He began his career as mayor of an East Texas town during the Truman administration and has finally decided to call it a day. After thousands of city council meetings and countless official appearances, D.H. Abernathy has decided the time has come to retire as mayor of Pittsburg, Texas, after 52 years in office.
At 94, Abernathy still makes it to the office every day. An engineer by trade, Mayor Abernathy's career in public office began with a city council position in the 1940's. And now he says it's enough. "I've served 52 years and accomplished quite a few projects. Well, I need to devote more time to bass fishing," says Abernathy.
He's only been opposed four times in 52 years. A popular figure in town, he's decided to step down and has endorsed City Planner Shawn Kennington for the job. "But I felt after 52 years that we needed a young man now to take over," he says.
"For him to retire was a surprise. I was honored that he asked me to fill his position," Kennington says.
His great-great-uncle Major W.H. Pitts settled the town of Pittsburg. His keen sense of economics and engineering kept getting him re-elected, and he had another secret to success with voters. "Well, I tried no to oppose any idea they had I tried to agree with them on nearly everything they suggested," Abernathy says.
Abernathy shows no sign of slowing down. He's publishing a book detailing the history of his hometown, and he's now writing his auto-biography. But has one last piece of advice for Kennington.
"Be sure and get all the details before he makes any comments," says the mayor.
On March 20th the Meals on Wheels Association of America is holding a press conference at Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County. Abernathy will be recognized as the oldest mayor in the state. He'll complete his term in May. The man he's recommended, Kennington is as of now, running unopposed.