The obituary of Nannie Best.

Wilson Daily Times, 19 June 1948.

For more about Nannie Best’s “cafe business” see here and here.


In 1872, Aaron Best of Greene County opened an account with the Freedmen’s Bank branch in New Bern, North Carolina. Among his children, he listed a daughter Nancy. 

In the 1880 census of Moseley Hall, Lenoir County: laborer Aaron Best, 62, wife Eveline, 48, children Nancy, 18, Harriet, 12, Hopewell, 9, and Mariah, 4, and grandchildren Eugenia, 8, and Frances Joyner, 3.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: cook Nannie Best, 34, widow, and daughters Francis, 20, and Eliza, 16, and boarder Lula Garrett, 25. The latter three were house servants.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Nannie Best, 48, cook; her children Francis, 28, cook, Eliza, 24, public school teacher, and son Aaron, 9; and lodgers, Lula, 24, cook, and Nannie Best, 16, private nurse.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 330 South Spring Street: widowed Nannie Best, 61, her daughter Frank, 30, son Aaron, 21, daughter-in-law Estelle, 19, widowed brother Harper Best, 65, and a lodger, nurse Henrietta Colvert, 24.

In the 1930 Wilson city directory, cook Nannie Best, laundress Frankie Best and seamstress Eliza Best are listed as residents of 1009 East Nash Street.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Nan Best, 75, widow; daughter Frankie, 55; and grandsons William, 19, and Audrey, 15.

Frankye Best died 23 June 1941 at her home at 1009 East Nash Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 58 years old; was born in Lenoir County, N.C., to Aaron Best and Nannie Best; was single; and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Eliza Best was informant.

Nannie Best died 18 June 1948 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 11 June 1865 in Greene County to Aaron Best and Evelyn [last name unknown]; resided at 1009 East Green Street; and was buried in Rountree Cemetery. Aaron Best, 1009 East Nash Street, was informant.

William Aaron Best died 21 August 1949. Per his death certificate, he was born 21 September 1900 in Wilson County to Aaron and Nannie Best; was a widower; and worked as a laborer for Export Tobacco Company. Audrey Best, 1009 East Nash, was informant.

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