James N. Guess operated a funeral home that served Goldsboro, North Carolina’s black community for at least 40 years. (He also ran a barbershop for a half-century and, in the early years, a billiards and pool hall.) Guess’s father Matthew Guess, father-in-law Isham Smith, nephew Kennon Guess and son James N. Guess Jr. worked for or with him to build his business.
Goldsboro City Directory, 1916-17.
Hill’s Directory of Goldsboro, NC, 1950-51.
Not surprisingly, Guess provided services to members of the extended family of his wife, Annie Smith Guess, daughter of Isham and Nancy Henderson Smith. Among those he buried were:
James N. Guess was born 2 May 1882 in Goldsboro to Matthew and Martha Guess. He died 28 November 1957 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, after a lengthy illness.