The final resting place of Eliza Best.

Per her death certificate, Eliza Best was buried in “Rountree Cemetery.” However, her simple little white marble headstone is now found in Rest Haven Cemetery next to her son Clarence B. Best and other family members. Best was probably originally buried in Vick Cemetery (which, with Odd Fellows Cemetery, was often lumped with Rountree), then disinterred and moved to a new family plot in Rest Haven after the older cemeteries closed circa 1960.

[Note: despite her son’s growing business carving headstones, Eliza Best’s marker  does not display any of Clarence Best’s characteristic style features.]

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2023.

Anonymous grave moved to Rest Haven Cemetery.

In January 1974, to make way for a road project — likely the construction of Firestone Parkway — the North Carolina State Highway Commission contracted with a private company to move an unnamed African-American cemetery from Rosebud Church Road to Rest Haven Cemetery. 

The cemetery contained one anonymous grave.

That grave was relocated to a plot adjacent to Bertha T. Pope (1908-1952).

Documents from Grave Removal volume, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office.

Notice of intention to disinter.

On sequential weeks in April and May 2006, the Wilson Daily Times ran this Notice of Intention to Disinter, Remove and Reinter Graves.


Notice is hereby given to the known and unknown relatives of those persons buried in The Wilder Family Cemetery located in Springhill Township, Wilson County North Carolina and being described as follows: BEING all Tract No. 1 containing 130.94 (C/L of Creek & Branches); Tract No. 2 containing 24.84 acres (C/L/ of Road & Branch); Tract No. 3 containing 11.17 acres (to C/L of Road); and Tract No. 4 containing 4.20 acres (to C/L of Road), as shown on a map entitled “Survey for Kemit David Brame, Jr., Property of Charles B. Brame, Jr., et al,” which map is recorded in Plat Book 27, page 204, Wilson County Registry; for reference see Deeds recorded in Book 125, page 583, Book 249, page 313, Book 249, page 322, Book 290, page 306, Book 381, page 37, and Book 419, page 218, Wilson County Registry. Being better described as approximately 500′ northwest of the intersection of NC#42 Highway and Neal Road (SR #1198).


There are 2 marked graves said cemetery, Josiah Wilder DOB – April 5, 1866, DOD – April 22, 1919; Elizabeth Wilder Barnes, DOB October 5 1898, DOD – July 23, 1928.


There are approximately 8-10 unknown (unmarked) graves in said cemetery; that all of the graves will be relocated and reentered in the Rocky Creek United Church of Christ Cemetery, located on NC #581 Highway, Kenly, North Carolina. Also the grave of Chestiney Earp Wilder, DOB – July 11, 1869, DOD – January 10 1957 will be relocated from the southeast corner of the cemetery to the northwest corner of the cemetery. Then a complete record of where these deceased person will be reentered will be on file with the Wilson County Registry of Deeds, Wilson, North Carolina. You are further notified that the graves are being moved under the provisions of North Carolina General Statute #65-13, and that the removals will not begin until this notice has been published four (4) successive times in The Wilson Daily Times, Wilson, North Carolina and until approval to do so has been given by the Wilson City Council, Wilson, North Carolina. This the 3rd day of April, 2006.    R. Ward Sutton [address omitted] ***


Here is the rough map of the site attached to the Removal of Graves Certificate and filed with the Wilson County Registry of Deeds: 

The Certificate gives two reasons as “basis for removal” — (1) to give perpetual care, (2) subdivision development. This Google Maps aerial view of the former Josiah Wilder property clearly shows the subdivision that now covers the former site of his family’s cemetery:

As shown in this photograph posted to Findagrave.com, the Wilder family’s new plot at Rocky Branch cemetery is marked with an explanatory headstone: