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History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/John W. Noble

JOHN W. NOBLE was born at Lancaster, Ohio, October 26. 1831. He attended the common schools of Cincinnati, afterwards taking a course at Miami University and Yale College. He studied law with Henry Stansbery, afterwards Attorney-General of the United States, was admitted to the bar in 1855 and removed to St. Louis, where he entered upon the practice of law. In 1856 he removed to Iowa, locating at Keokuk, where he entered into partnership with Ralph P. Lowe, afterwards Governor of the State. Here he meet at the bar in legal conflicts Samuel F. Miller, George W. McCrary and John F. Dillon, who attained the highest rank in the profession. When the Civil War began, Mr. Noble was one of the first to take up arms for the Union, taking part in the Battle of Athens on the Iowa border. He enlisted in the Third Iowa Cavalry and was soon appointed adjutant of the regiment. Mr. Noble rose steadily in rank from lieutenant to colonel, and was brevetted Brigadier-General for distinguished services in the field. He participated in the Battle of Pea Ridge, the siege of Vicksburg and the second Battle of Jackson. Colonel Noble served as Judge Advocate of the Army of the Southwest, and as Judge Advocate of the Department of Missouri. Returning to Keokuk at the close of the war he found his practice taken by others and removed to St. Louis where he was appointed United States District Attorney. He was offered the office of Solicitor-General by President Grant but preferred to continue in practice at St. Louis where he attained high rank in his profession, winning some of the most important cases in that section of the country. In 1889 he was appointed Secretary of the Interior in the Cabinet of President Harrison. In this important department of the Government, General Noble won new honors by the ability he brought to the public service. He is entitled to the credit of having reserved great bodies of forest lands in the far west embracing the source of many streams which furnish water for irrigation of arid lands.