please others by telling pleasant things, but we never knew him to be the carrier of bad news or small gossip.
He was one of the constituent members of the Christian church at its organization in this city in 1833, and was the last of that little band of six persons to cross over the river. They are dead, but their works do follow them.
To his family he was ever kind and indulgent, to his State a good citizen, and to his neighbor courteous and sociable. That he will be sadly missed from the community in which he had resided so long, is but natural, but like a sheaf of wheat full ripe he has been gathered into the garner. After a long voyage on life's sea, he anchored calmly in the haven of eternal rest.
His public life was free from taint or suspicion, and his walk as a Christian was childlike and trusting. He talked to us frequently of the transition necessary to an entrance into that beautiful city whose marker and builder is God, and said that he felt no fear as he approached the valley of the shadow of death, but at times a desire crept into his heart to see the loved ones gone before.
The friends of the family gathered at the residence on Marion street at 2 o-clock Sunday afternoon, conveyed the remains to the Christian church, where a large audience had assembled to pay the last sad tribute on earth to the dead. Elder T. J. Gore read the latter part of the 15th chapter of First Corinthians, and offered up a touching prayer, after which the choir sang "Asleep in Jesus, O how sweet To be for such a slumber meet." Elder Jacob Hugley followed with a beautiful and eloquent sermon regarding the resurrection and the life. His remarks were highly complimented by all.
Among the mourners gathered there, none were more deeply and sadly oppressed than his devoted and loving wife, who for the past 45 years had been his companion and friend, and during the latter years of his life had watched over him with the tender care and solicitude that a mother exercises over a child.
At the conclusion of the services the coffin lid was removed and the friends took a farewell look at the remains. The body was then conveyed to the new cemetery and laid to rest. Peace to his ashes and joy to his soul."
NOTE: This obituary says that Howard County, MO was part of Louisiana Territory in 1817, but it wasn't. Missouri became a Territory in 1812. Also, this obituary calls the first wife "Jennie". Her real name was Jemima, according to the pension documents.