Hon. Mack M. Jernigan
In the judiciary of Dunn County there are to be found many men of ability and full requirements who are still to be numbered among the men of the younger generation. This class has become more numerous in recent years, when the rapid passing of events and the changed conditions of modern existence have brought in the demand for virile and energetic young men to occupy the positions formerly held by man years their seniors. In the new class is found Hon. Mack M. Jernigan, a leading attorney of Dunn, who since 1923 has occupied the position of Judge of the Recorder’s Court.
Mr. Jernigan was born December 25, 1894, in Sampson County, North Carolina, and is a son of Lewis Preston and Mary Margaret (McIlwinen) Jernigan. The family is of Danish descent and in the old country can be traced back as far as the year 1212. The parents of Mr. Jernigan are natives of Sampson County, where the father was engaged in agricultural pursuits for an extended period and they have been married for fifty-three years. They are now living in comfortable retirement, still, however, making their home on the old farm. The boyhood and youth of Mack M. Jernigan were passed on the home farm, where he assisted his father and in the meantime secured his primary school training in the rural districts in Sampson and Johnston counties. Later he attended school at Clinton for one year and at Benson for two years and at the latter place was graduated from High school in 1916. During the year following he taught in a country school, and in the fall of 1917 entered the University of North Carolina. While in college he enlisted in the Quartermaster’s! Department of the United States Army for service during the World war, and was sent first to Camp Jackson, and later to Fort Bragg, where the new enlisted men were engaged in building operations. He was honorably discharged at Fort Bragg during the summer of 1918 because of fallen arches, which disabled him for active military service. Returning then to the university, Mr. Jernigan completed his law course 8cnd graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1921, having been admitted to the bar in 1920. He commenced practice at Dunn in September, 1921, in partnership with H. L. Godwin, under the style of Godwin & Jernigan, but this partner- ship was terminated in June, 1923, when Mr. Jernigan was elected judge of the Recorder's Court for a two-years' term, and was reelected in 1925 to the same office. Judge Jernigan has discharged his duties in a highly capable and commendable manner, and has the respect and esteem of members of the bench and bar, as well as of the general public. In the democratic primary of 1926 he made a splendid run for the office of state representative, but met with de- feat by a few votes. He is a member of the Hartnett County Bar Association and the North Carolina Bar Association, and gives the greater part of his attention to his practice and the duties of his official position, but also has two farms, on which he is carrying on extensive operations in a modern way. He belongs to the Junior Order United American Mechanics and the American Legion. His religious faith is that of the Baptist Church, in which he is a deacon, and during the three years that he has served as superintendent of the Sunday School has kept the- school rating double A, being one of only two schools in the state to possess such a rating.
On June 24, 1924, Mr. Jernigan was united in marriage with Sally Naylor, daughter of George W. and Penelope Elizabeth (Thornton) Naylor. Mr. Naylor was born in Sampson County and Mrs. Naylor in Johnston County, North Carolina. Mr. Naylor was a graduate of Buies Creek Academy and Wake Forest College, and for many years was a well-known educator, teaching in the schools of Sampson, Johnston, Harnett and Cumberland counties. In his later years he became a rural mail carrier, a position which he held for fifteen years, or until his retirement shortly before his death in October, 1923. Judge and Mrs. Jernigan now make their home on West Broad Street.