Friday, February 26, 2021

By yon bonnie banks & braes of English Township

True Scots --- born in Scotland --- are a rare breed in Lucas County although many of us are of Scots-Irish descent, filtered through the north of Ireland. But George Noble, buried alongside this giant granite sphere balanced atop of plinth in the Brownlee Cemetery with his wife, Ellen, is one of the former. 

His obituary, published in The Chariton Herald of Feb. 6, 1890, tells us a good deal:


Died, at his home in English Tp., on Sunday morning, Feb. 2, 1890, of pneumonia superinduced by la grippe, Mr. George Noble, at the age of 56 years.

The funeral services were held at the Renfro school house near by the family residence in English Tp., on Monday, Feb. 3, at 2 o'clock p.m., conducted by Rev. Pearson, of Moravia, pastor of the Christian church at Belinda, Iowa, and the remains were interred in the Brownlee Cemetery in the presence of a large number of neighbors and friends who had assembled to pay their last respects to an old and highly respected citizen.

Mr. Noble was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, October 19th, 1833, and came to America with his parents when but a small child, landing at Quebec, Canada, where he grew to manhood and married. Immediately following his marriage, he with his companion came to Lucas county, Iowa, locating near LaGrange in December 1860, where they lived about nine years. In the year 1869 he moved upon the farm now occupied by the family and where he died.

His faithful companion and six children, three sons and three daughters, who were all present at the funeral, are left to mourn his loss, in which they have the sympathy of a large circle of friends. The three daughters and one son still share the maternal home, while two of the sons are married and living in other parts of the country.

Mr. Noble was an active, energetic farmer, a good citizen and an honest man who held the respect of his neighbors and friends, and his loss will be deeply felt throughout the community.


Canadian records show that George and Ellen were married in Quebec on Dec. 3, 1860, so it looks as if they headed for Iowa very soon after tying the knot.

She outlived George by only five years, dying on Aug. 27, 1895, at the age of 53.

Although her death was noted in the Chariton newspapers, a complete obituary was not forthcoming. Here's what was published in The Patriot of Aug. 29:

Died at her home in English township, on Tuesday evening, August 27, 1895, after a lingering illness, Mrs. Ellen Noble, wife of George Noble, deceased. The funeral took place on Wednesday afternoon and interment was in the Brownlee cemetery.

The six surviving children were Charles W. Noble, John F. Noble, Andrew Johnson Noble, Elizabeth Belle (Noble) Goodridge, Mary Alice (Noble) Richards and Fannie Ann (Noble) Stout. Two other children predeceased their father, James as an infant in 1883 and Emma as a young woman in 1888. They, too, are buried at Brownlee.

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