A Brief History of Noble, Louisiana
Noble is located on the KCS railroad between Bayou San Patrico and Bayou San Miguel. The settlement of this section dates back to the 1830’s. Among the oldest of the English-speaking pioneers were C. P. and Robert McDonald, Andrew Aaron, H. Litton, R. A. Rembert, Rev. J. B. Moore, Alfred Lout, John Jacobs (who lived at Brown’s Bluff).
The main road through that section ran from Grand Ecore via Pleasant Hill to Myrick’s Ferry, on Sabine River. The country was wilderness, broken by a few farms, until the early 1880s, when settlers began to come in, several hailing from DeSoto parish.
San Patrico was the first post office in this section and Rev. J. B Moore organized a Baptist church. The Rev. J. M. Franklin, a Methodist preacher, held services once a month and preachers of other denominations held services occasionally at a place known as the Four Dogwoods. It was located on the road leading from L. Riddick’s store to Pleasant Hill. The meetings were held under a brush arbor.
The Rev. Franklin was appointed to the Pleasant Hill and Many churches in the 1864 Louisiana conference. He lived in Ft. Jesup for many years and was described as “a God fearing man that feared nothing else”. He is reported to have killed a huge bear with just his hunting knife.
The Four Dogwoods were noted as a great deer stand. Hunters would take their dogs into the immense wildwoods between Bayou San Patrico and San Miguel and drive out deer. The deer would run across the ridge where the good-sized dogwoods stood.
Many of the settlers during the ’80s Purchased their lands from W. H. Jack, and secured a deed to land on which to build a church and a small box house was constructed in which both the Baptist and Methodist denominations worshipped for several years. Talk of a railroad building through the country was first stated in 1888, and created intense excitement. Some of the old citizens who had never seen a railway argued that it would be impossible to build such a road through the forests and hills of that locality.
The early school was at Hicks’ Camp, among the first teachers being B. Godfrey and A. Hubler.
The town of Noble was started in 1896, when the KCS railroad was completed through the parish, and the people who thought the building of the road an impossibility found it a great blessing.
The timber industry was developed by the Trigg and Frost-Johnson Lumber companies. In his Sabine History John Belisle described Noble as being “a thrifty little town with a progressive, hospitable citizenship”. The R. L. Trigg Lumber Co. began the erection of a mill in 1899. The interest of this company was subsequently transferred to the Noble Lumber Co., who in turn sold to the Frost-Johnson Lumber Co.
Noble was chartered in March 1905 when J. P. Youngblood was mayor. The first postmaster was Newton Lewis, but the office was discontinued and was not reestablished until 1899 when W. W. Wynne was appointed. Wynne came from Mansfield and bought 22 acres of land on which a large portion of the town is located and divided it into town lots.
At one time the town had a Bank of Noble, which was organized in 1909 with a capital of $10,000. Back in 1912 the farmers were raising Irish potatoes, shipping as many as 36 railroad cars of them from Noble in a single year.
There were two general mercantile stores and four prosperous merchants. There was a cotton gin owned by Pugh and Lord and it wasn’t unusual for the company to gin 1500 bales of cotton a season. There was also a mill for grinding corn.
The town claimed a hot salt water well resort just West of town. It was developed by the Long Bell Lumber Co. while prospecting for oil. There was a bath house at the well and many visitors went there “as the water is reputed to possess splendid medicinal value.”
Source: Sabine Parish Library; Sabine Index