Harry T. Abernathy was born in Leavenworth, Kansas on 23 May 1865 to Col. James L. Abernathy. Harry's father James, was the pioneer furniture manufacturer of the West. Harry came to Kansas City and became cashier of his father's company. Harry held the position for eight years. In 1895, he became the assistant cashier of the First National Bank. Later, he was the treasurer of Park College for four years.