Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden

Marguerite Noble was born on January 29, 1910, in the town of Roosevelt, Arizona Territory, where her father furnished mules for the construction of Roosevelt Dam. The waters of Roosevelt Lake eventually inundated this settlement, that had also been known as Tent City.

Her parents, Dan and Mindy Parker from Texas, bought the Bouquet Ranch in Tonto Basin from John Cline in 1903. Marguerite, one of seven children, grew up observing the “cowboy way” and storing memories for her future writing career.

She attended elementary school at Punkin Center, Florence and then Tempe Normal School. Marguerite received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Arizona State University in education. She taught for 30 years at Creighton School in Phoenix, where she emphasized Arizona history in her classes. She also taught high school and university classes.

Marguerite was married to Henry Rogers Buchanan in 1936, and the couple had two children: Roger Buchanan, born September 22, 1940; and Cynthia Dee Buchanan Cowley, born October 23, 1942. Marguerite married Charles F. Noble in 1975, when she retired to Payson.

Marguerite is or has been active in many organizations. She is a charter member of the Northern Gila County Historical Society and a member of the Arizona Historical Society, Tonto Cowbelles, Payson Women’s Club, Daughters of Gila County Pioneers, Phoenix Writers Club, National League of American Pen Women and Western Writers of America.

Her writings include Filaree (Random House, 1979). This novel, based on fact, is considered one of the best ever written about Arizona. An account of the life of a pioneer woman who raised a family and helped run a ranch in turn-of-the-century Gila County, it is required reading in college courses. (sic)

Marguerite published Crossing Trails, which includes a few of the 530 historical vignettes she wrote for broadcast over radio station KMOG in Gila County. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Western Horseman and The Arizona Republic.

She has received numerous honors, among them the Purple Sage Award (Zane Grey Western Society), Woman of the Year (Daughters of Gila County Pioneers), Spirit of Arizona 1988 (presented by Gov. Rose Mofford), the Sharlot Hall Award 1992 (Sharlot Hall Museum), and the Al Merita Award from the Arizona Historical Society. She was Payson’s Woman of the Year, and July 4, 1979, was declared Marguerite Noble Day in Payson.

She was Grand Marshal of the Payson Rodeo parade in 1996. She has spoken to schools and organizations throughout Arizona, and at local clubs and ceremonies about Arizona history and ranch history. She appeared at the Roosevelt Dam rededication, and she has been on television several times. She was selected as one of Arizona’s first Culture Keepers.

Margurite Noble is still in demand as a story teller and as an Elderhostel speaker, where she appears in pioneer dress and her ever-present sunbonnet. She is an advocate for the teaching of Arizona History in schools. Her lifelong contributions to the awareness of Arizona history are immeasurable.

Donor: Mona McCroskey
February 2004

Additional documentation and photographs may be available in the Sharlot Hall Museum Archives and Library.