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John Willock Noble

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Title: John Willock Noble  
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Subject: William Freeman Vilas, United States Secretary of the Interior, Noble County, Oklahoma, Cherokee Commission, Perry, Oklahoma
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John Willock Noble

John Willock Noble
18th United States Secretary of the Interior
In office
March 7, 1889 – March 6, 1893
President Benjamin Harrison
Preceded by William Freeman Vilas
Succeeded by M. Hoke Smith
Personal details
Born (1831-10-26)October 26, 1831
Lancaster, Ohio, U.S.
Died March 22, 1912(1912-03-22) (aged 80)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Lizabeth Halsted Noble
Alma mater Miami University
Yale University
Profession Politician, Lawyer

John Willock Noble (October 26, 1831 – March 22, 1912) was a U.S. lawyer and brevet general in the Civil War. He served as the Secretary of the Interior between 1889 and 1893.[1]


Noble was born in Lancaster, Ohio,[1] and attended Miami University.[2] In 1851, he graduated from Yale University[1] with honors. He then studied law at Columbus and Cincinnati, moved to St. Louis in 1855, and a year later settled in the practice of his profession at Keokuk, Iowa. There he took a prominent part in politics.[2] At the outbreak of the Civil War, he was city attorney for Keokuk,[1] which position he had assumed in 1859.[2] After service in the Union Army during the War, he settled in St. Louis, Missouri, where he became U.S. Attorney for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, 1867-70.[1][2]

He served as Secretary of the Interior throughout the entire Benjamin Harrison administration. Under his watch as Secretary of the Interior, the Cherokee Commission negotiated eleven agreements that removed nineteen indigenous tribes to small allotments in the Oklahoma Territory, while opening the land to homesteaders.[3] He later resumed the practice of law in St. Louis and died there in 1912.[1] He was buried at Bellefontaine Cemetery.


Noble County, Oklahoma was named for him in 1893.[4]

The "General Noble" Giant Sequoia was named for this Secretary of the Interior.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f  Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Noble, John Willock".  
  2. ^ a b c d  "Noble, John Willock".  
  3. ^ Hagan, William T. (2003). Taking Indian Lands: The Cherokee (Jerome) Commission, 1889-1893. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 13, 18, 19, 20, 38, 182, 223, 235.  
  4. ^ . "Noble County."Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and CultureEverett, Dianna. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
  5. ^
John W. Noble in his office.
Political offices
Preceded by
William Freeman Vilas
U.S. Secretary of the Interior
Served under: Benjamin Harrison

Succeeded by
Michael Hoke Smith
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