Charlton DuRant was born in Bluffton, Georgia, to Edward Charlton and Hannah Virginia Tinsley DuRant. At 16, he entered the service of the Southern Express Company.
He began reading the law in Manning at the age of 21 in the office of Solicitor (later Judge) John S. Smith. In 1897, he was admitted to the Bar and practiced in Manning for 56 years. He served as a State Supreme Court Special Justice and President of the Clarendon County Bar Association for many years.
He served in the State Senate and on the County School Board of Education. He also served on the Clemson College Board of Visitors, as a Trustee of Lander College, the Textile Industrial Institute and the Epworth Orphanage, and as President of the Manning Rotary Club.
He joined the Methodist Church at age nine and was recognized as lay leader and spiritual guide of the Manning Methodist Church for over 50 years. An avid sportsman and naturalist, he enjoyed the hunting and fishing opportunities of his environs.
Charlton DuRant believed that moral rectitude and impeccable conduct were essential attributes of a lawyer. His life exemplified the role of a lawyer in his community.