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Noble, Noah

The fourth Governor of Indiana, was born on the banks of the Shenandoah River, in Frederick County, Virginia.  When his father removed to Kentucky he sold his plantation to a Mr. Swearengin, who was afterward the father-in-law of his son.

Noah Noble returned to Virginia in the  year 1819, and was married in the same house in which he was born.  At an early day he removed to Brookville, thence to Indianapolis in the year 1826.  Governor Noble's father-in-law visited him several times at this place.  We remember him as a fine specimen of the "Old Virginia gentlemen."

Lazarus Noble, brother of Noah, had been receiver of public moneys at Brookville, and when the land offices were ordered to be removed to this place, started to remove with his family, and ere he had reached the Franklin county line was taken sick and died at the house of his friend Judge Mount.

Noah was then appointed the successor of his brother, and immediately entered upon the duties of the office, and removed his family to this place.

In 1829 he was among the first removals made by General Jackson, and James P. Drake appointed in his stead.  After this he engaged in farming near the city; a portion of his farm now forms an important part of the eastern portion of the city north of Washington street.

In 1831 he was selected as the Clay candidate, and ran against James G. Reed for Governor, and although the Jackson party was largely in the majority his great popularity with people not only crowned him with success, but also Milton Stapp, who was on the ticket for lieutenant-governor.  The office of chief magistrate of the State he held for two terms of three years each, and although he had attained the highest office in the gift of the people directly, his ambition was not yet satisfied; he aspired to the United States Senate, a place so long and ably filled by his elder brother, General James Noble.  In this he was doomed to disappointment, intriguing and less scrupulous politicians outmanaging him.

He held several other important offices, and came out of the political arena with an unsullied reputation as a public man, never yielding to anything that might be construed into selfishness, or bring reproach upon him as a public officer.

In his friendship he was warm and devoted, and confiding to a fault.  He had a mild and benevolent countenance, and a smile for all that either business or circumstances brought him in contact with.  He died in the winter of 1844.

Governor Noble left a widow and two children, a son and daughter.  The daughter was the wife of the late A.H. Davidson; she died in the summer of 1851, leaving several children who yet live in or near the city.  The son, W.P. Noble, and his mother, yet reside on a portion of the old farm, and near the city.

"When by a good man's grave I muse alone,

Methinks an angel sits upon the stone."


Nowland, John H. B., “Early Reminiscences of Indianapolis, with Short Biographical Sketches of Its Early Citizens, and of a Few of the Prominent Business Men of the Present Day,” 1870, pp. 201-202

Transcribed by Sherri Morem Bergman