Darden Funeral Home’s new building.

Wilson Daily Times, 11 June 1949.

The grand opening of the Tudor-style Darden Funeral Home building many remember near the intersection of Nash and Pender Streets.

  • “the wife of C.L. Darden” — Norma Duncan Darden. I had not seen Norma Darden before credited as a designer of this building with architect C.C. Benton.
  • C.H. Darden — Charles H. Darden.
  • C.L. Darden — Camillus L. Darden.
  • Charles Arthur Darden — son of Arthur N. Darden. Born and raised in New York City, Charles A. Darden apparently worked briefly for family business, perhaps stepping in after his father’s death in 1948.
  • Charles James — son of Elizabeth Darden James.
  • Rosalyn Whitehead
  • Dora Dickerson
  • Frank Davis — in the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Frank Davis, 42, assistant manager of funeral home; wife Beulah, 46; and son Frank Jr., 10.
  • Burnice Renfrow — in the 1940 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Johnie Renfrow, 50; wife Mary Ellen, 49; and children Burniss, 21, David, 18, Minnie, 16, and Ree, 13. The same year, Burnice Elwood Renfrow registered for the World War II draft. Per his registration card, he was born 3 March 1918 in Wilson County; lived at R.F.D. #3, Kenly, Wilson County; his contact was his mother Mary Ellen Renfrow; and he worked for Johnnie Renfrow. 
  • Joe N. Williams
  • Louis Hines
  • Velma Carroll — in the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 907 Washington, Walter Carroll, 44, machinist helper at local oil plant, and wife Velma, 36, practical nurse at local funeral home.
  • Elizabeth Morgan — Elizabeth Darden James Morgan.
  • David Hines
  • E.D. Fisher — Edwin D. Fisher.
  • Henry Speight
  • Oscar Ellis

The new Darden Memorial Funeral Home, circa 1950.

Photo provided by Lu-Ann Monson, original in Wilson City Archives.


    1. Steve Benton taught at Beddingfield when I was there. I didn’t know he was C.C. Benton’s grandson, though. I’m really intrigued by Norma Darden’s role in the design of the building.

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