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Chestnut Funeral Home, shown in this 1989 photograph, is one of Gainesville's oldest businesses. It was established in 1914 as Hughes & Chestnut Funeral Home by Matthew E. Hughes and Charles Chestnut Sr. The address is 18 Northwest 8th Avenue. (Before July 1, 1950, the address was 136 West Boundary.) Charles Chestnut Sr. was born in 1886 and lived for 91 years. He was the third generation in his family to live in Alachua County--his grandparents had come from Camden, South Carolina, in the 1850s. Charles Sr. has been called the grandfather of black funeral service in Alachua County--his grandson (Charles III) and great-grandson (Charles IV) continue to run the business today. His daughter, Gloria, is married to Colin Duncan, who worked for Hughes & Chestnut for several years and then started his own business, Duncan Brothers' Funeral Home. Charles Sr. was highly respected for his community leadership, and the auditorium of Lincoln High School was named after him. This photograph was copied with the permission of the Pleasant Street Historic Society.
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