Lillian Bonner Archbell Phillips, known as “Bonner” most of her life (though in her family she says she’s called “Little Granny”) was born in 1898 in Craven County and lived her life in Rocky Mount. Her father was a grocer who was very sociable, enjoying the Elks Club and having friends over to dinner. Her mother died when Phillips was a teenager, the eldest of five children, so Phillips had to stay home and raise her siblings. She attended school in Washington, NC, but could not go further in her education because of her child-care duties. She married soon after her mother’s death. Her husband Ellis Phillips founded and ran a mattress factory in Rocky Mount (and at some point a furniture store), and Phillips and their children all helped in the mattress business. In World War II three of Phillips' sons (Ellis, David, and Richard Phillips) all served in the Air Force, and her brother and her son-in-law W. E. Cobb also served. Phillips describes the process of sewing a mattress; the death of her mother at home; Hurricane Hazel (minimally); and hearing about Pearl Harbor (a neighbor told her). She says she does not long for “the good old days” except insofar as she misses her people who have died.





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